Floriani Heat N Shrink and Free-Motion Quilting

I’ve told you how much I love hanging out like a shameless groupie in my local sewing shop, Arlington Sewing Machine Supply Company, so when my friend Emily asked me to tag along while she bought her first sewing machine, I jumped. It seems I can’t walk into that place without getting schooled. And I mean that in the best possible way.

While Shannon helped Emily load up on supplies, Carla pulled me aside to show me the cutest lil’ girl nightgown that a customer had made. The nightgown featured a yoke with sweet puckered fabric. It looked a little smocked, a little quilted and all the way adorable. Then they showed me how she did it with Floriani Heat N Shrink. Have you seen this stuff? Take a look at the process and tell me what to do with my flowers…

At first I had a little sticker shock. $20 for a yard? But this will stretch out over a bunch of projects so I picked up a pack to bring home and try out.

I cut a square the size of the large flower in my Sandi Henderson Fabric. Then I layered a square of low-loft batting in-between the Heat N Shrink and the back of the fabric, pinning in place. (The batting is optional but does add a nice puff to the petals.)

Next I attached my quilting foot and lowered my feed dogs so I could try some free-motion quilting around the edge of the flower.

Then just stitch along every line of the design. It takes a little practice, mostly you have to remember to move your fabric by hand. Since your fabric will be all bunchy later, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Here it is with the large orange flower stitched.

And here is the back. Equally pretty!

But I wanted to practice my quilting a little more so I did the little pink flower too.

Then you take to it with some steam. You are supposed to steam the back but I wanted to show you how it starts to shrink up and pucker. Amazing!

Here it is with the orange flower “shrunk” and the pink flat.

And here it is all puckered!

You can stitch lines, grids, dots or any design. How lovely for applique, quilts, bags… anything! So what should I make with my pretty little flowers?




My mom made me a bag and she used that stuff on a few squares. She did a diamond grid pattern, it is really cool!
You should make that the center of a simply shaped purse. Maybe the one you have a tutorial for with the bias tape straps?


I just love it! And want to try it. Just out of curiosity, do you have a picture of the overall nightgown?


This is so great…the fabric is gorgeous, too! It looks just like a labor intensive trapunto project. I would do a whole pillow top. Thanks for sharing this fun project.


I love this look. I just recently acquired my first sewing machine so I could learn to make pillows and curtains. This post has inspired me and now I want to make a quilt. Thanks for sharing!


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