Tuesday, June 29, 2010

thoughts on applique from a beginner


Applique was very scary to me before I tried it. Maybe it was that little mark thingy above the "e" that intimidated me? (What is that thing called, anyway?) I'm not sure what my hang up was, but I'm so glad I jumped in and finally tried it. I'm loving it!

I've learned a few things along the way....

Use matching thread. I know...duh! I won't tell you how many blocks it took me to discover this. :) Matching thread helps! I'm using thread that matches my top piece rather than the background. I wasn't sure which was the proper way to do it, but that seems to work.

Applique is much like learning how to ride a bike, or how to free motion quilt, or how to drive a stick shift. It may look easy, but doing it is another thing. It takes practice. No getting around that...practice!!!

Well timed encouragement is priceless. Lori Holt, whom I hear is an applique expert, shared this with me. "I always tell my students..."remember your goal is just to stitch one fabric on top of the other making sure that raw edges are under to prevent fraying....don't worry about the rest...that all comes with time...just relax and enjoy the process of moving the needle in and out of your fabric". Thank you Lori! That helped me immensely.

And a little tip I picked up from Mary: always keep a project ready to go by the door. I LOVE that mentality. You will always have something ready to take with you, even at the last minute.

A few specifics about this project...

It was inspired by Nanette's Parcheesi quilt.

I cut my blocks 4" so they will finish around 3.5". I drew up my own template for the leaf.

67 comments:

Jessica Christensen said...

Love your applique. I guess I should finish up some of mine, huh? BTW, that little mark above the "e" is called an accent aigu, and it is a French mark over the "e" usually to indicate a schwa type sound. Sorry, was your question rhetorical? Did I say I love your applique? =)

MandMStudio said...

Thanks for the tips. I love those blocks, so colorful

Katy said...

Anything French sounding is scary I find! LOVIN' your appliqué so much!!!

By Hoki Quilts said...

Love your applique, and as for the mark (accent), mmm, I have one of those in my name and constantly get hassled about it, plus I can never find it on my keyboard so end up with an apostrophe - which adds even more confusion : ))
Miche'le

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

It's stunning!

Rhonda said...

You're brave! I'm still scared of it. LOL But it's SO PRETTY.

sallgood said...

SO SO Wonderful!

Jessica Christensen said...

Oops. It's not a schwa sound -- it means a short "e" sound. I misspoke -- or mis-typed.

Heather said...

let's keep it real though... that quilt is simply WORTH IT!!! friggin fantastic!! ;)

Oleander said...

It looks fantastic! I don't know if you could call yourself a beginner at anything involving quilting, it seems to come naturally to you!

Michele said...

Awesome applique. I can make the accent marks on my Mac, but Windows is harder. I'd have to Google it and I'd rather look at your purty applique.

Leeanne said...

It is a lovely technique, very rewarding. I love the backbasting method..but that's just me.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

You are a brave girl, and it is looking great! I have always stayed away from applique for the same reasons. Maybe one of these days :-)

Jocelyn

beth said...

You've got the prettiest "first Applique project"!! Great job. It looks like the perfect traveling companion too!

Valerie said...

Accent aigu, it makes the e say 'aay'. I have 2 in my name, and in windows on a PC it's alt-130 é.

So appliqué is like French - it takes a little practice to get comfortable with :)

ROZ said...

Very neat. I have some applique posted on my blog at the moment.

Carol said...

Wow, your blocks look great. I bet your finished quilt will look awesome.

Kristen said...

This looks great in modern colors! Freezer paper is my favorite method too. I have a question are the points of the orange peals in this design suppose to touch when this is pieced together or do they "float" a bit from each other? -Thanks

Kristina said...

Looks lovely! Also, is there nothing that freezer paper can't do?

Vickie E said...

I would have considered this applique project to be an advanced level appliquer project! wow...awesome that you are tackling it.

Natalia from Piece N Quilt said...

YAY for applique! I am obsessed with it as long as I can do it by machine! :)

Terriaw said...

I haven't done applique in many years, so I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us. I am definitely inspired to try this again! I especially appreciate the tips about the thread. This looks like a perfect project to practice your practicing. I have no projects ready to go by the door, so I always feel a little empty when I leave the house. I need to remedy that too.

Barb said...

There are alot of amazing appliquers out there in this blog world and it is so wonderful to have access to it...

