To celebrate my birthday on December 17 (not to mention the holiday season), I’m doing a super-duper, extra, extra-special, double-the-appliqué giveaway! Because you see, these things are as much fun for me as they are for you.
I happen to have copies of both Artful Appliqué: The Easy Way from the year 2000 and still in print, and the brand-new Artful Appliqué II: Introducing Scrappliqué and 12 New Floral Designs by Jane Townswick, provided by Martingale & Company / That Patchwork Place. I’m putting them together and giving you guys an opportunity to win them as a package deal. How festive is that for an appliqué enthusiast?
“Having been a die-hard patchwork fan for many years,” begins Jane in the introduction, “I thought there was very little reason for appliqué quilts to exist — until Nancy Pearson’s “Techny Chimes” stopped me dead in my tracks.”
I’m right there with you on that one, Jane. Here’s a page from my inspiration scrapbook. That’s Techny Chimes on the lower right.
“Beautiful hand appliqué is as individual as a fingerprint,” Jane continues.
I really appreciate this sentiment of encouraging individuality and de-emphasizing the need for exact copying and perfection, which IMO takes away from the pleasure of the work.
In the book Jane presents many unusual (to me) and innovative techniques for creating motifs — partial stitching, modified cutwork, and unit construction. (Just goes to show how different brains work differently.) These methods enable tiny, rich details that still have turned edges.
The appliqué information also shows how to achieve precision where precision is important, and individual, artful results where precision is less important.
Leaves don’t have to be green, did you know that? I know that, but I mostly forget it when I reach for my fabrics. You’ll see some stunning results in the book’s gallery of quilts where the quilters have reached past the green box.
The gallery includes many beautiful quilts made by Jane and her students. The author then includes 16 appliqué blocks, each one with complete skill-building instructions. It’s easy to see why this one is still in print after nine years, it’s a classic.
I just received this one from Martingale so it’s hot off the presses! I can tell from the cover that the floral designs are even more free-form, natural, and detailed. Never fear, Jane takes you step-by-step through her way of mastering this realism. She does advises beginners to consult one of her previous books or another reference book for the basics of appliqué.
In this book Jane introduces Scrapliqué, a technique for creating mosaic-like fabric compositions for your motifs without having to stitch tiny pieces together. There’s also information on unit appliqué, where you can stitch an entire flower before stitching it to the background. Jane explains several advantages to this strategy.
The book has sections on color blending, free-form stems and branches, and a unique way of stitching sharp points. There’s a gorgeous gallery of quilts and 12 floral blocks with step-by-step instructions and photos. You’ll find anemone, camellia, iris, lady’s slipper, pansies, sweet peas, and more! All so detailed you wouldn’t believe it.
Martingale recently published an interview with Jane on their blog. Be sure to go and read that for more information on the artist.
Leave a comment before 7:00 p.m. California time on Thursday, December 17 (my bday :) ), for a chance to win this fantastic combo platter. U.S. and Canada only, unless you’d be willing to pay the shipping.
Happiest holidays to you!
By Kay Mackenzie
Susan Brubaker Knapp of Blue Moon River emailed me to let me know that she’s going to be offering at least one appliqué tip a month on her blog, as she releases blocks for “Bohemian Bouquet,” her 2008 Mystery Block of the Month quilt.
Susan’s first tip is already up… a very handy post on how to handle appliqué shapes where the interior is cut out.
You might want to subscribe to Susan’s blog so that you won’t miss the rest of her great tips!
Until next time,
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs