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Monday, September 12, 2011

August Applique Demo Wrap-Up

Thanks to Tammy Fickel, our guest blogger this week! She was so impressed with all the demonstrations on our applique night, she wanted to share everything she saw. Take it away, Tammy...

Three applique techniques were presented at DMQG’s August 11th meeting - each demonstrated by a talented Guild member. I will say, they made it look oh-so-easy, and yes, anyone can do this!! I gave each technique a try in the following week, and found two much easier than, ahem, one.

Raw edge applique is a quick, fun way to applique, resulting in a textural, rather informal look. In a sound bite, you cut out the shapes, pin/hold/fuse to quilt-top, and sew about 1/8” (or whatever your preference is) from the edge of applique fabric. It’s a very forgiving type of applique, the raw edges easing slight discrepancies – so you can go the perfection route, and make a precise, eye-popping, colorful, textural quilt, or a, yeah-it’s-supposed-to-do-that eye-popping, colorful, textural quilt. Either way, it’s fun, and even if imprecise skills are used, you will still create a quilt anyone would love to have.

Sarah Huechtman demonstrated this technique by making circle pattern quilt blocks:

Sarah with examples of her raw edge applique.

Reverse applique takes its substance and color from the underlying fabric, the shape is created when the top fabric is cut and turned over to reveal the final applique - reverse applique has a distinctly different feel than not-reverse applique - gaining another dimension, visually and texturally. Lisa Calle demonstrated a simple reverse applique shape:

Lisa showing reverse applique sample

Back of reverse applique square

Needle-turn applique is the technique one often associates with Baltimore Album-style applique. Shapes are drawn onto the backside of a fabric, the shape is cut out leaving a small (about 3/16" to 1/4") seam allowance, then the fabric is turned over, placed onto foundation fabric, and the seam allowance is tucked/turned under, and applique is attached using an invisible stitch.

Of the three applique techniques, I found this one to be the most challenging. Michelle Kitto, our very expert demonstrator, made it look easy - though even while watching her, I kind of discerned that some mad needle skills might be needed to turn the applique as easily as she did. Michelle is making a beautiful heirloom quality quilt using this technique, and I believe that type of quilt is a brilliant application for needle turn applique.

Michelle smoothly showing DMQG members how to to do needle turn applique

A fresh twist to traditional applique can be seen in Sarah Fielke’s work. For a little bit of applique and patchwork quilt inspiration, you can view some pages from Quilting From Little Things here.
Whirligig quilt from Quilting from Little Things, reprinted with permission

And I'll leave you with an inspired modern, minimalist approach to hand applique, the pattern from Quilts Made Modern. (An interesting post asking "what is modern applique" and a little background about the Birds on Wire quilt can be found here.)

October Mug Rug Swap

Fall is upon us (in spite of lingering 100+ days) and what better way to celebrate than with a mug rug swap! Mug rugs are just what the name implies - cute little "rugs" for your favorite hot fall beverage. The ideal size is around 8" square - it's big enough for an over-sized mug or a regular mug plus a sweet treat. Make the mug rug just as you would a mini quilt with binding or turn and finish the edges - just be sure to include batting to keep it hot-drink friendly. Rectangular shapes are okay, too! Just have fun with the design and make something you love. A project of this size is the perfect opportunity to try out a quilt block you've been dying to make.

How the swap works - make a mug rug and bring it to the October meeting (October 13). Everyone who brings a mug rug will participate in the swap and go home with an adorable handmade mug rug from another guild member. I encourage everyone to label their mug rugs so it can also be a nice keepsake from the guild. I've created a label that you can download and print on printable fabric to add to your mug rug. To find the label, go to the Meetup group page, click on More, and then click on Files. There are three different file types that you can experiment with. The PDF file will probably work the best for most people. Be sure and write your name on the label with a fabric pen (a fine Sharpie, pigment ink gel pen, or other pen made for marking on fabric).

Mug rugs have been extremely popular of late and there are many online resources for inspiration:

Mug Rug Swap on Flickr (lots of inspiring photos, this swap is NOT related to our guild swap)
What is Mug Rug?
Ziggity Mug Rug Tutorial
Scrappy Color Block Mug Rug Tutorial
Dresden Wedges Mug Rug Tutorial

Happy quilting,