Stitching with Beatrix Potter

Learn to Machine Appliqué with the Bubbles Nursery Quilt


From Stitching with Beatrix Potter

By Michele Hill


Class Description:

This is an ideal class for a beginner to learn the method of raw-edge machine appliqué using a blanket stitch. Skills learned will include selecting fabrics and threads, tracing designs using fusible appliqué paper, placing pieces accurately onto blocks, and then finally learning to blanket stitch on the machine. In one day students should complete one block and be ready to complete the rest at home. A prearranged second day when students have completed all blocks could be set up to help with constructing the quilt, including adding sashings and borders. Of course, a third class could also be arranged to learn the skills of machine quilting.


This class is an ideal way of introducing new quilters to making appliquéd quilts while enjoying the stories and characters associated with Beatrix Potter and making a great gift for a new little one. Perhaps have some of Beatrix Potter’s books in class and share a story over a coffee break! This project is ideal for a person just starting out on their quilting journey.


Class Length:
One 6-hour class should be enough for the completion of one block followed by another 6-hour class to construct the quilt, and then perhaps a machine quilting class where students can begin to quilt.


Class Supply List:

Can be found in Stitching with Beatrix Potter on p. 24.


  • Background fabric for inner blocks, sashings, and outer border fabric: 1.3 m (1 ½ yds) ´ width of fabric (110 cm) (51˝ ´ 43˝)
  • Assorted bright feature prints: a total of 9 different strips, 2 ½˝ wide, is required for the strips around each block (a jelly roll would be perfect for this; if you use the same print around each block you will need 60–70 cm or 24˝–28˝ in total)
  • An assortment of coordinating fabrics for the appliqué in each block (some fabric won’t be required until the second class for the sashing and border circles)
  • Piece of template plastic to make a 5 cm (2˝) circle and a 9 cm (3 ½˝) circle (for second class)
  • Fusible appliqué paper
  • Black thread for appliqué (I appliquéd the entire quilt in black and am pleased with the definition it gave to the appliqué)
    • Sewing basket with usual notions, including a pair of small, sharp, pointed scissors for paper and scissors for fabric/thread
    • Size 10 Microtex sharp sewing machine needles
      • Small plastic bags to store pattern pieces
      • HB pencil and sharpener
      • Rotary cutter and mat for cutting out blocks, borders, and sashings
      • Open-toed appliqué/embroidery foot for machine
      • Sewing machine in good working order, including manual


To complete the quilt:

  • Binding: 40 cm (15 ¾˝) ´ width of fabric (110 cm or 43˝)
  • Backing fabric: needs to measure 125 cm ´ 140 cm (49˝ ´ 55˝)
  • Batting: needs to measure 125 cm ´ 140 cm (49˝ ´ 55˝)
  • Grey or beige thread (a neutral colour) for piecing and matching background thread to quilt


TIP: Shops could make kits for this project using new fabric collections, particularly whimsical colorful ones ideal for a child’s quilt. Jelly rolls are also ideal for the block borders and appliquéd circles.


Classroom Preparation:
Each student will need table space to prepare appliqué, as well as a power outlet. Irons and ironing boards are required.


Class Agenda:

Step-by-step instructions from appliqué to binding can be found on pp. 9 to 16. This also includes photos. The step-by-step instructions for making the Bubbles Nursery quilt are on pp. 23 to 27.