Monday, July 15, 2013

why Applique?

Just one week away from registration.  Yay!  Lots to do, lots to do and lots to share!  Today let's talk about machine applique, which is the first skill theme of the Penny Sampler class.  Applique is fun and oh-so-useful.  Let us count the ways...

about applique

The Penny Sampler quilt was inspired by Scandinavian style, coupled with my desire to hone small scale and illustrative sewing skills.  Pencil and eraser in hand, I sketched and re-sketched the blocks of the Penny Sampler quilt and then studied how I could interpret the picture motifs via either applique or machine paper piecing.   Since machine paper piecing builds only in straight lines, applique is nice for those shapes that really, really want to be curved.

Hearts

For example, the heart.  I know there are lots of pieced hearts, but applique is so much sweeter in my view, with the soft, even curves and sharp inner cleft.

Dilly Bird & Little Bird

Another great thing about applique is that it allows for unbroken fabrics.   I love how Dilly Bird looks layered over that alphabet print.  This large, directional print would not have the same impact if broken up as a background with piecing.  Also, Little Bird's body is made up of a large scale print, fussy cut so that the change from teal to gray falls around the breast.  Applique makes for delightful fabric play since fabric placement is so easy to control!

Have you ever sketched a design and then found yourself frustrated when trying to figure out how to piece it?  Designs with lots of overlap can be a nightmare to piece... or even somewhat impossible, requiring y-seams and partial seams.

little Village

In such instances, applique can smooth out your path with amazing simplicity. Take this village, for example.  I knew I wanted those roofs to overlap and nest together tightly.  Rather than a ton of tricky piecing with triangles and split-backgrounds and even split buildings (because of all the necessary seams), I solved the problem by piecing the houses, but appliqueing the roofs.  Aaaaaah..... happy sewing.

Concerned about raw edges or stiff applique paper?  Worry  not.  There are lots of ways to applique, and I do enjoy them all, but in the Penny Sampler we're honing a specific set of skills.  All of the projects are done with turned under edges for a no-fray, machine-washable quilt.  We are not using fusible web.  I'll be teaching two primary ways of creating applique shapes with turned under edges and how to know when each method is best to use.

for The Penny Sampler class

I'm a real fan of attaching by machine with sketch stitch embroidery, as I shown on the clover, sunflower and vine blocks.  It's super secure and pretty fool-proof.  Really - it's so much easier than you think!

 Penny Sampler blocks

Sketch stitch embroidery can also be used to "draw" elements like these stems.   But sketch stitching isn't the only option.  In our class, I'll also demonstrate one method for attaching by hand, in case you want to do so.  I attached the mitten block by hand for variety.

beginnings

Later this week I'll be showing you my dogwood blossom applique quilt, which is one of the independent practice projects for applique in the Penny Sampler class.   I think you're going to love it!  I'm really smitten!!!

Any questions?

15 comments:

  1. I'm all for learning efficient ways to use appliqué! I love it and can't wait!!

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  2. So so lovely! I love the birds and the flowers. Can't wait to see the rest of the class. I have been curious about whether anyone ever uses basting spray for applique on cotton instead of fusible web. I recently made a leotard out of mystique spandex and used basting spray for appliquing a heart because I wasn't sure if interfacing would stretch enough.

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    1. Basting spray is fine to use! It's great to have lots of options since different things are helpful in different scenarios. Sounds like it worked out for you! In most cases I don't use basting spray, though, just since it tends to coat surfaces I don't want it to. I do use it for basting quilts!!!

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  3. these project snippets are very charming. :) i am really looking forward to making this quilt (and seeing it whole!). i love the dilly birds. they remind me of the partridge family tv show from the 70's...hehehe...

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  4. These looks really good but I'm just wondering if we will be using special stitches on our seeing machines. Mine is really basic I have the normal straight stitch and zigzag that's about it.

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    1. Although I experimented with different stitches, I decided that my favorite is the straight stitch for machine applique. The lessons will only suggest the straight stitch!

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  5. I have yet to do applique and I REALLY really want to learn ... like REALLY lol

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  6. Rachel I'm so excited about this class and I'm looking forward to sign in .... unfortunately from 2 August until 22 I'll be in vacation .... I hope is not a problem .... I don't remember when the class will start ....
    Hugs from Italy

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    1. Sounds like a nice, long vacation - lucky you! We start sewing on August 18th, so you'll just miss a tiny bit there at the beginning. No sweat!

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    2. Wonderfullllllllllllllll .... yes it's a long vacation .... I have had a pneumonia this winter and I need sunny and sea ... so we decided for a long vacation to the sea

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  7. I just finished a quilt with applique and I'm always so happy with what you can do with it, I seem to forget that anythings possible :)

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  8. That dilly bird is so cute! In a former life I was an awesome machine appliqué artist. I need to get a class together.

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  9. I am super excited to take this class! My question is about registration: how concerned should I be about the class filling up quickly? I am on the west coast so if I have to wake up at 6am to get a spot before they're all taken, I'll do it!

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    1. I don't think you need to wake up early to get into the regular or Premium class. The only class that could sell out in a matter of hours would be Camp. The soonest I've seen all classes fill up is 24 hours from registration launch. Get your sleep!

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    2. Thanks. I'm really excited for your class and have invited my two sisters to join the fun as well. :)

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