Every couple of years, my small quilt group the Nite Needlers collaborates on a project that we donate as a fundraiser to our guild or another worthy cause. This year we hit on a red-and-white basket quilt.

I drafted some basic traditional-looking baskets in my trusty Illustrator program and handed them out with the finished dimensions to all the gals. We’re each making five blocks, and our ground rules are that we’re using turkey-reddish fabrics for the baskets and white-to-cream-with-red for the background. Sticking to the basic basket shape, we can do whatever we like as far as sub-piecing the body, adding appliqué, etc.

OF COURSE I had to do some appliqué. Here’s what I came up with.

Okay imagine for now that there’s some red print on the white.

I had my plan. Now for the execution part. I was presented with some conundrums.

IMO, raw-edge appliqué is for decorative purposes, like wall quilts. This project is going to be bed-sized, so I really felt that my appliqué should be turned-edge. “Hand appliqué!” you might be saying. As well you might, knowing me.

But there were other factors to consider. I knew that Janet, who never does anything by hand being the mistress of the machine that she is, would make her handles using turned-edge machine appliqué. Plus, I wanted to delineate the edges of the appliqué motifs to distinguish between the flower and the leaves a little better, and the machine blanket stitch in the dark red color would work well for that.

So there it was. Turned-edge appliqué with a machine blanket stitch. Hmm….

I reached deep into my appliqué bag of tricks, and even ended up inventing a new trick that I threw back in with the rest when I was done!

First, the handles. I used Holly Mabutas’ glue-stick turned-edge preparation method, where the turning allowance is glued back onto itself using a freezer-paper template on the front as a guide. All went well.

Then the flowers. Another conundrum, factor, wrinkle, challenge, or whatever you consider it to be. These were white flowers on a red background. Can you say “shadow-through?” I wanted to line them.

Thinking cap, thinking cap. I could have used faced appliqué, but I was in the glue-stick groove. Got it! A hybrid fusing/glue-stick method!

I hauled out scraps of my favorite paper-backed fusible web SoftFuse, and made some templates with the centers cut out.

I fused them to some white scrap fabric and cut them out actual size.

I removed the paper backing and fused them onto the back of the red-and-white print for the flowers, and cut them out leaving a small turning allowance.

Back to Holly’s method, except this time I glued the turning allowance over onto the white lining, using it as my template. It worked!

Then I turned to Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Circles™ templates to make turned-edge flower centers.

Stick them all together and you’ve got a motif ready to pop onto a basket and stitch.

Here are my five baskets, ready to turn in at the next Nite Needlers meeting, and another thing off my list! Thanks Holly and Karen Kay!

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

I am in awe. The ingenious Darcy Ashton has done it again! You have got to go and see her fabulous new design for making an appliquéd clock!!!

Sewing Room Clocks

Who knew?

Cheers,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

Daily blogger Pat Sloan put up a post showing some of the antique appliqué quilts that were displayed during Festival in Houston. They are so amazing.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

b943_c.jpg

I’ve been looking forward to delving into this month’s book, Dream Landscapes: Artful Quilts with Fast-Piece Appliqué by Rose Hughes. Landscapes, art quilts…. totally out of my arena and it’s always interesting to learn new things to throw into one’s appliqué bag of tricks.

Rose tells us, “Fast-Piece Appliqué is a method of construction that makes easy work of sewing curves, circles, and many designs that you thought were too difficult to put together.”

Once I read through the process, it was one of those V8 Moments. Wow, it really makes a lot of sense!

Rose’s method employs tracing paper, freezer paper templates, and machine-sewing the pieces together from the front… simple and direct. She takes us through a small teaching project first and then provides several patterns and a beautiful gallery of her own and her students’ work for inspiration.

example1.jpgLook at those beautiful flowing curves!

example2.jpgCircles sewn without clipping or pinning!

The book includes a quick tutorial on color, full and detailed step-by-step instructions for Fast-Piece Appliqué, and a lot of information on yarn, which is couched over the top of the stitching lines to delineate the shapes and cover raw edges. The couching also provides the initial quilting.

Then the author takes us through the steps of sandwiching, further quilting, and binding these pieces of wall art, followed by a wonderful section on embellishing with embroidery stitches and beading.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

Designer Susan Brubaker Knapp has posted a wonderful photo tutorial on her blog about how to use Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Circles™ templates to make prepared-edge circles for hand appliqué.

I have a set of KKB’s templates tucked away in my appliqué bag of tricks. The circle templates come in a whole lot of different sizes and they come with a ring so you can keep them all corraled.

Be sure to visit Susan’s website also, Blue Moon River. Susan has some beautiful patterns there, including stunning block-of-the-month appliqué patterns.

Thanks Susan!

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

Designer Anna Maria Horner posted a great photo tutorial showing an ingenious way to make prepared-edge circles using aluminum foil! Visit her blog.