Do you applique? I've decided to learn. I've signed up for an awesome applique class at a local quilt shop. The class will use this book to create it's 1930s sampler quilt.
YIKES! Applique is hard. AND, there are a lot of steps to it. However, I think I'm up for the task. I'll be updating you on my applique progress for the next several weeks. I can't believe that at the end of the class I'll have a pieced and appliqued quilt top ready for quilting. I think I will hand quilt this one to finish it off.
First class, we learned some REAL basics and bought some necessary tools - like new sharp scissors that cut to the point and teeny tiny little needles that I can hardly see called straw needles. I also got a really cool spools of thread and some baby pins 1/2" long.
These are my new things.
Some other weird things you use to applique are toothpicks (to help turn under the applique piece as you go - and we've learned that it's better when it's slightly wet from holding the toothpick in your mouth) and for me, my trusty LLBean headlamp. Even with bi-focal contacts, the tiny stitches will be hard to see.
To practice at the first class, we learned how to make a template (a leaf), to cut it out, trace it and cut it from fabric leaving 3/16 of an inch border (the turn under part). Then we learned how to make a knot in the thread (I've forgotten how and have to re-learn; there's a special technique), how to take little tiny invisible stitches while holding the needle in a position my hand isn't yet used to and how to turn the outside point corners. My outside point corners are NOT yet mastered and there are a lot of them...oh my!
This is the first leaf I appliqued. This is done with 2 pieces of sample fabric - just some scraps used to practice. I think I need at least one more leaf practice.
Homework for next week was to cut out the templates for our 1st block, purchase background fabric (wash, dry and iron it) and cut out our background blocks. We also have to use plastic sheeting to create an overlay block so that we can tell how to pin the pieces to the fabric - wow... the methods are nice because they make sense, but the process was a lot for my little brain to encompass. This reminds me, I need to make a trip to the hardware store for some super fine sandpaper and a roll of clear plastic sheeting - what craft job isn't complete without a trip to the hardware store?
I visited the website of the authors of the book we're using. Their names are Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins. I loved their applique quilt designs. I visited the web page where people shared their quilt creations. So cool.
Next APPLIQUE post, I'll show you my fabric, discuss my color choices, and give you an update on the creation of my first block templates and overlay. Enjoy!