Happy Friday everyone! I’m excited that everyone enjoyed part 1 of my mini video tutorial on applique. Here in part 2, I talk about tips on making stems for floral applique from strips of fabric. Enjoy!
I am beginning an applique video tutorial series. Here is part 1 where I talk about templates and using them to trace out applique pieces for your project.
In the comments, feel free to suggest things you would like me to cover related to fabric needle-turn applique and I will try to fit them into future applique videos.
Here’s the video:
Keep watch for Part 2 coming soon!
If you follow me regularly, you know I love to add applique to my quilts. Either needle-turn hand applique or wool applique. I love what it adds to my traditional designs! I thought I’d share some of my favorite tools I use for applique and some tips for today’s blog installment.
Needle-turn Hand Applique:
First up is the Sewline Fabric Pencil.
I use this pencil to trace around templates for needle-turn hand applique with fabric. It’s a mechanical pencil, except the “lead” is chalk. It comes in white, pink, yellow and green so the lines will show on any color fabric. I mainly use white on darker fabrics and green on lighter fabrics. It’s erasable and the lines are very fine so the shape you trace from the template is true to size.
Next, To anchor the applique shapes to the background, I use one of my favorite things to ever come into the quilting world…. Roxanne’s Glue Baste-it!
For years before this glue was available, I would always stick myself with the pins used to hold my applique shapes in place. Not anymore! All that’s needed are small dots of glue to hold the piece in place. And it’s water soluble!
Next up is the needle. I like to use John James Golden Glide applique needles in size 9. You can experiment and choose the size that fits you.
This needle glides nicely through fabric, including batiks! Make sure to change your needle after completing a project. Needles bend and get dull after a lot of use.
On to the thread. I like to use 50 wt silk-finish 100% cotton threads by Mettler.
These threads come in a great variety of colors. I like to match the color of thread to the color of the applique piece I am stitching. If you don’t want to buy a lot of different color threads, you can use an array of neutrals from light tan to dark brown or black. Use the shade that blends the best with the applique color.
First up is my favorite fusible web: Heat n’ Bond Lite.
I trace my shapes onto the paper side of the fusible and then fuse it to the wool I’ve chosen for each shape. Then I follow the manufacturer’s instructions to fuse the shapes to the background of the project. I will keep my bottle of Roxanne’s glue handy while I’m stitching in case an applique piece lifts off the background a bit.
Next up are the threads I use for the stitching. I like Valdani Perle Cotton size 8.
You can use colors that match your wool applique shapes so it blends in, or you can use a neutral thread for the whole project. If you are new to wool applique, I have two stitching tutorials here and here.
My favorite needles are John James Chenille needles size 22 or 24.
I use chenille needles because the eye is wider to easily thread the perle cotton. Size 24 needles are a little shorter than the size 22, so you can choose the needle that works best for you.
Things I use for Both Types of Applique:
I have a little trick I use to prevent my background from fraying while I stitch… I treat the edges of my project with Fray Check!
Since you will handle the project you are working on quite a bit while stitching, doing this will keep it from fraying which causes you to lose fabric from the seam allowance.
Finally, a very important tool…. a good light, preferably with a magnifier! Here’s my light:
So there you go…. some of my favorite stitching tools with a few tips thrown in.
Hi! Welcome to Snuggles Quilts for my stop on the Text it! blog hop. If you’ve never been to my web site, feel free to poke around. I am a scrap quilter that loves to use fabric and wool applique in many of my designs. You can view them here in my shop. I blog weekly about quilting sharing tips and tricks I use while making my creations. You can sign up for my blog feed and also my monthly newsletter on my home page. And, most importantly, you will become very familiar with my studio companion, Addie the cat, if you follow me on Facebook and Instagram.
Sherri Noel’s book, Text it! has so many fun projects, I had a hard time choosing the one I wanted to make. Then I saw the 1 Sheep quilt and I knew immediately that I wanted to make it. I love applique and I also like doing wool applique on fabric so I thought this would be a great project for me.
Here’s my finished quilt:
In Sherri’s book, the sheep is created using fabric applique, which I love to do as well, but I thought I would make my quilt with wool pieces, for the sheep’s body, appliqued to fabric to make him extra fuzzy!
