Hooray, Horray for Applique!

I think applique work is beautiful. It’s even prettier when the person that made the block or quilt is experienced with applique. I’ve always loved what applique adds to quilts and been in awe of those who can beautifully create it. I have, however, been scared to tackle this particular element of quilting for some time though.

I’ve appliqued before but I generally stick to flowing, sweeping curves – circles and such. Yes, I admit it – I’ve been a complete and total scardy cat but I absolutely REFUSED to be someone that made an ugly block. You’d think that I’ve been quilting long enough to just get over it (hello, almost twenty years).  It’s a curse and a blessing that I strive to do the absolute best I can.

On. Everything.

I wanted to do something with my taupe fabrics and wanted to include more than pieced blocks. Enter the applique. I found a few blocks I liked from Susan Bricsoe’s book Japanese Taupe Quilt Blocks. The blocks didn’t seem that scary and I got the first one down without any problems.

See? Sweeping curves. Easy. And the yo-yo added fun!

The second block was a bit intimidating. I can never seem to get my points quite right, which is the reason that I’ve stayed away from this particular method of quilting. I found a great tutorial and Oh! My! Gosh! Got it on the first try. I couldn’t be happier! Seriously? I think I’m addicted now.

I’m trying my hand at a more difficult block. The background of the circle is a Japanese fabric I picked up at City Quilter in New York. I was itching to use it on this quilt. This particular block is just perfect for that fabric! Now, the author suggests using fusible bias tape around the edge of the block. I would have been happy to do that because, let’s face it, it’s easier that way, but I didn’t have any. And my favorite shop didn’t have any. And I didn’t want to order it. So what’s a girl to do? Make her own, of course! I’m a glutton for punishment but think the 1/4″ bias tape I made looks quite nice. I didn’t have bias bars to make it so I cut 3/4″ strips of bias fabric and ironed down a quarter inch on each side. Really, it was quite simple and I’d absolutely do it again if necessary.** See? Looks nice, huh? And yes, the orange thread is just where I’ve basted down all my parts. I find this works rather well for me.

* Yes, some people make ugly applique blocks. Sorry, but they do. I’m not in awe of those folks nor do I want to be one of them.

** Really I’d rather just buy fusible bias tape and likely will, though I won’t use it for this quilt since I’ve already deviated from that particular item.

Published by Patty Murphy

Designer. Quilter. Fabric Hoarder.

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