Perfectly Placed Applique

Peg Spradlin is responsible for making many of the quilts you see in QM’s pages. Peg has sewn for us and our sister publications for many years. She’s a master.

Homesewer Peg Perfectly Placed Applique

Peg Spradlin

We were so pleased when Peg’s quilt Pinwheel Farm from the current Quilts from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks was recognized as best applique quilt in the crib/juvenile division at the 2012 Nebraska State Fair. It also won best overall crib/juvenile quilt.

1787 image Perfectly Placed AppliqueCongratulations are in order. We’re very proud of Peg, who, by the way, is teaching for us at the upcoming Block Party in Portland March 20–23. You’ll want to sign up fast.

Peg shared some helpful tips about the applique placement for Pinwheel Farm. You can apply this idea to other applique projects, too.

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I had great fun designing and making this quilt for my youngest grandson.

QMMS 120023 pinwheel 450 flat Perfectly Placed AppliqueThe pattern for Pinwheel Farm is in Quilts from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, on newsstands now.

The “fence” surrounding the baby animals is based on my block, Pinwheel Nine Patch, from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 5.


QMMS 120022 SPRADLIN 300x300 Perfectly Placed Applique

Pinwheel Nine Patch


Here’s how I perfectly placed the baby animal applique patches.

Prepare all the patches for turned-edge applique. Make a paper copy of the lamb’s head.

lamb applique 2 300x225 Perfectly Placed Applique

Paper pattern

Cut out the lamb’s head so that you have a paper with a hole of the outline and the separate lamb’s head as shown.

lamb applique 3 300x225 Perfectly Placed Applique


Lay the paper with the hole on the quilt where you want the lamb to “live,” then place the ears, the face, and the hair applique patches—just like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle—in the open area of the paper.

lamb applique 4 300x225 Perfectly Placed Applique

Position face applique patches

Pin or fabric glue the patches so they don’t shift in the sewing process. Remove the paper pattern, applique the patches, and then replace the paper pattern.


Cut the eyes, nose, and slits for the mouth and eyebrows out of the paper lamb’s head.

lamb applique 300x225 Perfectly Placed Applique

Cutouts for eyes, nose, mouth and eyebrows


Fit this paper pattern back into the hole that it was originally cut from, matching edges all around.  Place the eyes and the nose in the appropriate openings, then mark the eyebrows and mouth for embroidery.

lamb applique 5 300x225 Perfectly Placed Applique

Position eyes and nose, mark mouth and eyebrow lines

Pin or fabric glue the nose and eyes so they don’t shift, remove the paper pattern pieces, applique the patches, and embroider the mouth and eyebrows.

Repeat for the other baby animals on the quilt.

You can apply the same principle to other applique projects. Sometimes it’s the simple ideas that make the biggest difference. Our thanks to Peg for sharing her method with QM readers.

Quilts from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks is available in paper or in a digital edition for $6.99. Nineteen great projects will keep you sewing all winter!

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3 Responses to Perfectly Placed Applique

  1. That is a great tip for accuracy. Thank you.

  2. That is a great way to lay out pieces, thanks for the tip.

  3. Pingback: Perfectly Placed Applique | Quilty Pleasures Blog | How To Quilt

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