My Birth Month Flowers of the Year Quilt WON!!!


You can’t imagine how astonished I was when I got the call that told me I won second place in my category on my Birth Month Flowers of the Year machine embroidered quilt in our local Tucson Quilters Guild annual Quilt Fiesta show just this past weekend!

Award winningquilt by Lindee Goodall

Why was I so surprised? Well, first of all, our guild is HUGE and I’ve always been amazed at the extraordinary workmanship on the quilts entered in the event in past years.

Secondly, this is my first year in the guild and I really don’t consider myself a quilter—well, at least not like others in the guild. And thirdly, this was the first time I’d ever entered a quilt into any sort of contest. I’d heard that embroidered quilts never won in the past, so I wasn’t even sure if I should bother entering.

I would probably make a quilt here and there if I didn’t have this embroidery business but the truth is, I really make the quilts just to show off the designs. This project, however, was intended as a quilt from the first and was planned to be a block of the month.

The idea was initially conceived many years ago when I was staying with my friend, Shar Jorgensen, a quilter par extraordinaire, and she suggested that a birth month flowers of the year quilt would be a great idea.

I agreed with her but hoops back then weren’t as large as today’s. I had just completed my first block of the month project, which was another Baltimore styled quilt that I named “Garden Glory” and was produced while I still owned Cactus Punch.

There was so much multi-hooping for each block for most embroiderers that it was quite laborious. Now many machines have hoops with sewing fields large enough for an 8″ embellishment.

Garden Glory quilt by Lindee Goodall for Cactus Punch

I’d had many requests for another quilt like Garden Glory and the one that kicked me into gear was from the owner of a quilt shop where I taught a monthly embroidery club for about a year.

I spent an entire month researching and sketching to come up with the 12 blocks you see on the white, scalloped border version at the beginning of this post. Making and designing a project like this is way more time intensive than you might imagine!

I spent another two weeks designing the layout in EQ and Adobe Illustrator and selecting fabrics. The white background was not my initial choice but I decided to step outside my comfort zone a bit and go for a more vintage look.

Initially I sewed the first three blocks (October, November, December) with 1930’s reproduction prints.



I decided I didn’t like that look and started over on the color scheme and finally chose some softer colored batiks, which I’m really happy with (and the judges liked too!).

October Cosmos Applique from Lindee G Embroidery

Enter Echidna P.I.E.

About that time, one of my business partners, Gary Walker, owner of Echidna Sewing Products in Australia contacted me about doing a monthly on-line embroidery club that would feature an embroidery technique and a project.

I proposed we use the birth month flowers of the year and he agreed asking that I also add a redwork version and filled version.

Project made during the P.i.E. series

Note: Read more about Echidna P.I.E. here: How to Get Your Own Slice of P.I.E. All the lessons and projects are still available and can be downloaded from the shop. Each month includes the designs used in the project at ridiculously low prices.

The redwork versions were something I was already considering but I wasn’t keen on the filled versions. The artwork just wasn’t drawn for that so some of the flowers had to be significantly revised for that method. And the designs would be so stitch intensive on top of that.

Oh, and one more thing, the flowers I had chosen for the American version of the quilt weren’t the same flowers Australia recognized for their birth month flowers, so seven more flowers had to be designed!

In most cases, these extra flowers were alternates on the U.S. list of birth month flowers and I simply didn’t choose them either because I didn’t think they’d work well as appliqués, or they wouldn’t be particularly recognizable, or their shapes were too similar to other flowers I’d selected. So for seven months out of the year there are two flowers from which to choose.

Birth Month Flowers of the Year BOM by Lindee G Embroidery

Designs Work with ANY Hoop 5×7″ & Larger!

As I mentioned, each flower was digitized in three ways: appliqué, redwork, and fully fill stitched. And while each flower was designed for an 8″ hoop (200mm), each design has also been split up for two sizes of smaller hoops. You will need at least a 5×7″ (130 x 180mm) sewing field for the smallest one; they just wouldn’t fit a 4×4″ hoop.

I’ve also included extracted elements of the designs to make it easy to create coordinating borders or accessories or for other projects, not just quilts. You can check out the year long course, called Echidna P.IE., to see how I used these elements for other projects.

