Twelve Words Block of the Month: May Flourish


I wanted to do something this month that would stretch me, help me learn. I’ve always wanted to try needle turn appliqué, and I thought, hey, why not on May’s wreath block? Well, I will tell you why not. It takes forever, that’s why not. Despite that, it was fun to learn and practice something new. I now have something to practice, a lot. :)

We need a place in which we may flourish and be ourselves.

Timothy Radcliffe

By way of explanation, I used three different kinds of appliqué on this block, but you don’t have to. I used needle turn on the leaves and stem, machine appliqué on the blossoms, and raw edge appliqué on the centers. I think it adds some fun and variety to the block, but if you are loving one kind of appliqué over another, by all means, use that method.


My friend Kathy swears that she won’t be making this block, which is sad, because it’s super cute. But I know, I know, some of you are still scared of applique. Don’t be! And if you really still are, check out the tutorial I did a while back, it will help. You can learn something new, I promise.

Many a genius has been slow of growth. Oaks that flourish for a thousand years do not spring up into beauty like a reed.

George Henry Lewes

Flourish, my friends.





(1) 14″ background square

(1) 12″ square for the wreath circle

(32) 2½” squares for leaves

(7) 2½” squares for blossoms

(7) 1½” squares for flower centers

Embroidery Floss

Making the block:


Using a water soluble marking pen, mark a line 2¼” in from each side of the background square. Be sure to keep all pieces inside this line.


Cut out all pieces using the templates provided. The pieces DO NOT include seam allowance, so if you are using needle turn applique, you will need to remember to cut seam allowance.

May Block no leavesPlace your wreath circle in the center of your background block and applique. May Block no blossomsNext, place your leaves around the wreath. Applique in place.

May Block no middlesPlace blossoms around the wreath, applique. MayBlock No WordsFinally, stitch the centers of the blossoms down.

MayBlock-No-WordsUsing a light table or bright window, trace the word pattern onto the center of the block.


Embroider the letters and blossom using a backstitch.

Press your block from the back. Square up to 12½”.

Download the pieces here.

Twelve Words Block of the Month #4: April Inspire

Twelve Words Block of the Month: April

A couple days late on this one. I swear, every month flies by faster than the last. But here it is, my April 2013 free block of the month pattern, April Inspire. (FYI, I’m backdating it to April 30th, so it’s easier to find for people who are looking. :)

Twelve Words Block of the Month: April

This month has been full of soccer games, and daffodils peeking their heads out of the ground, only to see snow falling on their petals. I’ve been dealing with some personal health (thyroid-related) issues too, so I’ve been all over the place emotionally.

Twelve Words Block of the Month

I started my garden seeds inside, and they sprouted beautifully. Just last Saturday, I planted them outside. And then the wind and snow and freezing temperatures came.

Twelve Words Block of the Month

Needless to say, this month needed some sunshine.

Twelve Words Block of the Month

The month of April? Well, I have a particular affinity for it, for some strange reason. But aside from it being my namesake–I love it because it is so full. Full to bursting. Everything is on the precipice of greatness. I mean, what is more inspiring than watching spring unfold?

Twelve Words Block of the Month

April inspires me. Makes me feel like I’m on the cusp of something really awesome. What a lucky month, April, she gets to carry inspiration with her everywhere she goes.

Twelve Words Block of the Month

Was your month full to bursting?

Twelve Words Block of the Month



PS Need to catch up? Here are links to the other blocks in this series: January Sparkle, February Adore, and March Believe.




(16) 2½” squares from various yellow scrap fabrics

(16) 2½” squares from various orange scrap fabrics

(2) 12½” x 1½” orange strips

(2) 4½” x 1½” orange strips


Make 32 half square triangles from your yellow and orange 2½” squares by marking a diagonal line on the wrong side of all yellow squares. Place one orange square and one yellow square right sides together, and sew ¼” away from each side of the marked line. Cut on the line. Press.


Arrange triangles as shown, and sew together in rows.


Sew two rows together to make a chevron pattern, press seam open. Repeat for second chevron, set aside.


Using yellow scraps and a linen background, and following the paper piecing template provided, paper piece the center of the block, sewing all units first, and then putting letters together to make the word. Square up to 10½” x 4½”.


Sew your two 4½” x 1½” orange strips to each side of your word block. Press toward the strip. Repeat on the top and bottom of the word block with the 12½” x 1½” orange strips.


Sew one chevron unit to the top, and one to the bottom of the word block. Press toward solid orange strips.

Square up to 12½” square.

Download Paper Piecing Template here.


Virtual Quilting Bee
Block #3 Tutorial

Virtual-bWelcome friends!

