Thursday, January 21, 2021

Hopeful Flowers—Week One

Our Hopeful Flowers Stitch Along is here!

We are thrilled to be able to share this free project with you over the course of the next two months. This wallhanging came about because we wanted to create something that focused on going beyond the blanket stitch for wool appliqué. The inspiration for the palette came from the amazing Tres Jolie lawns from French General that I (Kara) purchased this summer. We knew right from the start that this would be a great second project for our little Hopeful Bluebird Facebook Group. Little did we know that this small group would quickly grow to almost a thousand members in the course of two weeks! 

Each week, we will share one of the blocks and the stitches we used. The more unique stitches will be shown with detailed pictures and links to videos of those stitches when possible. Everyone learns in different ways, so we want to show as many formats as we can to help everyone grasp how to make a particular stitch. Our go-to videos for learning stitches are from Mary Corbet at Needle 'n Thread. Mary's videos are a great resource that we use often, and we honestly don't think we could do a better job than she does! The blocks will be free to download and will include the full size block pattern as well as templates needed. If you need the supply list for the project you can find it in the links listed at the bottom of the page here.

Just a few notes before we begin:

There are many methods used for wool appliqué, and even Teri and I don't always use the same one. I like to make freezer paper templates because I am a terrible tracer. A bonus to having freezer paper templates is that if I decide I want to change up a color or even make the project again, it is quick and easy to pull a template out of my baggie for that particular project. I glue stick my templates to the freezer paper and then cut the templates out. If you like to keep your pattern intact, just print out two template sheets.

My baggie full of templates.

Once my wool pieces are cut out, I keep all of the pieces on my small ironing mat so that way I can keep better track of them. Between jumping up and down to let dogs in and out, invariably I end up wearing a piece or dropping it on the floor. This is just one way of preparing the wool, but feel free to use whatever method you prefer. A tip for learning the stitches would be to get a piece of scrap fabric so that you can practice before you actually stitch on your project.

Block 1 (Yellow Flower)

For each block you will need a 9" background piece of fabric in a neutral color. All the stem embroidery is done before the wool appliqué, and hooping the fabric will give you less puckering. It can be challenging to hoop with the wool already stitched down, thus doing the stem embroidery first is encouraged. 

Stitches used:
Heavy Chain, Blanket, Stem, Lazy Daisy

The Heavy Chain stitch is used for the flower stems on this block. It is a simple stitch that gives a nice rope-like effect. Here are some detailed pictures of how it is done and the video link will be listed at the end of the post.

At the top of line, take a small stitch.
Bring your needle back up on the line
a little bit below the previous stitch.

Take your needle down and to the back
as shown.

Bring the eye of your needle through
the first stitch.

It should look like this.

Bring your needle up on the line a 
little bit below the previous stitch.
Again, take the eye of your needle 
through the very first stitch.

Take your needle down and to the back 
as shown.
Bring your needle up on the line a 
little bit below the previous stitch.

Bring the back of your needle through
both of the chain stitches.
Continue on in the same way down the 
rest of the line.

The blanket stitch is a standard stitch that is well loved in the world of wool appliqué. We are going to take the basic blanket stitch and zoozh it up (I checked—that is actually a word in the dictionary). Going around the circle twice with the blanket stitch gives a lace-like effect. Just remember not to pull too tight or the stitches will curl up.

Start a blanket stitch around the 
flower center.
Continue stitching all the way around 

When you get to the end, complete the
circle and bring the needle to the back.
Bring the needle back up under one of the
bars and then start another blanket stitch.

Continue making blanket stitches around 
the circle until you reach the end.

Keep your tension even and not too tight.

To get your free download, follow these instructions:

1. Click on the link below that says Hopeful Flowers Block 1
2. You will be directed to our What's Happening Page. It may ask you if you would like to go to that page and if so click the link provided.
3. Scroll down until you see the Hopeful Flowers wallhanging.
4. Follow the directions there for downloading your free pattern.

We can't wait to see everyone's blocks, and we hope you will share your progress and questions in the Hopeful Stitchers Facebook group. If you haven't joined yet, you can do so by clicking the link below. 

Have fun stitching!



  1. Thanks! That video really helped. Love that you are doing stitchalongs!

  2. I love this little project but am embroiled in finishing a couple of other projects at the moment. So I hope you'll have another project I can participate in soon. Just in case, I'm going to save the instructions. Thanks so much for organizing this!

  3. You two are so wonderful to do this! I know I won't have time right now to jump in, but I will enjoy watching all the progress. Thanks!