Applique & Embroidered Monster Quilt




About: I am married with two children. Spring, summer, and fall are my very favorite times of the year. I enjoy working in the yard, sewing, cooking, quilting, gardening, and creating. I do this to keep my sanity.

This instructables was inspired because last spring my son got married and I expect a new grandchild in a few years. I wanted to make a few quilts to have a jump start and make sure all of my grandchildren have a quilt that I made. I also wanted to make it as much as I could by using the hand sewing method. I think it shows a lot more love and makes it unique. It can be machine stitched though.

Appliques are not difficult to make if you choose simple images. Close points Like the teeth were more difficult. My mother loved to applique quilts and she was very good at it. I have enough quilt blocks she made to make a couple of beautiful quilts. I cherish a quilt my grandmother made that is over 60 years old. You can see from the images that it was used often and kept family members warm on many cold nights. The pattern is Grandmother's garden, making it special because I never knew her.
I have a new kind of appreciation for hand sewn quilts, After my experience sewing this one. I over estimated how long it would take to make a small applique quilt with some embroidery work and hand sewing the appliques to the blocks. I have been working on this project for several weeks. Because my time ran out for the contest; I had to use the machine to sew the blocks together, but that is the only part of this quilt that was sewn by machine. 

Follow through to see how I made it. 


Step 1: Supplies

The finished quilt measures  62 1/2" X 44". The hem is 2 1/4" all the way around. Each block measures 8 1/2" X 11" and 
17 are Appliqued with embroidery details and 12 are plain. I had several horizontal images that I had to fit in; so I used all of them in one row at the top of the quilt. The blocks are sewn together using a 1/4" seam allowance.

Please read bottom note before cutting the applique pieces.

17 White cotton quilt blocks cut 8 1/2" X 11"
Cotton quilt scraps for appliques 
12 Cotton contrasting blocks cut 8 1/2" X 11"
1 Sheet for quilt backing cut  71" X 51"
Rick rack and ribbon optional
1 Batting cut 71" X 51"  I used 80/20 poly cotton
Matching sewing thread
Embroidery thread
Crochet thread for hand tying 
Sewing Needles one for details and one large eyed needle for hand tying

It was much easier to embroider the details of the applique cutting a full page 8 1/2" X 11" and draw the image on the fabric and then embroider it .  After the embroidery work was done I appliqued it to the white quilt blocks. I added circles as needed for the eyes or arms and feet. I learned this the hard way because some of the images were too small to fit in the embroidery hoop.

I have never used a cotton batting before but I like the idea of natural fabrics and the cotton weighs more than the POLY-FIL so 
I decided to give it a try.


Step 2: Tools

Sewing pins 
17 Images:  I did an image search for free monster images and coloring pages.
Embroidery hoop
Embroidery iron on transfer pencil
Fabric paint optional
Pen or pencil 
Black marker optional 
Tape measure and yardstick or straight edge
Iron and ironing board
Sewing machine or sew by hand
Seam ripper optional


Step 3: Cutting Fabric Blocks

Here are the cutting measurements just in case you missed them.

17 White cotton quilt blocks cut 8 1/2" X 11"
Cotton quilt scraps for appliques please remember it is easier to cut a full size page if you will be embroidering the details. 
12 Cotton contrasting blocks cut 8 1/2" X 11"
1 Sheet for quilt backing cut  71" X 51"
1 Batting cut 71" X 51"  I used 80/20 poly cotton

Step 4: Cutting the Batting and Backing

Cut the batting and quilt backing:

1 Sheet for quilt backing cut  71" X 51"
1 Batting cut 71" X 51"  I used 80/20 poly cotton

Step 5: Transfer Images to the Applique Fabrics

Draw the images on the blocks used for the monster design or outline any image with the embroidery transfer pencil and iron it to the fabric.

Step 6: Embroidery

Cut out circles for eyes or other pieces that you may need; I used my printed images for the pattern pieces. Some of the pieces needed to be sewn to the design before the details could be embroidered.
For the circles I made yo yo's and pressed them and then sewed them to the design. It makes it much easier to turn the raw edges under when you sew it to the quilt block. 
Embroider the desired details of the image on all the applique blocks.
Trim loose threads.
Set aside until all of them are finished.


Step 7: Sewing Pattern Pieces to the Block

If my image was real curvy or pointed I embroidered around the outside edge using an outline stitch. I found it was much easier to turn under the 1/4 inch hem and sew. The appearance was much more appealing. I appreciated the finished appearance of hand sewing all the applique's. I found them easier to control the sewing, than if I had sewn them by machine. You can top stitch them using a zig zag stitch or a straight stitch if you like.