Once each month’s flowers were completed, I added a “thirteenth month” with the instructions for each quilt and along with any extra elements I used to complete the quilt, such as the cornerstones on the Aussie quilt and the borders on the U.S. quilt.

If you bought the blocks as they were introduced, you can get the quilt instructions and extra pieces here:

All of the appliqués in all of the sizes, instructions to make the quilts and how to do machine embroidered appliqué, plus appliqué templates for both quilts are included in this collection. This will enable you to choose which ever flowers suit your fancy:

All the full-size versions are available individually so if you’d rather just pick up a few for a pillow or some other project, you can. The multi-piece versions are currently only available as part of one of the collections.

However, since the individual parts are available, it would be possible to get those and recreate the block on your own but you’re definitely on your own there as I haven’t provided instructions for that.

Quick Change Pillow, Month 1 project for Echidna P.I.E. by Lindee Goodall, Lindee G Embroidery

Individual designs can also be found with the full block collections in the Block of the Month section of the shop.

Don’t Forget a Label for Your Quilt!

Of course I made a label for my quilt using my favorite font for this task, Adine Script. Download it as a BX, drag and drop it onto Embrilliance or Embroidery Works and then just type!

If you don’t have any version of those programs, go here and download the FREE version and quit trying to build complex text elements by merging and aligning individual letters!

Be sure to label your quilt

Two Quilts with Similar Designs, Very Different Appearance!

All in all, creating and digitizing the designs, making the sample quilts, designing the monthly lessons and projects took just shy of two years. The black quilt features the Australian versions of the flowers and has a much more contemporary feel with bolder colors.

I kept it a little simpler with standard borders inside of a mitered scalloped border. Also, I used small appliquéd cornerstones on the black quilt and added a more elaborate multi-hooped appliqué border to the white one.

To further distinguish the two quilts, I sent each one to a different local longarm quilter for quilting allowing them to embellish them as they so chose. Nubin Jensen quilted the white one (which I’m sure contributed immensely to my red ribbon!) and Barbara Angerhoffer quilted the black one, which hung in our booth during the show. I only entered the one so as not to be without a display model for the event.

It’s quite interesting that at shows where I generally have both quilts hanging side by side that most people don’t recognize that they share 5 designs in common and are from the same series. Also, people tend to favor one or the other, usually the black one for it’s brighter colors.

Precutting Your Appliques is Required!

All of the appliqué versions come with cutter files for digital cutters. FCM is included for the Brother ScanNCut so you can just drag the files to your stick and take them to your machine. SVG is also available.

If you don’t have a digital cutter, PDF templates are also included for precutting your pieces by hand. You’ll definitely want to precut these appliqués for a neat and clean appearance.

The “blob method” may work for simpler appliques with 1 or 2 simple shapes but it’s definitely a bad way to go for projects with many pieces that may be too small to cut between.

Instructions are included with the collection versions on how to do applique but not with the individual files. If you haven’t downloaded one of my sets that include the instructions, they are available here: Applique Basics.

Having a digital cutter not only saves you a TON of time, it is perfectly accurate! Check out the image below with nearly all the leaves for the Aussie quilt. My ScanNCut did the job in only 9 minutes!

Just imagine how long it would take to cut by hand, not to mention any blisters from so much cutting! To combine multiple pieces from different blocks, you’ll need to use software. For the ScanNCut, that’s a web app.

Quick & accurate cutting with ScanNCut

To learn more about cutting appliques the fast and easy way, see this blog post: Tips for Cutting Fabric Appliques with the Brother Scan n Cut

How to Make the Quilt Larger

I don’t make bed sized quilts but by alternating the appliqué blocks with blocks stitched with the redwork versions, you could easily double the size of this quilt. You could also cut your blocks a bit bigger and make your sashing and borders wider.

Could you increase the size of the designs? Sure! Just remember you’ll also need to remake all the appliqué templates. Features in Embrilliance enable you to extract the placement line of an appliqué and make it digital cutter ready.

Where to Get the Designs

Individual birth month flower collections plus individual design files (not the split versions), can be found in the shop under Block of the Month. Collections for each month include each flower in 3 styles in full-size and split hoop versions plus applique templates.

For just the instructions and any extra pieces created to finish each quilt, use these links:

All the applique design files to compete both quilts plus instructions and template files for the various cutting methods can be found here:

Be sure to send me photos your quilt when you get it done!



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