My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Monday, February 25, 2013

Mainly applique

Many of you will know that I love all aspects of quilting and my sewing lately has seen me thinking about appliqué. Last year my on-line quilting group worked on Hop To It from the book of the same name by Edyta Sitar. I loved making this quilt...and doing all of the appliqué by hand. I used my favourite method of needleturn appliqué; the back basting method, as outlined beautifully here in Sentimental Stitches, and I have waxed lyrical about it in the past.
Here is what my Hop To It quilt looks like at the moment.
It's laid out on the spare bed waiting for decisions about corner stones and sashings.
This year my on-line group is working on 'Pieces of Time' by Lori Smith. We are making one pieced and one appliqué block each month. I thought long and hard about what method of appliqué to do this time around... I love the look of hand appliqué but it does take me an age to complete each block. So I have decided to do this project by the invisible machine applique method.
While I've dabbled in this method in the past, I've been a bit scared of using it, worried that I couldn't achieve a truly invisible look.
Well I've bit the bullet!!!
I am doing the method using freezer paper - Joanne (Threadhead) gives a tutorial on her blog, and Kim Diehl does an excellent chapter on it in her pattern books.
I've decided to do a quick run through of it here to inspire others to give it a try as well.
Trace and cut out template shapes from freezer paper.
Use a little glue to stick the matt side to the wrong side of your fabric.
Clip inner curves and carefully press raw edges over edge of template.
This takes a little while but it is worth being patient to get the shapes nice and even.
The fabric will adhere to the shiny side of the freezer paper.
Prepared pieces.
Layer these on your fabric background, as you would normally do for other appliqué methods.
Set the machine to a very narrow, small zig-zag.
'1' and '1' settings are recommended elsewhere but the settings on my machine were '0.3' and '0.4'.
(EDIT - The next time I did this I used 0.6 and 0.7, which was easier/quicker to sew and
because my thread matched so well was just as invisible).
I used smoke coloured Aurifil monofilament in the top and fine Mettler Seraline in the bobbin.
As you complete each layer snip through the fabric at the back and remove the freezer paper.
You must remove the paper from one layer before you sew the next piece on top!
Back of completed block - cool huh?
Front of completed block.
Here are my first two pieced blocks.
Monkey Wench (left)
Northumberland Star (right).
Now I cant rest on my laurels for too long as I still have the February appliqué block to do. It's a nasty one, but apparently not impossible as two of the others in the group have already done it! (Joan and Joanne).
I'm going to rest before giving it a try!!

Now I have a faux pas to correct from my last post. Gulp.
I thanked the very kind Cat for the lovely doily she made me...silly me... it was a wash cloth. Now in reality it is too pretty to use as a wash cloth but once Albert (the bear) has finished with it, I will try it out in the bathroom. I'm actually quite excited about this as I haven't had a handmade wash cloth before. Thank you again, Cat.

Thank you for visiting, I hope you all have a happy, stitching week


  1. Smile
    You are not the first and I doubt you will be the last to make the faux pas
    I LOVE your blocks

  2. You quilt looks wonderful. I've tried to iron the edges back over the freezer paper as you show, but I haven't been able to master it.

  3. Perfect timing for your "run through" and thanks for the recommendations of thread! do you suggest any needle for machine?
    Love Leanne

  4. Your appliqué is so perfect and precise! Loved to read and see your little tutorial. Your blocks are perfectly pieced too! You do wonderful work!

  5. I love your quilt and your applique looks amazing , much faster than by hand and an excellent result !!

  6. I have emailed you a link to an episode of 'The Quilt Show' where Edyta Sitar is the guest.IT IS NOT SPAM!! I really enjoyed watching it, and I'm sure you will to.

  7. All your work looks amazingly beautiful!
    Wishing you a wonderful week and sending love across the (oh, so many) miles!


  8. Wow, look at you go! Fabulous quilt group you must have to get through so much. Very pretty. And your this years project, beautiful. You are very talented Raewyn.

  9. Hop To It is looking lovely.
    I appreciate seeing your tutorial. I've never tried this method--or seen the process, though I often hear reference to it. Maybe even I could do applique using this method. Yours looks very clean and smooth. Beautiful job!

  10. Your Hop To It is lovely - a real heirloom in progress. I'll be interested to see what you decide for the cornerstones. At first I thought you were using the blue/grey but I realise it's your bed behind!

    And that appliqué method makes a lovely finish. Worth a try.

  11. It is great to see your completed blocks having watched you appliqué some of them. It is going to be a wonderful quilt. I enjoyed your tutorial on invisible thread appliqué, maybe something to try in the future

  12. You do such beautiful applique work Raewyn.. YOur blocks look gorgeous laid out ready for the final touch of corner stones...
    thank you for the tut on needle turn.. I have done a workshop on it too but still find it hard to do.. Maybe one day..

  13. Hop To It looking wonderful - I am sad I was such a bad person for not keeping up!! I hope to keep up with this years one - Ha!! Great wash cloth...Hope you are not as hot there as we are here! - Its dreadful - Hope to catch up again soon! :)

  14. Such beautiful stitching on your applique the blocks are beautiful!

  15. Easy mistake Raewyn, the wash cloth looks far too pretty and I would be tempted to use it decoratively. Fabulous machine applique skills, well explained. Good luck with your next block but I am sure you will complete it most successfully.

  16. It sure is a pretty dishcloth!
    Your applique block is lovely, which method do you prefer?
    I was like Miss Lottie & thought the blue was your corner stones :)))

  17. Beautiful applique quilt,you must be so proud:-) Nice tutorial! Hard work the freezing paper,must go to an other work-class!

  18. Lovely post Raewyn and your little tutorial was very helpful, I understand what you're doing now! One day I will be brave and give it a go.

  19. congrats! on finishing your Hop To It blocks. It is going to be a very pretty quilt!!!
    Love your other blocks too. I think you are doing a great job on your machine applique. I have done a little of it. You will be able to get a block done much quicker!

  20. The Hop To It blocks are looking very good. A quilt I would like to make some day.

  21. lots of beautiful work there ,welldone.xx

  22. Beautiful applique work, Raewyn; I am a rank beginner--thanks for the tip

  23. Your applique blocks are wonderful! Thanks for the links too!



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