Nedra said...

With Lori and Nanette as your inspriation you can't go wrong. They are the best. Love them to pieces.
Very fun quilt.

Needled Mom said...

It looks fabulous and I am sure that you must be pretty comfortable with applique by now.

Melissa said...

Absolutely gorgesous! I am sooo impressed. I've been meaning to give that a try myself. Yep. I'm suffering from a bit of intimidation myself. Thanks for the nudge. : ) Melissa

Katharine said...

Beautiful as usual. I particularly like the different coloured backgrounds. As for applique, I think that once the quilt is finished and being used, no-one is going to look at it as closely or hyper-critically as you do. All they will see is how beautiful it is!

Angie said...

Thanks for sharing - There are so many techniques in quilting. I am just now learning how to formally do free motion quilting. On my next list of next techniques, I have paper piecing and applique. Thanks for sharing these post and I have already starred it for future reference.

Shannon said...

Beautiful! You are doing such a great job. I learned about the thread is to use the darker color of the two fabrics because the darker blends.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Just look at all the prettiness on your design wall! Lookin' good! Actually beautiful. So happy I could have a tip that was helpful. I sure feel more productive since I started doing that. How large will your project end up?

Quilting Grannie said...

I do needle turned applique now. I started with the stitch you use for making button holes, then learned of the needle turned, googled it and have been using it ever since. I've 3 Catheral Window quilts when grandkids got married. One grandkid I was already quilting a Eureka quilt and gave it to me. Need to make me another one now. I would rather do appliqued quilts than to piece a quilt.

PatyZ said...

Hello Amanda:
I learned to applique with the piece o´cake method. It belongs to two wonderful ladies: Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins. They have a wonderful site called www.pieceocake.com full of amazing quilts, patterns, fabrics and notions. They also have a blog (pieceocake.typepad.com)
It was so easy to learn from them. I live in Mexico so I bought a video of them showing how to applique and learned in an afternoon. It is the only method I use. Right now I'm doing the "aunt millie's garden" quilt.
Love your quilts!!!

Debbie said...

I love this pattern and yours is coming out beautifully, Amandajean! My friend Susan just posted yesterday the same quilt she is making!

Debbie said...

Oops, the link I tried putting in the last comment didn't come out. I'll try it without linking. susanquilts.blogspot.com/2010/06/rounding-bend.html

soggybottomflats said...

Great looking project! You have such a sweet sense of "color" placement. Have you tried the straw needles for needle turn? I love them and use them now for all of my needle turn. Thank you so much for sharing, Elaine

I am asking opinions on batting and would love yours...there is a red, white and blue quilt kit giveaway too!

Tamara said...

its beautiful! great job! I have included some applique in my most recent project and found out i like it too! I forget where i saw the method... but i just use my needle to run along the fold, then tuck and stitch... i guess i got too impatient with all that freezer paper and ironing.

Libby said...

Beautiful!! Lori Holt rocks!!!

Sarah said...

A friend of mine, who knows A LOT, told me to always have a spool of taupe silk thread. If you can't match a color, taupe will usually blend in, and the silk is fine so it kind of hides.

AllieKatMom said...

Another tip: (Sarah mentioned)have three shades of Silk Thread and it is so small it will blend right in and you will never even see the thread. Also if you wash the fabric you are appliqueing with and not your background fabric when you finish your quilt and finally wash it your background will shrink and hid your stitches :)

Brenda Rae said...

What I think I like best about your work is the way you combine colors. Although there is a randomness to it (which I LOVE), I'm sure you put lots of thought into what block goes where. This will be such a beautiful quilt - a real gem!!!

Emily {Creative Chicks} said...

I love this quilt, though I'm fairly certain I will never replicate it! :) I enjoy seeing your work...

wishes, true and kind said...

Your work is GORGEOUS! Keep it up :)

Alexis said...

That is Gorgeous! I know what you mean about applique- I was very intimidated by it forever, and now that I took the plunge, it is way easier than I thought and very enjoyable. I love your project!

Püppilottchen said...

I really like your appliqué quilt and i like to appliqué myself. I love hand sewing and did some smaller appliqué projects like a sun bonnet sue. Good idea to take pieces with you! Maybe some day i´ll follow yours and Mary´s good advice and do the same :)

*Nicola

Miss White Wall said...

