In May 2013, I made this quilt for my friend, Mo Bedell's booth at Spring Market to promote her then-new fabric, Full Moon Lagoon.
Note: That ribbon is for Mo's beautiful and award-winning booth, not the quilt! Thank you, Mo, for letting me use your photo.
The quilt is a modification of the Little Leaves pattern from The Practical Guide to Patchwork, so I'm calling it Little Vines. Below is a general overview of how I adapted the pattern.
The Little Vines quilt was made using Mo Bedell's Full Moon Lagoon fabric. I made the block shown below using my favorite prints from Mo's Hothouse Flowers collection.
Making a Little Vines Block
This is a 12" x 12" finished block.
Refer to the Little Leaves pattern on Page 88 of The Practical Guide to Patchwork (tPGtP) for the leaf templates and directions for making and sewing the appliqués.
Materials and Supplies
For each block, you will need:
• 1 neutral solid fabric block base 12½" x 12½" (I used Essex yarn-dyed linen blend in Flax)
• 12 large leaf appliques and 10 small leaf appliqués (directions on Page 90 of tPGtP)
• About 1 yard 1/4" bias tape to contrast with the block base*
You will also need a piece of paper at least 12½" x 12½", pencil, water soluble fabric marker, and a glue stick.
*You can use purchased bias tape, but I recommend making your own using a bias tape maker. If you've never made bias tape before, you can read more about it here. It's easier than you might think!
Note: When I made Mo's quilt, I used packaged bias tape because I thought it would save time. What a mistake! The width from package to package was wildly inconsistent, and I had a terrible time getting my finished blocks to match up. Never again!
Step 1: Make the Curve Patterns
Use a pencil and your quilting rulers to draw a 12½" x 12½" square on the paper. Mark 1/4" seam allowance inside each of the four sides, creating a 12" x 12" finished block footprint within the square.
Draw 2 parallel curved lines, as shown in the above drawing. Note that, if you want the "vines" to match from block to block, as they do on Mo's quilt, the smaller/interior curve needs to start and end in the center (6" from the finished edge) of the bottom and right sides.
Note: I found it easier to sketch the smaller/interior curve first and then draw the larger/exterior curve to match it. If you're not comfortable sketching the curves freehand, try drawing a box and then tracing the edges of plates or bowls (one small and one a little larger) to round the corners.
Cut out the 12½" x 12½" square, and cut along the marked curves, creating 3 paper pattern pieces. Discard the center piece (the one shaped like a piece of macaroni) keeping the other 2.
Step 2: Mark the Curves on The Block Base
Use the paper pattern pieces and a water soluble marker to mark the curved lines on the block base. The corners of the pattern pieces should line up with the corners of the block base.
Step 3: Add the Leaf Appliques
Arrange the 12 large leaf appliques, in pairs, on both sides of the larger/exterior curve. Arrange the 10 small leaf appliques, in pairs, on both sides of the smaller/interior curve. Follow the directions on Page 91 of tPGtP to fuse and sew the appliques in place.
Make sure to place the leaves at least 1/2" away from the edges of the block, so they don't get swallowed up by the seam allowance.
Step 4: Add the Bias Tape Vines
Cut a piece of bias tape a little longer than each of the marked curves. Carefully pull the wrong side of each piece across the top of a glue stick and arrange the sticky strips (sticky side down!) on top of the marked lines. Press gently with an iron to help hold the bias tape in place.
Note: Different quilters have different opinions about what, if any, kind of glue to use to hold bias tape appliqué in place during sewing. I used a glue stick because it was something I already had on hand, and I found it very easy to work with. Specialty quilting glue sticks are available, but I prefer to buy the regular office/school supply kind. Just look for a package that specifies that the glue stick is acid free (most of them are).
Straight stitch along the outside edges of each bias tape vine. Trim the long ends of the bias tape vines to match the edge of the block.
And that's it! Enjoy your Little Vines block, or make more blocks for a whole Little Vines quilt.
Note: The quilt I made Mo is 60" x 60" with 25 blocks. The Little Leaves quilt in tPGtP is 48" x 48" with 16 blocks. You can use the materials list and cutting instructions from the book to make a 48" x 48" Little Vines quilt. You'll just need to add the bias tape to your materials list and make the modifications described above. Also, at Step 3 on Page 90, you will only need to cut 10 small leaves (instead of 12) from each fabric. Cut 12 large leaves from each fabric, as directed.