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!