Welcome back to my appliqué class here on the blog! When we last left off, the templates were prepared and shapes traced from fabric. The seam allowances have been clipped. So now what do you do?
This is when we use the fabric glue! We need to position the appliqué where we want to stitch it .... but we don't want it to move while we are stitching. Instead of using pins, I like to use the fabric glue we talked about when we began this series.
See how I only use small dots of glue? You do not want to use too much glue because it will bleed through your fabric and create a mess. Also, it's less glue to worry about when we get to a later step. You can re-position the appliqué, but it's a good idea to get it placed where you want it the first time. It takes about 30 seconds for drying time. If you lift up the piece before the glue has dried, your appliqué may shift during stitching.
So here is the appliqué applied to the background:
Next, we move onto the appliqué stitch. The best way to describe your goal here is hiding the stitch. To start out, choose thread that matches the appliqué shape as closely as possible.
As you can see, the thread basically matches.
Now, you use the same stitch that is used when stitching binding to the back of a quilt, essentially a blind stitch. The following photos will hopefully display the stitch and how it should look.
Above is the first step, coming up from underneath and catching the edge of the appliqués seam allowance.
Next push your needle back down, in the background only, but right next to the place where you first stitch came up from the back in the first step. In the second photo above, you can see when you pull the thread all the way through, there is just a little "dot" of thread visible! Continue on stitching the way all around the shape. the stitches should be about a scant 1/8" apart.
Hopefully, you have enjoyed this brief appliqué series. If you want an in depth class, I will have one online with F+W Media's CraftU that will be going live in late summer. The name of the class is Sew-on-the-Go with Needle-Turn Hand Appliqué. It's a 6 session course using my pattern, Bloomin' Days. The pattern is free with the course!
It'll be fun! I'll keep you posted when registration opens!
Well, summer is here .... at least it will be next week, so here is the June stitchery of the month block. Yum! Watermelon and summer go together!
Find the pattern here.
Enjoy this month's block! I can't believe it, but we're almost half way done. I'll see you next month for July's block.
Wow! Where has the month gone! I posted a blog post on appliqué to begin a series back on May 12th. I thought I'd get to post the next part in the series on May 19th. Hmmmm, here we are on May 30th and here it is! Sorry for the delay.
So now let's move to the next step in the appliqué process. Once you have gathered all your supplies, picked you pattern and fabric, it's time to piece any background that is required and then prepare the appliqué templates.
Some appliqué projects will have you stitching to a plain background and then piece that into a quilt block or quilt. On my quilt, High Prairie Blooms, the appliqué blocks can be done individually before being pieced into the entire quilt.
But some projects will have you appliqué after you have pieced a block or quilt. Like my Hugs & Kisses quilt below. The whole quilt is pieced and then the applique is added around the outside.
Either way ... once you are ready to appliqué, the first step it to prepare the templates and trace the shapes onto the designated fabric for each shape.
I like to copy my templates from the actual pattern either by tracing them (if they are in a book) or making a copy of the pattern page (if it's an individual pattern). If you have access to a copier, make a copy of the templates directly on to card stock. This will make the templates sturdier for tracing around. You will also be able to use them many times.
If you are not able to copy right on to card stock, you can glue the paper copy to a piece of card stock (like the photo above) and then cut out the templates on the lines. Always write on the template how many of the shape are needed and what color fabric is to be used, if it's not already printed on the paper.
Tracing and Preparing for Stitching
Now it's time to trace the shape onto the fabric. This is where I use the chalk mechanical pencils you can find in the quilt store. Some quilters like to use friction pens as well. I say, use whatever you are comfortable with. Just make sure you can see the lines but that they will disappear later.
Once the shapes have been traced, you need to cut them out. Cut them out using a scant 1/4" - the more experience you are you can get closer to a 1/8" seam. However, you do not want your seam too narrow or your fabric will fray when you are stitching.
Now, to prepare the shape for stitching, clip in the seam allowance a couple of threads short of the drawn line. You do not want to go over the drawn line since that will distort your appliqué piece.
So, now you are ready to stitch! The next post will be all about the appliqué stitch. And I promise it will not be 3 weeks later!
May is here! And with is, hopefully some spring flowers where you are!
So, here is the stitchery of the month pattern for May. It's pretty simple. No piecing for the background. Just wool appliqué.
Find the pattern here.
Its been awhile since I have talked about appliqué in a blog post and the tools needed for a successful experience! So, I thought I would cover what I use and then listen to all of you. We may each learn something. After I cover tools used, then in my next post, I will talk about doing appliqué. I know there are quilters out there who are intimidated by appliqué, but you don't have to be! It's easier than you think.
So here are some of my essentials.
