Sunflower Piecing Tips

I’ve had some comments from participants about piecing in the center A circle of the sunflower block on the mystery quilt.  I’ve taught piecing the sunflower hundreds of times so you just have to trust me that this will work.

First, sew all your pieces together to make a circle.  (See the blog about piecing the sunflower sequentially.)

Then position your center circle under one of the C triangles, matching the reference marks.  Pin the far left corner to one of the reference marks on the circle.  (Lefties would put their pin in the right hand corner.)  See how the C triangle wants to slip down where my pointer is pointing.  You need to push the triangle UP so it will match the circle underneath.  You can place a pin in the middle if it helps.  (For me, it just gets in the way.)

Pin is inserted from the top to the bottom reference mark.

Pin is inserted from the top to the bottom reference mark.


Placing a pin on the center of the line can help to keep the pieces lined up.

Placing a pin on the center of the line can help to keep the pieces lined up.


Sew this little section, then backstitch at the left pin, pop the seam allowance up and go through.  Continue sewing the entire center in this way.  I DO check the stamped line of the circle in the back to make sure I’m hitting it with my stitching.


When you are finished, lay the block face down on the ironing board and press the seams around in a circle.

Press the seams counterclockwise or clockwise if you are left handed.

Press the seams counterclockwise or clockwise if you are left handed.

Trim off the dog ears.

When you turn the block over, you will have a lovely sunflower, ready to baste in the edges and applique into the embroidered block.

I’ve had questions about whether it is easier to APPLIQUE the circle on top.  If you think about it, it would be harder, as you have no “ground” for it to hold onto.  And, getting that circle to line up EXACT over the C triangles is no trick I’m ready to master.  I had an expert appliquer friend that told me she was going to applique it in.  I asked her later what was the verdict and she told me it was easier to PIECE it in.  I agree.  So as I said in my last sunflower blog post, get a mocha, relax and piece the circle in!  🙂




Happy Stitching!



Sunflower Piecing Tips — 13 Comments

  1. I hand pieced all the triangles and squares together except for the very last seam, so that it hung in a line if you held it up. That made going around the circle easier. It gives you more space to work with. I also tied off/knotted my thread at the end of every triangle, and that held things in place as I moved to the next triangle. I also tried appliqueing the circle down, just for fun, but makes the circle very flat against the flower, the hand pieced one puffed, and has much more dimension to it. It was very hard to get the circle and the square points to kiss each other, and not overlap as well.

    • Good idea, Anne. I did try one this way, but I still prefer to sew all the B’s to C’s to make a circle first. If you pull your needle through the seam allowance and then tug on the thread and back stitch on the other side of the seam allowance, it will bring your C pieces together so they will “kiss”.

  2. Hey Cindy,
    It purchased transfer-ez and I remember you mentioned that you used it on a laser printer. according to the instructions you could use an inkjet but I remember there was a reason why you use an inkjet. Why shouldn’t I use an inkjet?
    Thanks for your help.

  3. I hadn’t done any hand piecing in a while and I’m having so much fun with this block. The center circle takes a little patience, but that perfectly round center is well worth it! Thanks for the great pattern, and all the coaching.

  4. I haven’t done any hand piecing for a while, but I am enjoying this project a lot. The centers of the sunflowers are a little fiddlely, but the finished results are so worth it! Thanks Cindy for the great project and for being such a supportive coach. Looking forward to the rest of the year.

  5. Hi Cindy! I’m loving this mystery quilt. You are very right about how to piece the sunflower. I followed your directions and found it easy to do once you get the “rhythm.” Thank you for this exciting venture! I’m keeping up with it and enjoying each clue. I hope you’ll consider doing more mystery quilts!

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