I hunted through my drawers of wool and pulled out a variety to use as the sheep’s body, head and legs. I think I found some that works well with the background.
On to the creation….. I use fusible web in my wool applique so the next step was to trace my templates on the fusible web and then fuse them to the selected pieces of wool. If you want to learn more about my wool applique process, I have a blog post here that gives you some tips. Also, I have two stitching tutorials here and here.
Next up was to use my design wall to layout the sheep body. This was the fun part. Shifting around the wool circles to get the color distribution I wanted. I used small pins to anchor things in place so it was easy to move them around. Once I had the layout I liked, I followed the manufacturers instructions for the fusible web and fused my design to the fabric.
Now it was time to stitch! For wool applique, I use chenille needles, size 22 or 24, Valdani Perle Cotton, size 8 (usually neutral colors) and I always have some Roxanne’s Glue Baste-it on hand in case the pieces I have fused to the background fabric by ironing lift a bit during stitching.
Ahhhh… this is where the fun starts ….. dealing with my studio friend while trying to stitch….
Once I managed to get the design stitched to the background, I pieced and attached the checkerboard border and machine quilted the quilt. I used an overall loops and stars meandering design in the center portion of the quilt and then a leaf design in the border. Here’s a blog post I did on machine quilting tips.
Here’s close up of the quilting:
So now it’s time to tell you about the prizes in the giveaway! One lucky blog reader will win a copy of Sherri’s book, Text it! to make these fun projects! Unfortunately, this prize is only available to participants in the US (laws beyond our control). However, there is also a chance to win 2 large spools of Aurifil thread that can be shipped anywhere in the world! I am also drawing a winner to receive a pack of my most recent pattern releases. To be entered in the drawing, leave me a comment on whether you have a special sewing companion or, if you don’t have a pet, your favorite quilting technique. Be sure to mention in the comment if you are a US resident so it will be easier to determine who is eligible for the book drawing.
I wish to thank Sherri for letting me take part in this blog hop. It’s been so much fun and I enjoyed making this project so much, I’m going to make others from the book too! You can order the book from Amazon, Martingale or get a signed copy of Text it! directly from Sherri.
Below is the blog hop schedule for the whole hop. Feel free to go back and visit the blogs you’ve missed because the drawings will not take place until after the hop is over! *** We Have our winners! Congrats Joyce, Jen and Jennifer! You’ll be getting an email from me with details.****
Happy Quilting & Hopping!
MONDAY MARCH 4 –
BEE HAPPY PAMELA JANE MORGAN – WWW.MYSWEETLITTLESTITCHES.COM
SHARON LILABELLE LANE – WWW.LILABELLELANECREATIONS.COM
TUESDAY MARCH 5 – INFINITY Quilt
LAURA PILAND – WWW.SLICEOFPIQUILTS.COM
LEANNE PARSONS – WWW.DEVOTEDQUILTER.COM
KATIE MUTER STARCHER – WWW.KATIEMAEQUILTS.COM
WEDNESDAY MARCH 6 – PILLOW TALK
KATE COLLERAN – WWW.SEAMSLIKEADREAM.COM
CHERYL DAINES BROWN – WWW.QUILTERCHIC.COM
DORIE HRUSKA – WWW.FOREVER-QUILTING.COM
THURSDAY MARCH 7 – FREEDOM Quilt
JEN SHAFFER – WWW.PATTERNSBYJEN.BLOGSPOT.COM
LYNN KANE – WWW.PUPPYGIRLDESIGNS.COM
TARA MILLER – WWW.QUILTDISTRICT.COM
FRIDAY MARCH 8 – LOVING YOU Wall Hanging
ELLEN AULT – WWW.HANDMADE3D.ME/MAINBLOG/
SHERRI NOEL – WWW.REBECCAMAEDESIGNS.COM
MONDAY MARCH 11 – COUNTING SHEEP Baby Quilt
DEANNE EISENMAN – WWW.SNUGGLESQUILTS.COM
RAEWYN BARGE – WWW.STITCHINGFARMGIRL.BLOGSPOT.COM
SUSAN PELLAND – WWW.SUEPELLANDDESIGNS.COM
TUESDAY MARCH 12 – HOME PILLOW
