Elm Creek Quilts: Tips for Caroline’s Bouquet

By Peg Spradlin

QM20911 Elm Creek Quilts: Tips for Carolines BouquetAuthor and quilt designer Jennifer Chiaverini’s Caroline’s Bouquet is included in Quiltmaker’s Small Quilts & Gifts. It’s a lovely little wall hanging which ties into the plot of her newest Elm Creek Quilts novel which just appeared in the marketplace. The new book is called The Wedding Quilt.

QMMS 110060 WEDDING 350 Elm Creek Quilts: Tips for Carolines Bouquet

Caroline's Bouquet by Jennifer Chiaverini. Made by Peg Spradlin.











It was my pleasure to piece and quilt the sample, along with the color option, pictured in the magazine, and I have a few tips which might help you when you sew your own version.

There are a lot of points coming together in this quilt and to help them come together accurately, I use three pins for each seam.

To use my method, push one pin straight into the points of both layers of the seam so that both points are aligned. Leaving the pin in this position to hold the points in place, use two more pins and pin 1/8″ to 1/4″ in front of and behind the points. Remove the middle pin and make a mark where it was so that you know where your needle should hit when sewing the seam. I use silk pins for this because they’re thin, sharp, and have a small head.

Carolines Bouquet 3 300x267 Elm Creek Quilts: Tips for Carolines Bouquet

Positioning of pins

To reduce bulk in the seams of this quilt I ironed the seam allowances of Unit 2 in the opposite direction of the seam allowances in Unit 3.

Carolines Bouquet 1 278x300 Elm Creek Quilts: Tips for Carolines Bouquet

Iron in opposite directions

I then ironed open the seam which joined the 2 units. Keep in mind that seams ironed in the same direction are stronger than those ironed open, so use this technique sparingly.

Carolines Bouquet 2 292x300 Elm Creek Quilts: Tips for Carolines Bouquet

Iron seam open

The picture above shows the ironed seams of a finished block.

Carolines Bouquet 4 300x300 Elm Creek Quilts: Tips for Carolines Bouquet

Don’t drive yourself crazy with this process because reducing bulk at one point may result in more bulk later in the construction. I’ve found it helpful to loosen the presser foot pressure when sewing a bulky intersection.

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Find another useful tip for reducing bulk in the seams in “How to ‘Clip & Flip.’”

Still a few hours to enter the Caroline’s Bouquet contest. Grab your chance to win the quilt and a signed book by Jennifer Chiaverini!

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Quiltmaker’s “Small Quilts and Gifts” is a newsstand-only issue available now at your quilt shop, newsstand or from our shop site.

QM20911 Elm Creek Quilts: Tips for Carolines Bouquet
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3 Responses to Elm Creek Quilts: Tips for Caroline’s Bouquet

  1. Mary C in WA says:

    I got the magazine and have read her new book. I’m taking both of them to meet her this coming week to get them autographed! I’m so excited to see her again, yes this will be my 2nd time. Lucky you to get to make her pattern!

  2. Claudia says:

    Any tip for helping solve a problem for a fuss pot like me is welcome. Thanks for the tutorial.

  3. Ann says:

    The pinning tips given by Jennifer Chiaverini are very valuable. I will use them this month as I piece a star block. These are the finer points of piecing you only learn from a master. Thank you!

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