How to Make an Applique Quilt

Use nice fabrics to create an applique quilt.

Adapted from Stitch and Split Appliqué, by Jayme Crow and Joan Segna (2004, Martingale and Company)



Materials and Tools:

Note: Yardage is based on a 42-inch wide fabric.
1 yard of dark brown border fabric
5/8-yard of off-white fabric for appliqué backgrounds
1 fat quarter of fabric for the block background in each color:
- 2 different golds
- 2 different yellow-greens
- 2 different dark rusts
7½-by-10-inch rectangle for each of the large pear fabrics:
- 2 different dark golds
- 2 different dark yellow-greens
- 2 different dark rusts
6-by-9-inch rectangle for each of the medium pear fabrics:
- 2 different medium golds
- 2 different medium yellow-greens
- 2 different medium rusts
4-by-6-inch rectangle for each of the small pear fabrics:
- 2 different light golds
- 2 different light yellow-greens
- 2 different light rusts
5-by-5-inch square of medium brown fabric for pear stems
2 yards of backing fabric
½-yard of binding fabric
42-by-64-inch piece of batting
5-by-5-inch square of paper-backed fusible web
1-1/8 yards of 2-inch-wide variegated green silk ribbon for leaves
matching metallic and rayon threads
freezer paper
spray starch
seam sealant (optional)
fabric glue (optional)
Make your own patterns or copy pear, corner, leaf and stem shapes from the Stitch and Split Appliqué book.



Note: All measurements include ¼-inch-wide seam allowances.

1. From the off-white fabric, cut six 9-by-12-inch rectangles.

2. From each of the six fat quarters, cut one 13-by-16-inch rectangle.

3. From the dark brown fabric cut five 5½-by-42-inch strips.

4. From the backing fabric, cut one 42-by-64-inch piece.

5. From the binding fabric, cut five 2¼-by-42-inch strips.

6. Trace large, medium and small pear patterns onto freezer paper and cut them out. Note: To create larger pears, cut the copied large pear shape in half lengthwise, place the two halves ½-inch apart and retraced the pears, extending the drawn lines freehand.

7. Use the large pear template to cut one shape from each of the six large pear fabrics. Repeat with the medium and small pear templates and the appropriate fabrics.

8. On each off-white 9-by-12-inch rectangle, mark a dot on the top edge 6 inches from the top left corner. Mark another dot on the bottom edge 3½ inches from the bottom left corner. Using a sharp pencil and ruler, draw a line to connect the two dots. This will be your cutting line. Mark 1½ inches from the bottom edge of the line as a placement guide for the large pear.

9. Iron the pear shapes. Apply spray starch for stability while sewing. Fold the shapes in half vertically, right sides together, and lightly press the folds to denote the centers.

10. For each of the six pear units, select a small, medium and large pear from the same color family. Align the fold line of each large pear on the marked line of a white rectangle and place the bottom of the pear at the 1½-inch mark. Pin in place. Set your sewing machine for the decorative stitch of your choice and thread with a matching rayon thread; stitch around each pear, 1/8-inch from the raw edge. Cut away the background fabric behind each pear, leaving a ¼-inch seam allowance. Center the medium pear shape from each unit on the large pear; pin in place. Stitch 1/8-inch from the raw edge, and then cut away the large pear fabric behind the medium pear appliqués as before. Position the small pear from each unit toward the bottom of the medium pear. Pin in place. Cut away the medium pear behind the small pear appliqués. Press the units from the wrong side.

11. Cut apart each pear unit (small, medium and large pears) on the marked line, using a ruler and a rotary cutter.

12. Stitch the left half of one gold pear to the right half of the other gold pear and vise versa. Repeat with the yellow-green pear halves and the rust pear halves. Press the seams open.

Stems and Leaves

1. Trace the stem pattern onto the paper side of the fusible web squares six times. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to fuse the web square to the wrong side of the brown fabric square.

2. Cut the stems on the marked lines and remove the paper backing. Place a stem at the top of each pear and fuse in place.

3. Cut leaf ribbon into ten 3½-inch-long units. Trace the small and large leaf patterns onto freezer paper. Use the templates to cut a leaf shape from each ribbon segment. Apply seam sealant to the ribbon edges.

4. Set the machine for featherstitching and thread the needle with decorative thread. Practice stitching through the lengthwise center of a ribbon. Allow the stitching to gather up the ribbon for a realistic curled leaf appearance. Once you're comfortable with stitching on the ribbon, stitch the remaining segments.

5. Arrange one or two leaves around the stem of each pear. Glue, fuse or hand-stitch the leaves in place.

6. Stitch 1/8-inch from the edges of each pear shape with rayon and metallic threads. Echo-quilt in the white background of each block. Quilt a leaf pattern through the block and backgrounds and in the border.


1. Trim the unit to 8½ by 11 inches. To round the corners of each unit, trace the corner pattern onto freezer paper and cut it out. Iron the template to each corner of each unit; cut away the excess beyond the curved edge of the template.

2. Select a 13-by-16-inch block background rectangle that works well with each pear unit. Center each pear unit on the right side of the selected rectangle and pin in place. With your machine set for a straight stitch, stitch 1/8-inch from the edges of each pear unit. Turn the rectangle to the wrong side and cut away the block background rectangle behind the pear unit background, leaving a ¼-inch seam allowance.

3. Arrange the blocks into three horizontal rows of two blocks each. Stitch the blocks in each row together. Sew the rows together.

4. Measure the quilt top for borders. Piece and cut the side border strips to the required length and stitch them to the quilt top. Cut the top and bottom borders to the required length and stitch them to the top and bottom edges of the quilt top.

5. Layer the quilt top with backing and batting and baste.

6. Bind the quilt edges and add a hanging sleeve and a label.

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