Hi everyone!

How are you all getting along with your quilts? I hope you’re beavering away and getting closer to this stage. I’ve left you alone for a couple of weeks to get ahead. My Hexy MF is still at the vines stage, but I’m hoping to get a good spurt on that over the next week or so and be done by Christmas. English paperpiecing really is a labour of love, but the beauty of any EPP project is you can pick it up and put it down and work on a little at a time when you have some spare time.

This post is the last in the series of the Hexy MF quiltalong, but you can pick up all of the previous posts by clicking here

My good friend Ruth has an alternative way to do the stems, as shown in the photo below.

Stem example

She calls it the cheat’s way and it’s really very simple, involving less hand stitching.


1. Cut bias strips 1½in wide. (Stem will finish approx ½in wide)
2. Fold your strip in half lengthways and lightly press.
3. Pin the strip along the stem path easing the curves, bear in mind that the stem will finally lay to the left of the machined line.
4. Machine (or hand) stitch into place using a ¼in seam allowance, see diagram.
5. Ease the folded edge over to cover the raw edges and slip stitch into place by hand.
6. If you want a finished end then leave the last ¼in unstiched and turn under to finish neatly, the other end should be covered by a flower!

Thanks Ruth – you’re a superstar!

lilly belle quilt a long

Once you have your stems in place, you can applique the additional flowers according to where you want them, just dot them around the stems, making sure they look nice and evenly distributed. Add in the occasional single bud (1 single hexagon) and applique on just as you did with the main body of the patchwork top. Use the diagram above as a guide.

still on-going...

The final step are the leaves. If you have a template set draw around the leaf template onto the dull side of freezer paper. I used 16 leaves, you could use more, or less. It’s your quilt, remember! Freezer paper can be easily found in craft stores and often the grocery store too – but if you can’t find it, don’t worry, you could use a light card stock instead, or a thick paper. Not a printer or copier paper, but something that has more weight.

If you don’t have a template set, draw a simple leaf/petal shape onto thick card stock or template plastic that is approximately 2.5″ in length and 1.5″ at it’s widest point. Cut that out and use it as your template

Place your freezer paper leaf shiny side onto the reverse of your leaf fabric. Press to fix into place (if you are using card stock, pin into place with a single pin in the centre of the leaf)
Cut your fabric a little larger than the template – 1/4″ all the way round is perfect. It doesn’t have to be exact, but don’t be too generous with your seam allowance.


Use a paintbrush to ‘paint’ starch onto the seam allowance, not too much, you don’t need to soak the fabric, just a light covering. I spray my starch into the lid of the can and use that as a little dish.


Using a hot, dry iron press the seam allowance in towards the paper template. Be careful not to fold up the edges of the paper. Watch your fingers too!!!

The points of the leaf will poke outwards, you are going to tuck those in as you applique.


Wait for the leaf to cool down and pop out the paper template.


Pin onto your top and off you go! You can either machine stitch this on using a blanket stitch, or continue with your hand sewing, and stitch them on.

still on-going...

And that is it – you’re finished!

Thank you, a huge thank you to everyone that has joined me in this quilt along, I have loved seeing the quilts come together and the variations in fabrics. I hope you have enjoyed yourselves and that you carry on until the very end.

Don’t forget to share your projects in the Fat Quarterly flickr pool!