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It was a completely impulse decision for me to start this quilt…I’ve been collecting Japanese fabrics for a while now, and when I saw that the Happy Flower QAL had started last Monday, I jumped in without much thought! This is hosted by Wynn, Kristyne, and Melissa, three of my very favourite bloggers, and we will be sewing our way through Atsuko Matsoyama’s epic quilt, from her gorgeous book Happy Flower Quilts. It’s the perfect way for me to practice my piecing, which is still very novice, and also indulge in my favourite needle turn applique. Two blocks a week for a whole year seems daunting, but with such a lovely supportive Instagram community to sew along with, I won’t be on my own…

Then Alisha from Ministry of Fabric announced she had these gorgeous beauties in stock…Sweets Forest, and it was love at first sight!

Happy Flower QAL - Sweets Forest Fabric

Happy Flower QAL - Sweets Forest Strawberry Pincushion

I knew it was the perfect fabric to include in my quilt…those luscious strawberries were just begging to be made into a pincushion! ¬†I will be using a lot of my Yuwa and Lecien collections, and other 30s reproductions. But not limiting myself to them, as I have a plenty of other cute fabrics that will work well too. And of course, I’m sure some other new ones will be joining them…


Happy Flower QAL - block 1

This is my first block, and while the book doesn’t include detailed machine piecing instructions, a bit of googling will help you find several possible ways of quick piecing. My first block went together really well using the corner square method for piecing.


Happy Flower QAL - block 2

This was my second attempt at appliqueing the flower, as those tricky points can be hard to master. But I found that giving that little internal junction an extra inwards push, made those pesky raw edges tuck in nicely. There’s still plenty of room for improvement, but I’m looking forward to that.

Happy Flower QAL - block 2a

The little fussy cut duck in the centre of the flower is my favourite part!


Happy Flower QAL - fussy cutting

This is how I audition fabric for potential fussy cuts, as it can be hard to work out what will be the right size for the piece that you need. Just draw that finished size onto a piece of paper, and cut it out. It really helps you see what picture fits best. Just make sure to add on the seam allowances before you finally cut it out. Nothing worse than wasting a good fussy cut!


Happy Flower QAL - block 3a

It turned out that I liked the critters having a tea party better for the centre of block three, and I found a great cheat sheet for cutting economy blocks here.

Happy Flower QAL - block 3

That little mouse is just SO cute!

Happy Flower QAL - block 4

And my fourth block, which was also done over, is some sort of berries with leaves? I’m not sure what you can make of this one. I originally appliqued it onto a pale pink background, before deciding it really didn’t work. So I think all my applique blocks will be done on a cream/grey background. I’m sure the procrastination won’t be ending there…

So who’s sewing along? Come on and join the fun!