Great lighting! This is a must in appliqué since the goal is to make small stitches that "disappear". A good light with a magnifier is the best. Here's mine:
The brand of this light is Natualight. I found it online and have been very happy with it. Here's how it magnifies my work:
Next you need good thread and needles. I use size 8 or 9 appliqué needles. Remember as the size goes up, the needle gets shorter. Use the size you are comfortable with.
The thread I like to use is Mettler silk-finished 100% cotton thread. It's 50 weight so nice and thin, but not too thin that it breaks easily. Match the thread color to the appliqué piece you are stitching as close as possible. This also helps to hide stitches.
To secure the appliqué pieces to the background, I use a fabric glue called Roxanne's Glue Baste-it. I love using this glue over pins because once you lay the piece onto the background and let it sit for 30 seconds, it doesn't move! The glue is water soluble and it won't poke your fingers like pins.
Other items you will need are scissor for paper and fabric, a Sewline mechanical pencil for tracing templates(use the marking device you like!), card stock to make your templates sturdier and rulers to help in placement of your appliqué pieces on the background.
There may be some other incidental items I use while stitching that I will talk about in the next appliqué blog post. But for now, this will get you familiar with the ones I think are the most essential.
Happy Quilting..... or should I say appliquéing!
Pieced Borders and Scraps
I love to add a little "pizzazz" to a quilt by adding a pieced border. I like to use scraps of fabrics left over from the quilt blocks to make this frame for a quilt. Here's a pieced border I made recently:
You'll have to wait until later this year to see this quilt ... it will be in Quiltmaker magazine's Nov/Dec issue. I'll let you know when it comes out. But for now, you'll have to settle for this "sneak peak"!
Pieced borders serve many purposes: making a quilt a little bigger, "framing" the quilt, or just adding a little more color to the outside of a quilt to balance the colorful blocks. This is a great reason to save all those 1 1/2 and 2 1/2" strips that you collect from cutting out projects!
Here's a few other pieced borders:
The creative possibilities are endless!
You can even use the scraps from a project to create a border that mimics a part of the blocks that make up the quilt. This creates an illusion of the blocks continuing on outside of the quilt!
See how I pulled out the outer part of the block and replicated it for the border? That was fun and served to frame the quilt as well.
So don't think of borders as boring plain strips, think of them as adding to your quilt. Have fun with them!
Oh My Stars!
I love stars in quilt blocks and quilts. You can tell that by looking through my quilt patterns. It seems that stars creep into all my designs! Here's a few of my newest patterns and, gee, lots of stars!
I'm fascinated with the history of stars in quilts. The block type of quilt came into being in the mid-19th century due to a greater availability of fabrics. American textile mills were producing increasing amounts of fabric making quilting more affordable for most women. Stars, often being a religious symbol, were meant to reflect the quilter's faith in God and wanted that faith represented in their quilts. Settlers moving west used the stars for guidance on that journey. Perhaps that influenced the women settlers to include star blocks in their quilts.
Friendship Star blocks were a popular motif to use in a quilt that was given to families who were leaving a community to travel west. The blocks were signed by their friends and family which would remind them of their loved ones left behind.
For Native Americans, the star motif had decorated their ceremonial clothing for centuries. One of their most famous styles of quilts born out of this tradition featured a large central star with appliqué surrounding it. They believed the star, which travels across the sky, represented a connection for the living to their ancestors and descendants to come. Generally, they used the Lone Star or Star of Bethlehem for these quilts. Here's a quilt I made that was inspired by those Native American quilts.
There are so many types of star blocks. However, you may see the same star block with different names. One of the reasons for this is that block patterns were shared among quilters but the names were not always shared. So, the quilter would choose a name for the block. For example, the Ohio Star block
is also known as Variable Star, Texas Star, Eight Point Star, Shoofly and Star of the West to name a few.
I hope you've enjoyed this little trip through quilting history!
Hi! I know you have been anxiously awaiting the next Stitchery of the Month pattern!
Here is the April installment.
This is my take on "April showers ..." I think my kitty with the umbrella will enjoy the May flowers!
New Patterns from Snuggles Quilts!
Hey everyone! I have two new patterns that went on a soft release last month. They are now officially released and you can purchase them here or from your local quilt shop. If you want to purchase them from your local quilt shop and do not see them on the shelf, ask! Show them my website!
The first one is called Scraps n' Stars Runners. The pattern contains two fun table runners.
And the next one is a scrappy lap quilt called Starstruck.
Go to the Everyday tab on the left side on my website homepage to see more information about these two new patterns.
Here it is! The March Stitchery of the Month pattern!
One of my favorite blocks, the Churn Dash is featured along with this "crafty" crow. Find the patter for this block here.
Enjoy your stitching this month!