Today I am excited to share a really fun bias applique tutorial with you. The technique may look scary or intimidating, but with the right tools its actually not too difficult. My hope is this tutorial will give you a little boost to give bias applique a try, you could even even submit your own project to the Panasonic Quilt Challenge by the MQG and have a chance to win a prize! Okay, lets get started…
In order to make one 18.5" x 18.5" Lotus Blossom quilt block you will need the following:
Before you go through the picture tutorial I suggest watching the video, which I think will help clarify the process for you.
Starch all your chosen fabrics before you cut them. This will make it much easier to manage when you machine quilt the block later.
Trace the Petal Template onto the paper side of the freezer paper.
Roughly cut the petal shape out of the freezer paper. Iron the waxy side of the paper to the right side of (1) of the 5.25" x 7.5" fabrics. Stack that piece on top of your other 5.25" x 7.5" fabrics and carefully, with a rotary cutter or scissors, cut the petals out.
Using the video as a guide, piece and tape together all (6) 8.5" x 11" Lotus Bias Template pages.
Tape the Lotus Bias Template down to your work surface so it doesn't move. Lay a Clover Design Sheet on top of the template and also tape it in place.
To create a petal, iron the fusible bias to the Clover Design Sheet "tracing" the template underneath. When you reach the tip of the petal, you will need to create a miter and then heat set the miter flat. When you reach the place where you started the petal overlap the two ends about a 1/2", trim the bias and tuck the end under the backside of the petal and press.
The key to this design is that you create one petal at a time, working clock-wise, overlapping each petal as you go.
Keep working petal by petal around the template until you reach the last petal. The last petal should be woven under the first petal before you heat set it. Gently remove the tape holding the Clover Design Sheet down and set the Lotus to the side.
Fold the 19" x 19" background fabric into four to find the center and finger press the crease.
Lay the background centered over the Lotus template and tape or pin the fabric into place so it cannot move.
First decide the order of your petals, then place a thin line of Elmer's Washable School glue along the edges of the back side of half of the first petal. Flip the petal over and heat set the glue with a dry, hot iron. (Note: We are only glueing half of the first petal so we can tuck the last petal under it later.)
Move onto the second petal, but this time glue the whole petal into place. Working clock-wise continue glueing the petals into place overlapping them as you go.
When you reach the last petal, tuck it under the first petal and glue both the first and last into place.
Grab the Lotus and gently peel the Clover Design Sheet off of the backside.
Very, very carefully flip the Lotus over so the fusible side is down.
At first the Lotus might not line up perfectly with the petals below it, that is okay. Line up one Lotus petal at a time and heat set it with a very hot iron. Make minor tweaks to the shape of the bias along the way to get the bias to completely cover the petals below. Do this until the entire Lotus is fused into place.
At this point you could continue making more blocks for an entire quilt or to create a single mini quilt piece together (10) 5" x 11.5" fabrics to create a 22.5" x 23" backing.
Baste your finished block (or quilt) with your preferred method.
Using black thread in the top and bobbin of your machine, stitch along the outside edge of the bias. Go slowly and lift your presser foot as you turn.
After the outside edge of the petal is sewn down, stitch along the inside edge of the bias. Repeat this process for all of the petals.
Now finish quilting the rest of the block (or quilt) with your preferred design and bind! If you made the mini quilt it should finish at 18.5" x 18.5".
Did you enjoy this tutorial? I would love it if you'd pin it or pass it along. If you have any questions about the process or tutorial please don't hesitate to contact me.
Creator of Pile O' Fabric
Alyssa Lichner is a graphic designer turned avid sewist. She writes modern quilting tutorials and shares techniques and inspiration on her blog, Pile O’ Fabric. Alyssa has a passion for exploring different techniques and applying them to modern designs. She is thankful to have the opportunity to share these techniques, through her tutorials, patterns, and classes with quilters around the world. She always encourages her readers and students to challenge themselves to try new things and to approach quilting with a fearless attitude.