Many of my patterns have an additional little design element that's called a "flange". This is actually just an additional strip of fabric in a contrasting color to add a little zing to the design. However, it not only adds that little pop of color but also has a very useful purpose! It allows you to lift up the flange on your finished project to begin free-motion quilting in an area so that no one call tell where you began. After you have done all of your wonderful quilting, you can then end your quilting by lifting up the flange again and secure your stitches underneath. Again, no one will be able to tell where you ended your quilting! AMAZING, I know!
I decided to add a little tutorial on my blog so that you, too, would have the knowledge to add a flange to your projects and give them a little extra personality. The design I'm using is called "Stitch" and can be purchased on my webpage.
The first thing you need to do is complete the stitching on your particular appliqué block.
For this block I decided to stretch it over an artist's canvas. I purchased a 12" blank canvas from my local art supply/craft store.
Since I started with a 12 ½" finished block, I needed to determine how much to trim off the block in order to add the flange and have the block wrap around to the back of the canvas. I wanted my flange to be 1" inside the edge of the canvas so I trimmed my block to 10 ½".
Next, I cut one strip of fabric 1" x wof (width of fabric).
I then placed this on my ironing board in a little pile and added spray starch to it.
Next, iron this little strip of fabric, wrong sides together, to create a long strip of fabric that is ½" wide.
Now, cut four of these flange strips 10 ½" in length.
Line the raw edge of the first strip up with the raw edge of the top of the block and sew it on with a ¼" seam allowance. Then continue to sew the flange strips onto your block. I usually sew the top and bottom on first and then the two sides.
When the flange has been added, you need to determine how wide to cut the border strips to add to your block so that it will wrap to the back of the canvas. Center your block on the front of the canvas and measure from the edge of the block to the back side of the canvas and add ¼". My measurement was 3" so I cut two strips of background fabric 3" x wof (width of fabric).
I then cut two strips 10 ½" in length because that is the size of my block, and I sewed one border to each side of the block, again using a ¼" seam allowance, encasing the flange between the block and the border fabric.
Remember to press your borders away from your block each time you sew one on. The folded edge of your flange strip will be towards the center of your block.
Now that your side borders have been added you need to cut two lengths from your border fabric to measure 3" x 15" and add these two borders to the top and bottom of your block. When all the borders have been added, it's time to layer your block with backing and batting and do some fun quilting. If you aren't sure about free-motion quilting, you can always do some straight line quilting or cross-hatch quilting.
After quilting is finished, trim your block to 15" square and staple it to your canvas.
Center your block on your canvas and pull the fabric to the back a little at a time and staple with a heavy duty stapler. Start in the center of each side so that you can determine that the block is centered and square and pull the fabric tight. The corners can be a little tricky, so fold the corner up at a diagonal and then fold the sides over it. Then continue to add staples around the block every couple of inches.
What a quick and easy way to give a block more personality. You can also add a flange to an area on your quilt that needs a little extra pop of color!