I am more like the appliqué scullery maid, hoping to move up to house maid at this point! I have never done much appliqué, though I’ ve been awed by the intricacies of Baltimore album quilts for years. I find them to be astonishing pieces of art. My journey into appliqué was slow and tentative. I turned and top stitched some large pieces on a memory quilt made after my IFYE experience, and used a fusing method with buttonhole stitches on a Christmas gift about 10 years ago, but that was about it.
Fast forward several…many years, and I did my first large scale effort. For my first wedding quilt I fused the fabric on to the background, and machine stitched (a blanket stitch) around it. It looked good, and I think it will hold up well, but I didn’t like the edges…I expect that in spite of the fusing, they will likely fray with time. After being drawn to some patterns designed By Kim Diehl, I purchased one of her books, and for the first time, the directions made sense. Her freezer paper method addressed some of my questions, and the photos were inspiring!
So here we are in 2016, with two quilts in the queue and the need to keep things moving along. Machine appliqué has been a good experience. I have now used a variety of threads in the process, and so far everything is working great. I have matching regular thread for the stems, so am applying them with that. I’m using monofilament thread and a regular bobbin for the flowers and light leaves, then a matching dark green Invisifil thread for the dark green leaves, again with a regular bobbin.
I bought the Invisifil to use for the needle turning I expected to be doing during my week at the State Fair, but I think I may have the appliqué completed before then. The process is actually fairly quick. The stems go on first, followed by four layers for the roses and two layers for the leaves. The monofilament allows me to do a complete layer in one sitting, with a break to trim the backs and pull the freezer paper. I am happy to say that the roses look pretty decent!
I’m not sure I made the best fabric choices for the roses, but I think the overall affect will work….at least I hope it will work!
I can’t wait to get the third border on the quilt, even though it will make the final appliqué more of a challenge with all of the extra fabric to deal with.
Before you know it, it will be time to quilt, which has me debating with myself…what patterns will I use to quilt this thing, knowing I have another one on deck. At least that wedding will be a little later…they moved from mid October to November 6.
Next time I’ll post a photo of the whole quilt with some of the appliqué borders attached.