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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.)

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