Pin the applique to the white quilt block centering it on the block as shown.
Hand stitch or machine stitch the applique to the quilt block.
Trim all loose threads.
Press well.

I used ribbon and rick rack for some of the areas that would make it difficult to sew.

Step 8: Painting

I had a few designs that were very difficult to hand stitch so I used fabric paints for some of the details.

Step 9: Envelope Is Optional

I made one block with an envelope and a button closure to hold a card, a strand of my hair, a picture of myself and an image from the quilt covered with contact paper. This will give the child something to hold while mom or dad reads them a story. My sister and I have made a couple of quilts together and we  cut small strands of our hair and placed them in the hem of the quilt that we made for loved ones. I chose to add my hair to the card this time.  


Step 10: Sewing the Blocks Together

Arrange the blocks on a bed or carpet until you are satisfied with the layout.
I found it was easier to pick up the first 2 blocks right sides together and sew them together.
Press them, and then,
Remove one block at a time putting right sides together and sew them one at a time to the first row.
Repeat this process until you have sewn 6 rows.
Then sew the rows together until your quilt top is finished.

Remove all loose threads to avoid them showing through your finished quilt.

Step 11: Layering

Press the quilt backing.

Place the quilt backing on the bed, carpet, or sewing table wrong side facing you.
Smooth out all the wrinkles.
Pin it down or place something heavy at the ends and sides to hold it tight.

Center the batting over the quilt backing and repeat smoothing and securing it tight.

Center the quilt top (right side up) over the batting and backing, centering it all around the edges, measuring as needed and repeat smoothing and securing. The quilt backing will be larger than the quilt top because we will be using the edge of the backing to form a 2 1/4" finished hem. 

Pin all 3 layers of the hem together.

I am sorry my pictures did not turn out for this step. 

You will notice the hem is doubled in the picture, I adjusted this later so please don't let that confuse you. 


Step 12: Hand Tie

Remove the quilt from the bed and place it on a long table to be hand tied.
I hand tied the quilt using a long large eyed needle and crochet thread. 

I trimmed the thread to about 1/4"after the knot was tied.

Hand tying does not take very long. I can hand tie a full-size quilt in just a few hours if the blocks are this size.

Step 13: Hem

Turn under 1/4" of the quilt backing and fold it over the quilt top to form a 2 1/4" hem.
Repeat this along all 4 edges of the quilt.
Hand sew or machine stitch the hem of the quilt.

Step 14: Cat

I made a stuffed cat from one of the patterns from the quilt to show what you can do; to add a special touch to the quilt for bedtime. I painted the face but I would not do this for children who still put things in their mouths. Embroidery work would be safer for small children. 

Step 15: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts

I am very pleased with the way it turned out, so I guess that counts for something!  Someday I would love to embroider a lavender quilt because they are so beautiful. 

I would like thank our sponsors, Instructables for all the great contest that inspire us to make something fun.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope this month will bring you peace and great joy!




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    24 Discussions

    Thanks for stopping by! I may enter the contest but I think I need to make a few picture changes, I am not sure, we will see. Have fun today OK?

    Ahh so this was the quilt that is going to start the family fight i see why lol its cute as! i love it your back in the game Sunshiine

    2 replies

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Nick is going to love it, Mom! If not, I will gladly take care of those monsters for him... :)

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    This one is for our new grand baby ( in the future ) but Nick will get one soon!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Adorable! Just like my grandma used to make! These are treasures that last for years too. I still have & USE all of mine from my Grandma. :)

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    How sweet! I am happy you love her quilts! My kids love it when they get one also. Have a great day!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    This is beautiful, Sunshiine! I especially love the texture you added with the embroidery.

    The sweet portrait/photograph... the one with Mom and baby... that's you, isn't it!?!

    3 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Hello friend! I liked the different textures also. You tagged my daughter and I! Thanks for stopping by!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    You're so welcome... I love seeing your new ideas.

    I immediately noticed the "Grandbaby" theme ... and I was hoping to read an announcement. All good things are worth waiting for and at least you're prepared! ;-)


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    LOL, no they want to have a couple of years together before they have kids. So grandma must be patient which is not one of my virtues! Yep I am getting prepared so I am planning on another quilt. Monsters seem to be popular so that is why I made this and my son appreciates weird stuff. Life is grand!

    sunshiineM.C. Langer

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Aw, thanks! It was indeed made with GREAT love. Hopefully in a couple three years I will see my next beautiful grandchild. Thanks for stopping by and have a bdeautiful day!