May 23, 2016

Creator Spotlight: Patricia Steadman

One of my favorite things about designing quilt fabrics for Moda Fabrics is seeing what you all create with the collections. I was so impressed when I saw this "Flower Pots" quilt by Patricia Steadman in photos from this year's American Quilt Society (AQS) show in Paducah. I'm grateful to Patricia for sharing with us her beautiful creation and her recipe for making it. Enjoy! Kate

Creator Spotlight: Patricia Steadman

Hi, my name is Patricia Steadman. Kate Spain invited me to come onto The Drawing Board to share with you how I made my Flower Pots Quilt. My quilt was selected for display in the 2015 Chattanooga AQS show and in the 2016 Paducah AQS show.First, a little about me: I’m a Georgia girl, a wife, mother, and grandmother to six wonderful grandchildren. I began making quilts in 2010, taking classes from local quilt shops. I belong to the Chattanooga Modern Quilt Guild, Quilter’s Etc Quilt Guild and several other quilting groups. Now about my quilt:I started the quilt while taking a class in 2013 and finished it in 2015. I chose bright colors for my quilt using Cuzco and Honey Honey by Kate Spain for Moda Fabrics and other fabric lines as well. I purchased the pattern Flower Pots by Kim McLean. I made changes to my border adding vines and flowers instead of the circles. Once I completed the stitching, it was custom quilted by Sherry Meyer.
The method I chose to use was freezer paper and needle turned appliqué. Two sheets of freezer paper were used to make my patterns. The patterns were traced on the dull side of one sheet of freezer paper and ironed. The second (blank) sheet of paper should also be ironed. Place the sheet with the pattern on it on top of the blank piece, with the dull sides of both pieces up. Finally, iron the two sheets together. To avoid messing up your iron, all ironing should be done on the dull side. By using two sheets the patterns are more durable enabling me to use them multiple times. All ironing should be done before the patterns are cut out.
Now the fun begins! Choosing fabrics and preparing your appliqué pieces for each of the blocks. Iron your pattern with the shiny side down to the right side of the fabric and rough cut around it. Leave about 1/4” allowance to turn under. After cutting, remove your pattern. Then place it with the shiny side up on the wrong side of appliqué piece you just cut out. 
Next iron the edges of the appliqué over the pattern piece. As I ironed the edges, I would make clips at the curves for smoother turning. After ironing, remove the freezer paper. I then used Roxanne’s Glue-Baste-It on the edges to hold them down. Use the glue sparingly.
For Stems: Cut bias strips, cut generous 1/2” wide strips. Use a Clover bias maker and starch to prepare the stems. Cut each background to the unfinished size. Fold in half, each direction and press. This helps with your placement of the appliqué pieces. Using the pattern as a guide for placement, I pinned the stems and appliqué pieces to my background. By pinning the pieces I could make adjustments to their placement if necessary. Once I was satisfied with the placement, I glued the pieces down using small dots of glue.
You are now ready to start stitching, taking tiny stitches by hand. I like to use short size 12 needles. Mine were Sharps by John James. I chose four different colors of YLI Silk thread to stitch all of my appliqué for this quilt. I could stitch whenever I had time. I would even take it with me to doctor appointments or anywhere I might be waiting. 

6 yards of Background fabric
Various prints of fabric for appliqués
Various green prints for leaves and stems
3/4 yard green tone on tone for bias stems
2 1/2 inch squares (I used jelly rolls)
6 yards of Backing fabric
1 yard of Binding fabric

Freezer paper
Roxanne Glue-Baste-It
YLI silk thread 
 1/4” Clover bias maker Hand appliqué needles (Sharps size 12)
Appliqué pins (optional)
Small sharp scissors
Paper scissors

I hope you have enjoyed me sharing the steps I used to make this quilt. Have fun making your next quilt with needle turned appliqué.
Patricia Steadman


  1. This is such a wonderful post Kate! It has so much information and the pictures are perfect in helping me to understand the appliqué process. I plan on keeping this information on hand for future reference. Also, Patricia Steadman's quilt is truly an heirloom quilt and it's just beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!

  2. No offense to pattern designer, Kim McLean, but changing the border from circles to a vine with flowers made a huge difference in the look of this quilt. Hats off to Patricia, who BTW, does not look like a grandmother of 6!

  3. No offense to pattern designer, Kim McLean, but changing the border from circles to a vine with flowers made a huge difference in the look of this quilt. Hats off to Patricia, who BTW, does not look like a grandmother of 6!

  4. Wow, absolutely beautiful!