JOANNE HARRIS – WWW.QUILTSBYJOANNE.BLOGSPOT.CA
PATTY DUDEK – WWW.ELMSTREETQUILTS.COM
ANDY KNOWLTON – WWW.ABRIGHTCORNER.COM
SANDRA STARLEY – WWW.UTAHQUILTAPPRAISER.BLOGSPOT.COM
CINDY PIETERS – WWW.STITCHINATHOME.COM
WEDNESDAY MARCH 13 – LIFE IS SHORT Wall hanging
BECCA FENSTERMAKER – WWW.PRETTYPINEY.COM
KATIE BOCK – WWW.SEWINGWITHKATIE.BLOGSPOT.COM
ALLA BLANCA – WWW.RAINBOWSBUNNIESCUPCAKES.BLOGSPOT.COM
THURSDAY MARCH 14 – HUSTLE PILLOW
TERRI BANDEN BOSCH – WWW.MEANDERINGSALONGLIZARDCREEK.BLOGSPOT.COM
WILLOW OLSON – WWW.BEARPAWDESIGNBLOG.WORDPRESS.COM
ERIN SAMPSON – http://auribuzz.wordpress.com/
FRIDAY MARCH 15 – SEWING MACHINE MAT
LAUREN WRIGHT – WWW.MOLLYANDMAMA.COM.AU
SANDRA HEALY – WWW.SANDRAHEALYDESIGNS.COM
CHERYL KRISEL LYNCH – http://www.cheryllynchquilts.blogspot.com/
SATURDAY MARCH 16 – WRAP UP
SHERRI NOEL – WWW.REBECCAMAEDESIGNS.COM
It’s that time of the year where I have some new patterns that will be released at the end of the month when I attend Quilt Market in Houston. So, I thought I would share them with you along with the inspiration behind the quilt.
This week I am featuring my new lap quilt Stepping Stones. This is 70 x 70” lap quilt that has a scrappy pieced center and is framed by appliqué.
I wanted a block that would feature the color prints I chose but be easy to make. This simple square in a square design was the answer. Each block has 3 different color prints and a tan background. I alternate between blocks that have the tan print background as the corners and blocks that have the color prints as the corners. This creates the unique secondary design. Here are examples of the two blocks types:
Since this quilt also features an appliqué motif that frames the center, I wanted to review some appliqué tips.
First, for the stems I cut bias strips from a green print fabric. It’s easiest to cut the strips needed from fat quarters (or fat eighths if you don’t need a lot). To cut bias strips, lay the fabric on the cutting surface, lay the 45° line of your ruler on the fabric edge, and then start cutting strips. The photos below show these steps:
Once you have the strips cut, fold in the sides of the strip and press to make the stem. If you start with a 1” wide bias strip, after pressing, your stem will be 1/2” wide. Using a bias tool makes it easier to fold the strips into stems.
My second tip: start stitching your appliqué motif with the stems and then build the rest of the design from there. Use small dots of appliqué glue to shape and hold your stems in place for stitching. Here’s my favorite glue:
This is Roxanne’s Glue Baste-it. This is the best glue that I have used. It’s a small container, but you use so little of it at a time, that it lasts through several projects.
My final tip for this post: If you have an appliqué motif that is made up of several pieces layered on top of each other, stitch the smaller pieces to the larger pieces before stitching it all down to the quilt top. For example, here is the medallion corner stone:
The red penny circle was stitched to the gold circle. Then that unit was stitched to the blue medallion piece. After that was done, the excess fabric was trimmed out in the back before stitching the whole medallion to the quilt top.
I hope these tips were helpful and that you are excited to make this quilt! You will see announcements here and on my Facebook and Instagram pages when the pattern is available.
Have you ever admired a quilt with a beautiful appliqué motif and said: “I want to do this!”. Well, I hope you have. Needle-turn hand appliqué has been a passion of mine for almost as long as I have been quilting. Now, I know many of you do not like hand work and are afraid of the “A” word. But you don’t have to be! You can do your appliqué by machine. I just love the added something that appliqué gives to a quilt top, whether it is pieced or just a plain background.
