Right around the New Year the Brimfield Awakening girls approached me to create another quilt layout using their free template 'Avon' block and well this is the result of that adventure. I couldn't be more pleased with the layout.
The 'Avon' block is a block born from their friends garden in Avon, MA. where they often stay when attending the Brimfield Flea Market in Brimfield, MA. A English paper piece block inspired by a garden... sign me up.
I have always loved a well planned garden but my limited green thumb prevents me from having a garden like those at the Biltmore so I will settle with make my garden from fabric. This layout mimics the 'formal' gardens of those grand estates with a focal fountain or statue surrounded by a maze of symmetrical paths, shrubbery, and botanicals.
We collaborated with Alison Glass to use her new fabric line 'Sun Print 2019' and two from her 'Kaleidoscope' solids line to create a fun rainbow 'Formal Avon' layout.
For this layout the fabric requirements will be:
- 3.25 yards of Opal from the Alison Glass Kaleidoscope Fabric Range
- 1 Fat Quarter Bundle of Alison Glass Sun Print 2019 fabric Range
- 4 yards of Daisy form the Alison Glass Kaleidoscope Fabric Range
1. Begin by either printing and cutting 24 Avon block templates (the Avon Block is a free template when you sign up for the Brimfield Awakening newsletter) or you can buy pre cut templates from paperpieces.com
The Avon Block is 7"x7"
2. From your Opal solid (or your desired fabric) prep your Avon Blocks by cutting 24 - 8"x8" square and baste to the Avon Block templates. Take your time on the inside concave curve i.e. top of the flower petal. Make nice even cuts. (for more in-depth images please look to my Instagram 'Avon Quilt' story) Also checkout Brimfield Awakening's blog post for other basting takes.
3. Once all your Avon blocks are basted take 5 sets of 4 sewing along the longest edge to create a kind of four patch that will be then turned onto its point once ready to appliqué.
At this point you should have 5 sets of 4 Avon Blocks sewn together and 4 single Avon Blocks.
4. Use a HOT, DRY iron to heat press your edges. This helps the fabric retain a crisp edge once the paper are removed.
6. Gently remove your Avon block papers from your fabric. If desired take back to the iron and press once more to insure all the edges are smooth. Then set aside in a safe place.
7. Cut from your Alison Glass Sun Print 2019 fat quarter bundle 5"x5" squares to be used in the negative spaces in the Avon Block, the flower and the negative diamond shape that is created then your sets of 4 are sewn together.
PLEASE NOTE! If using the Alison Glass Sun Print 2019 fabric the 4 singles will be duplicates of 2 of the fabrics of your choosing. If you are wanting to achieve the same as the first layout image above. I have the white text fabric in the diamond negative space of the Top Left and Bottom Right Avon sets. Then the orange text fabric in the Single Avons at center right and left.
But please feel free to do what brings you JOY!
8. Once you have decided what fabric to use in your negative space flop one of your Avon block set or single over so you can see the back side. Use some water soluble glue and dab around the perimeter of the negative space opening. When ready place your 5"x5" piece of fabric right side down (you should be looking at the wrong side of both the Avon block and the 5"x5" square) and let dry.
Continue to dab and place fabric for all the negative space openings. DO NOT WORRY about the extra fabric at this point. Let the glue dry completely before basting to your background fabric.
9. For this quilt I decided to make throw size quilt at 50"x65". I took 4 yards of the Alison Glass Kaleidoscope in the Daisy color way and cut it in half making two pieces each 2 yards. I seamed the two pieces back together along the salvage line to create one big background piece. (Feel free to use 108" wide fabric if you would prefer to not have a seam in the background). Which ever way you choose to make your background piece take your time. Remember "Measure Twice, Cut Once" and if all else fails add a border!
10. When you are happy with your background fabric its time to baste your Avon blocks. For this I used spare glue baste to attach. First, I laid my background fabric down on the floor and measured (see diagram above) to lay out the Avon blocks in their positions. Using a few paper towels lay them on one half side of your Avon four patch. Flip over the one half of the Avon block that is still visible and spray with adhesive on its exposed back. Then gently lay it back onto the background fabric pressing it into place. Repeating for the other side. Continue will all Avons are securely attached to the background fabric.
You can also use your water soluble glue to gently lift up the edges to dab a little to hold the Avons in place.
11. With everything secure take it over to your machine and appliqué permanently into place with your desired stitch. I personally like what is believe is called a 'overlock' stitch to attach my appliqués . Many people use a 'blind hem' stitch as well.
Take your time on the Avon flower negative spaces. You will only be able to stitch a few bits before you need to (with needle down) lift your pressor foot and pivot.
12. Once all appliqué is done you will want to take the time to trim out your background fabric (white fabric) from behind your Avon blocks. Leaving the stitch line in-tacked. This will reduce the bulk of the appliqués making a more even quilt top once fully complete.
With is step done you can either decide leave it as is and move onto making your quilt sandwich or add a border!
13. To complete this top we decided to show off the SunPrint fabric by adding a 2.5" border all the way around in a rainbow fashion.
With this my journey with this quilt top is complete. I will be sending it to the Brimfield girls to have longarmed.
This is a fun EPP block with endless uses and possibilities!
I couldn't help but play with my Kona Cotton fabric swatches with this layout. Below are two variations on the color way for my 'Formal Avon' layout.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing this quilt top come together and I eager to see what my fellow quilters make with the Avon block! If you decide to use my layout in your own color way tag me @sewthishappened and #formalavon