FREE Pattern: Plant Pounding with a Twist


plant-poundingPlant Pounding with a Twist by Bonnie Lucas

What a unique gift for friends or family, especially if they are gardeners! I love to preserve plants by matting and framing them as plant pounding quilted pieces. This is a great way to display smaller plant poundings and to show a variety of plants as well. For details on my technique for plant pounding and embellishing with ink and thread, refer to my article, “Plant Poundings with a Twist” in the May 2016 issue of American Quilter magazine.


Frame with 3 mat openings – I used a 16″ x 9″ frame but you can easily adjust the sizes for your poundings to fit any frame.
¼ yard medium grade muslin treated with Bubble Jet Set, or a PFD fabric
¼ yard muslin for backing
¼ yard of low loft batting – I prefer Warm & Natural
Disappearing pen or pencil
Wooden board
Black Pigma Micron pen
Derwent Inktense pencils in colors to match your pounding
Small scruffy paint brush
Black rayon threads
Craft glue

Getting Started

Measure the size of the frame opening and add ¼” around all sides. This is your finished pounding size. The openings on the frame I used for my project were 4¼” x 6¼”, so the size of the individual plant poundings had to be at least 4¾” x 6¾”. I like to make my poundings slightly larger as I will cut them down later so I settled on 5″ x 7″ as the size for my three design areas. Mark the design areas on one piece of muslin. Don’t cut the muslin apart—it is easier to create several poundings at once on one piece of muslin instead of creating them separately.

Create your plant poundings for each design area by referring to the instructions in my “Plant Poundings with a Twist” article. I like to use several different types of flowers and leaves for the poundings that go into a framed piece. However, I choose a similar color theme for each pounding. This will give the finished framed piece uniformity, the individual poundings should look like they belong together in a grouping.

Allow your pounding to fill most of the design space. It is all right to show only part of a leaf or flower in your finished piece. It actually adds more interest.

Lay out plants for pounding

Add color and definition as needed following the instructions in my article.

Quilting & Finishing

Layer the pounding group as you would for a quilt: backing, batting, pounding. Quilt in your preferred style. Again, for uniformity, I like to quilt all the poundings for a frame in the same quilting style and thread colors.

Remove the back and mat from the frame. Lay the mat over the quilted plant pounding to decide where to crop to finished size. Mark ¼” outside the mat opening with a disappearing pen or pencil; don’t use a permanent marker in case you change your mind before cutting.

With the drawn lines as your guide, cut your finished designs apart following your original finished pounding measurements which include ¼” allowance around all edges—double-check before trimming. 

Trimmed Poundings

Audition the quilted designs in the mat to see which arrangement looks best. Once you are satisfied with the arrangement, apply a small bead of craft glue around the wrong side of a mat opening, and carefully lay the selected quilted pounding over the glue so that your design is showing through to the front. Repeat for the other poundings. Let the glue dry thoroughly and replace the mat and back on the frame.

This article first appeared in American Quilter May 2016. Written by Bonnie Lucas.

Please respect copyright laws. This pattern is provided for individual use only and may not be reproduced or distributed without written permission from the American Quilter’s Society.

In the mid 1980s, Bonnie Lucas and her husband started a fabric store business in Ohio. Many of their customers were Mennonite or Amish and encouraged them to carry quilting materials and her love of quilting began. Ten years ago, they moved to North Carolina where Bonnie’s quilting enthusiasm has continued to grow. For more information, visit

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I’ve done flower pounding for years, used the technique for Mother’s Day gifts with children’s groups. Geraniums are lovely flowers to use, also bee balm. Zinnias tend to fade to brown for me. Boys are very good at this; they hammer harder than girls. NOT sexist, just the way it is in groups I’ve had.

(Our jr high curriculum requires every student to take sewing, cooking, woodworking, metal working. Very useful skills!)


Mel, I think it’s wonderful your jr high requires all students to take those subjects. Just yesterday, one of my 5 yo twin grandsons asked me if I would get him an orange sewing machine!! I gifted his 8 yo sister with a pink one for Christmas and she is learning to sew and quilt!! The other twin will want a green one, I’m sure! LOL

This is a great idea, especially for the boys! I’ve never done this, but will be trying it when our frigid weather abates and we see some pretty spring flowers!