I have done appliqué posts in the past talking about many of the different steps for doing hand appliqué but have never done a full post on making stems. So, here you have it …. a blog post on stems! If you are interested in appliqué instruction from start to finish, consider purchasing my video class Sew on the Go with Needle-turn Hand Appliqué. Once purchased it’s yours to keep forever!
I like to create my stems from bias cut strips since those are easier to manipulate into curves than straight cut strips. I usually use either a fat quarter or fat eighth depending on how many stems I need. Here is how to cut bias stems.
Press your fabric and lay it on the cutting table as shown:
Align the 45° line of your long (24″) ruler with the bottom of the fabric (the arrow in the photo is pointing to the 45° line):
Now, using the rotary cutter, make your first cut:
Then measure and cut out the amount of strips you need. If you need stems longer than the strips produced, you may have to stitch a few strips together before preparing them into stems.
Cut your strips 1/2″ wider than the width of your finished stem. For example, if you want 1/2″ stems you need to cut your bias strips 1″ wide.
Now it’s time to prepare the strips into stems. To do this, I use a bias tool. They come in sizes from 1/4″ to 1″. The size of the tool in the finished size of the stem. So, for a 1/2″ stem, we will use a 1/2″ bias tool.
Feed the strip, right side of fabric down, into the larger end of the tool until it comes out the smaller end. When it comes out of the end, the sides of the strip will be folded over as shown. Use the iron press this fold all the way down the strip to make the stem.
When you are done making stems and are ready to put them onto your quilt background, you will affix the stems with the raw edges down. Here’s a project I have in progress to show you how I am shaping the stems:
Stems are usually stitched onto the project first because they are usually covered with flowers and leaves or other parts of the appliqué motif.
Here are a few of my favorite appliqué patterns:
So, that’s making stems! Not very hard to do and they add so much to an appliqué design.
Leave a comment below in this blog post on your favorite type of appliqué project and win a free pattern for my newest design Summer Serendipity.
I will draw for the winner in 2 weeks! **Winner has been chosen** Congrats Sharon Aurora!**
Hi everyone! Well, this week, summer officially arrives even though it’s been in the 90s here all weekend. I wanted to share a photo I took today. It is of one of my colorful gardens that inspires my quilting every day. Gardening is what I like to do when I’m not quilting. I think it recharges my batteries and it doesn’t hurt to enjoy a little fresh air! What inspires you?
When it’s this hot, I bet the last thing you want to think about is wool! But, wool applique is fun and also portable. So you can take it outside under that shady tree in your yard and stitch to your heart’s content!
First, my BOM block 6 was released last Friday. I posted the announcement to Facebook and Instagram but in case you are not on either of those platforms and don’t get my monthly newsletter, here’s the block:
Go to the BOM page to be directed to the pattern. If you’d like to receive the pattern early every month, sign up to receive my monthly newsletter. You’ll find the sign-up on the side bar to the right on this page.
Now on to something new. Here’s a sneak peak of two of my current wool applique projects. They are wall hangings for each season of the year! I can’t wait until they are all done and I can share the complete photo with you. For know, I just wanted to whet your appetite.
Are you excited?
So now on to some of my favorite wool applique tips.
Tip #1: As you can see, my wool applique is done on cotton. Either a plain or pieced background. When choosing your wool for a project, be sure that it has good contrast with the background. You want to be able to see the motif. See the yellow flowers on the banner on the right? Those were going to be white. But when I held the white wool up to the background, it disappeared! So, I chose the yellow wool for the flowers and used the white for the center.
Tip #2: Use fusible web such as Heat ‘n Bond Feather Lite.
Using this and fusing it to the wool helps the appliqué piece its shape and stabilizes the wool more for stitching. Trace your applique motif on the paper side of the fusible, cut the shape out slightly outside of your drawn line and fuse onto your wool. Then use the drawn line to cut out your applique motif. Be sure to reverse non-symmetrical applique templates when tracing onto the fusible so they are facing in the correct direction once the motif is fused and cut out of the wool.
Tip #3: You can either affix the pieces to the background using fabric glue, like Roxanne’s Glue Baste-it, small appliqué pins or fuse the pieces to the background by ironing.