Absolutely LOVE the applique! I don't think I'm ready for anything that difficult or time consuming quite yet!

Gorgeous colors!

lissa said...

That is wonderful. You certainly have a way with color.I made one out of solids for my niece's baby. Seeing yours makes me want to make another one. Would you quit inspiring me to make more projects. Jeeze I will never catch up.

Linda said...

So pretty Amanda!

April (Polkadot Sparrow) said...

I'm afraid of applique, too, and I just finished a quilt back that I must do applique on. Here's hoping! :) Thanks for sharing your worries/struggles.

Karen said...

Hang in there, all the advice is right on. You will get better and you'll find a whole new way of expression with applique.

patricia belyea said...

Thanks for showing delightful quilt.
I've been quilting for three years and have only appliqued once. I'll have to try it again some time.

Thimbleanna said...

Oh. My. Gosh.
When you told me you were working on an applique project, I pictured some little flowers or something (I know...what was I thinking???) Wow. This is so cool -- and beautiful. It reminds me of Kellie's Joseph's Coat. Dang it -- another project for my list!!! Love your use of the different fabrics!!!

Nanci said...

Oh AJ, when I saw "flying into spring" a prject by Eleanor Burns, I noted that it was not only flying geese, but appliqued flowers, I was quite stressed, but once started, I'm hooked.
I've finished the top, now to the quilting...I agree, I read a few of Lori's hints which are huge helps, but my friend Helen was right there to help.
I used fusible web...my thread was varigated, machined in the blanket stitch...i'm over the moon happy!

Elise said...

thanks you! I am taking on a similar project for a vacation coming up. I was inspired by your original post on this - but then I kept hoping you would post more about it. How fun to see the results already! You do such wonderful work, thanks for having such a fun and helpful blog!

Teresa said...

WAY TO GO!!!! Hand applique is my FAVORITE!! I love my "magic box" just waiting by the door...

In stitches,
Teresa :o)

Suzanne said...

Hey, you did it! But then, we all knew you could. :-)

Happy early birthday! I hope you do it up royally.

Clair said...

It looks swell. :)

Kim D. said...

Beautiful Quilt top!! I love Lori and Nanette's quilts.

dining sets said...

Keep it real thoughts. I read your statement on your blog. I am amaze on it. I love the story and everything in your blog.

Deb said...

Love your applique the colours are so beautiful.
One TIP try using YLI silk thread in a soft neutral colour like grey or taupe. The silk is very strong and so fine that it hides better. Using the taupe or grey you may find you don't need to change colours so much.

Use a single strand and tie a knot at the needle end to stop the thread from slipping off. Once you have tried it and love it, you can buy more colours. Many stores or on-line shops (connecting threads) sell packs of neutrals ranging from white, greys, taupes to black.

Karyli said...

Applique still scares me but someday I hope to learn how and try it.... someday. Congrats, yours looks great!

Wendz said...

To be honest my applique is done the lazy way = iron on and then buttonhole stitch with the sewing machine. Yours looks faantastic!

Cathy Burk said...

You are doing a fabulous job! I love to applique now, but it took me a while to get up the nerve. I agree...it might have been the little mark thingy!!!!

nylon spandex fabric said...

nice blog,I like the fabric,thank you for share

Lori Holt said...

Amandajean...
I have to leave a little bloggy love and tell you how fantastic your applique looks! I'm so glad that you took the plunge and now I hope you don't consider applique a dreaded "a" word anymore!
x
Lori
P.S. Thanks for the shout out:)

Elise said...

I was inspired and started my own applique quilt - my first ever large quilt for my own bed no less! I took it on vacation and it was a perfect project. I hope you share how you put it all together and actually quilt it - I am feeling a bit stuck on that. What is the normal way to quilt something with appliques? I am a newbie and would love the input!

Socorro Costa said...

beautiful!

EGrebenc13 said...

Hi! I have never appliqued before but I love your quilt so much I am motivated to give it a go. Was it difficult to applique on such small pieces of fabric (your 4 in blocks)? And on some blogs I have seen one technique is to sew the whole applique down then cut the back to pull the freezer paper through. What are your thoughts on that? Thank you for your wonderful blog! It is the first place I got to get quiting ideas. I really appreciate the detail and care you put into all of your tutorials. :)
Emily