Raining Cats and Dogs – I like to Hand Applique.

This is an applique quilt that I machine pieced and hand appliqued.  I tried various methods before I settled on the one that I enjoy the most.

Before working on this quilt I didn’t do much with applique.  I did a little bit in my first hand quilting class but never touched it again.  I didn’t enjoy it and I didn’t think I did a very good job.  So when I saw this quilt it was at a perfect time because I was thinking about improving my applique skills.

The first method I tried was to use freezer paper.  The second method I tried was with freezer method and starch.  And for the little pieces, I tried using applique glue.  I don’t think I did any of them very well.  They all seemed complicated and took forever.  Of all of them, the glue was the one I had the most trouble with.  The glue made it difficult to pull the needle through the fabric.  Both the freezer paper and the starch required so much work – I had to get the freezer paper onto my lightbox, trace the pattern, iron it onto the fabric.  When I didn’t use starch, I had to baste the fabricdown and then remove the freezer paper.  If I used starch, I had to starch it, remove the freezer paper and baste it down.  Both methods didn’t ensure that the lines were straight, or smooth, or the points pointy.  By the third block I just used the way Linda, my first teacher, taught me how to do it.  I trace the pattern on the the background fabric. I trace the pattern onto the appliqued fabric.  I put the fabric onto the background fabric and pinned it down.  Then I basted it.  Then I appliqued it.  As I appliqued it, I removed the basting as it helped me to fudge the fabric around and get it more on the line while the basting was loosened up.  So I don’t need much – and as long as the patterns are traced onto the fabrics and I have the fabrics I an pretty much take it wherever I want.

Here are the other blocks that I finished before and took pictures of before I left for LA.

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Looking at the pictures now, they do not seem very clear.  I’ll try taking better pictures when I get back home.  I have a real camera but it’s a pain taking it from the camera, into my computer, putting the watermark on, and then into the blog.  It’s getting the watermark that kills me.  I do not know how to put the watermark from my computer.  The little girl showed me how to do it from my phone and iPad so that’s how I do it. 🙂  If someone can tell me the free program I can use to do it on my computer – please share.  That will help me get the watermark on my nice camera pictures!

I’m working on one of the next blocks and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to finish it this month.  But I’m almost there – I’ve got a one umbrella, a stem, 3 leaves, and a flower to applique down.  Then I’ve got to embroidery the rest of it.  With only a few days left in August – I’m hoping I am able to get it done.  I’m in Los Angeles.  I had some work to do last week and my family joined me yesterday.  So now we’re doing our last minute back to school shopping.  I took the block with me to applique as much of the block as I could and I finished everything I brought with me.  This is amazing and cool because in previous trips I would bring things to do and not even touch them.  So to finish everything and have to wait until we return home to do the rest of it is a wonderful feeling.


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