If you choose the latter, lay a towel on the ironing board, then lay your background down and then place the wool pieces in place on the background. Then carefully, so you don’t move any of the appliqués, place a white towel over the project and spray water over the towel using a spray bottle. With a medium/high iron, press the towel to fuse the pieces on the project underneath. Periodically lift the upper towel and check pieces to see if they are fusing. The towel below the project will keep your wool from “flattening” out.
Tip #4: I like to use a chenille needle size 22 or 24 for stitching. This is the brand of needle I like the best, John James Chenille Needles:
Size 22 is a little longer than the size 24 needles. Try the ones that work best for you. I use Valdani Perle Cotton size 8 threads for stitching. These needles work great with perle cotton threads. Depending on the project, I will use a contrasting thread if I want a primitive look and want my stitching to show. If I want my stitches less visible, I will match the color of the perle cotton to the wool applique.
Tip #5: Good lighting! It’s best to have good lighting when you are stitching. You need to see to make your stitches the best you can! I have a great table top light I like to use: Naturalight by the Daylight Company. It’s bright and also has a flip up top to reveal a magnifier.
So now you’re ready to do some wool applique! You can start with my free BOM and work your way up to larger projects as you get more comfortable with stitching.
Happy Stitching & Quilting!
Welcome back to my appliqué class here on the blog! When we last left off, the templates were prepared and shapes traced from fabric. The seam allowances have been clipped. So now what do you do?
This is when we use the fabric glue! We need to position the appliqué where we want to stitch it …. but we don’t want it to move while we are stitching. Instead of using pins, I like to use the fabric glue we talked about when we began this series.
See how I only use small dots of glue? You do not want to use too much glue because it will bleed through your fabric and create a mess. Also, it’s less glue to worry about when we get to a later step. You can re-position the appliqué, but it’s a good idea to get it placed where you want it the first time. It takes about 30 seconds for drying time. If you lift up the piece before the glue has dried, your appliqué may shift during stitching.
So here is the appliqué applied to the background:
Next, we move onto the appliqué stitch. The best way to describe your goal here is hiding the stitch. To start out, choose thread that matches the appliqué shape as closely as possible.
As you can see, the color I picked matches the pretty well.
Now, the stitch that is similar to the one used when stitching binding to the back of a quilt, essentially a blind stitch. The following photos will display the stitch and how it should look.
Above is the first step, coming up from underneath and catching the edge of the appliqués seam allowance.
Next push your needle back down, in the background only, but right next to the place where your first stitch came up from the back in the first step. In the second photo above, you can see when you pull the thread all the way through, there is just a little “dot” of thread visible! Continue on stitching the way all around the shape. The stitches should be about a scant 1/8″ apart.
Hopefully, you have enjoyed this brief appliqué series. If you want an in depth class, I have one online with The Quilting Company! The name of the class is Sew-on-the-Go with Needle-Turn Hand Appliqué. It’s a 6 session course using my pattern, Bloomin’ Days. The pattern is free with the course!
Good morning stitching friends!
Today is the day that we kick off the 2018 BOM project with the first block! I you have not already prepared, here is the blog post from last week with the starter instructions for this project: Let’s Get Excited for the 2018 BOM!
So, here’s block 1 – the welcome block:
Love it? I know I do! Here are the instructions: 2018 BOM Block 1
If you are just starting out with wool appliqué and don’t have access to a local shop that sells a lot of these supplies, here’s some resources for the supplies I use:
So, get stitching and keep an eye on my blog for more blocks in the future!
Hello! It’s getting close to that time….. 2018 BOM time, that is. Are you excited? I am really excited to share this new project with you and hope you will follow along throughout the year to make this. Once again, it’s a wool applique wall hanging. This one is called Old Town Square. Here are the blocks. They have been stitched but not put together yet. This just gives you a sneak peek.
There are 11 blocks and for the final month (December) we will be adding embellishments to the sashing strips.
To get started, I have created some starter instructions that you can find here: 2018 BOM Starter Instructions
Here are the fabrics I used for this project. I am not guaranteeing you will find the same ones because fabric turnover in the quilt shops happens quickly, but this gives you the names in case some of the shops you frequent still have some.
Use a combination of greys like I did or use a combination of your favorite fabrics!
So, get prepared and watch this space on January 15th for the instructions for the first block!