I’m happy you’re here at my blog! If you’re visiting for the Virtual Quilt Bee, hello! Let me introduce myself really quick: My name is April Rosenthal, I’m a quilt pattern designer and blogger, a mom to 5 year old twins, and a wife to my high school sweetheart (awwwww). I have a sweet little pattern company called Prairie Grass Patterns, which I absolutely adore. I also adore fabric, herbal tea, the color orange, helping my family be healthy, and above all, I’m an obsessive learner. I would love it if you’d stick around and introduce yourself so I can get to know you, too! I’m naturally pretty introverted, but I truly love my friends {<–that’s you}–and I love helping others learn.


I’ve known Amy for a couple years now, and darnit, she’s one of the coolest people I know–and hey, when one of the coolest people you know asks you to be a part of their virtual quilting bee, well, the answer is quick and obvious. So here I am, with my block pattern!

Let’s get to it, shall we?


First, cut the following, being careful not to stretch your triangles:

Orange polka dot: (4) 2½” squares

White and red floral: (4) 2 7/8″ squares, subcut once on the diagonal to make (8) small triangles.

Aqua check: (2) 4 7/8″ squares, subcut once on the diagonal to make (4) large triangles.


Sew the short side of a small triangle to one side of each orange square. Press seam toward the square. Repeat with another triangle on adjacent side. Press toward square.


Right sides together, sew one pieced unit to each large triangle, along the long edge. Press toward large triangle.


Lay out the block. Sew top two blocks together, and bottom two blocks together. Press toward large triangle.


Sew rows together. Press to one side.

There you have it! This one is quick and easy, you’ll have it put together in a flash. When I finished putting mine together, I was shocked at how different they look. There is so much less contrast in the solid orange block, but the darkest fabric stands out so much more. The Happy Go Lucky block is fun and balanced, and has a more traditional feel. They look like totally different blocks! Which do you like better?


I seriously can’t wait for the rest of this quilt to come together, the finished quilt is going to be so fun!

Thanks again for stopping by, let’s talk really soon!



PS Stay tuned this weekend for some pretty pictures of some works in progress…

PPS, If you missed the first two blocks, click on the “Virtual Quilting Bee” button in my sidebar. Amy is listing them all there, just for you.

Twelve Words Block of the Month #3:
March Believe


The month of March was a doozy for me. You know the times where you have plans, and then things just come out of left field all over the place to mess with you? Yeah, that kind of month. Some of the stuff was super cool, like my brother coming home after being away for two years in Russia and Kazakhstan. That was awesome. Other things, not so cool, like hey, strep.


So of course, I thought it pretty darn ironic that the word for this month’s block (which I planned back in September) is “believe”…because hey. This month? It was all I could do to believe that I could handle even one more minute of the insanity. (Turns out I could, no matter how it felt.)


And then, of course, when I went to actually make the block, I ended up having to do it twice. Apparently my math was all over the place the first time, and I didn’t notice until I got to the part where I’m sewing all the rows together. Hooray for do-overs.


So. Believe.


If I were trying to be inspirational, I would say “Believe in yourself! Believe in your dreams! Believe in the goodness of humanity! Believe in love, and grace, and kindness! Believe in creativity, and passion, and luck! Believe in beauty! Believe in your own worth, and in a loving Heavenly Father who’s looking out for you!”


But that’s not the month I had, so I’m going to say this instead:


Believe, that no matter how crazy today is, and no matter how crazy tomorrow is, that you’ll get through it. You will. Even if there are a couple do-overs.


And all that inspirational stuff? Believe that too. :)

How was your March?



PS Check out Amy’s Virtual Quilting Bee!  She’s having quilty bloggers post a block tutorial every other Friday. I get to post my block this Friday! Come follow along!



(12) 2 5/8″ dark green squares.

(24) 2 3/8″ squares from various green fabrics. Subcut diagonally once to make (48) triangles.

(1) 7″ linen square.


Make the green diamond square-in-a-square blocks by sewing a triangle to opposite sides of each green square. Align centers for correct seam allowance. Usually, I fold pieces in half and finger press as I sew to align the middles. Be sure your seam is hitting right where the two pieces intersect.

Block3BPress toward the green square.

Block3CUsing the same method as described above, sew two more triangles to the remaining sides of your green square. Press toward the triangles. Trim little triangles off.

Block3DTrace the embroidery onto the linen, and stitch the word and stem using 3 strands of Sublime Thread #778 in Leaf.

Block3ETrace the shamrock for the applique using your desired method (please note, the template does NOT include seam allowance). I chose to pin my piece to some minky and cut it out without fuseable web. I pinned the shape to the linen and adhered it using a zig zag stitch.

Block3FTrim the linen down to 6½” square.

Block3GLay out the block as shown, piece together by rows, pressing seams between square-in-a-square blocks open, and blocks surrounding the linen, toward the linen.

Block3Finished block is 12½” square.

Block Templates Download

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