Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Applique Lessons from the Past

A week or so ago, I made a baby quilt with a dog applique. As I made the quilt, I thought about the ways that I have done applique before - time consuming needle-turned applique and fused applique with machine stitching around the outside. But I didn't want something that was going to take a lot of time, or that left the baby quilt feeling a little stiff as fusible applique does. Sometimes you don't have to look to far to find a technique that gives the results you want and I took a closer look at an antique butterfly quilt that I have from my sweet husband's grandmother. (I'm saving the picture of her full quilt for another post!) Here's a close up of her applique:
My example for this applique method!
The hand done buttonhole stitch she did was very fine - these are about 1/8" apart, but you can see underneath the white machine straight stitch she used to tack down her shapes before adding the decorative stitching. I wanted to duplicate her technique and carefully pressed the seam allowance around the dog shape and used a straight stitch to sew it onto the quilt top.
Straight stitch around applique
 Then I set up my machine for a buttonhole stitch, adjusted it for the width and spacing I wanted and sewed all around the outside. It worked great!
Blanket stitch around outside of applique
And then, I thought about how babies like to play with their blankies and added a Minky lined ear flap, just for fun! I hope this baby loves their blankie!
Dog applique ear flap
 Do you applique? Tell me about your favorite method!
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