Free Project: Lovely Water Lily Appliqué

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This content is an excerpt and a free pattern from Euphoria Tapestry Quilts by Deborah Kemball.

In a way, this is the anomaly in my repertoire. I like to try to give all my flowers some sense of movement and flow, but here is a couch potato of a flower, sitting serenely on its background color—no stalk, no movement in its leaves. I have to confess a predilection for water lilies, with their waxy leaves, their magical opening and closing with the sun’s wax and wane, their long lives, their beautiful shades of color, and their enticement for dragonflies.

It’s all about the order of appliqué for the water lily. Because it is not a hard flower to appliqué, I like to use four or five shades of a single color for the whole flower, favoring turquoises, pinks, lilacs, whites, and yellows. I prefer using the darkest shades for the middle petals J, K, and L and the lightest shade for the front petal M. I also like to embroider lots of stamens, sometimes just using detached buttonhole stitches as shown below and sometimes connecting those stamen heads with stamens.