Applique 101

For my learning project for class I have decided to expand my quilting skills.  Quilting is one of my passions, although since I returned to school, I have very limited time to engage in my hobby.  I would considered myself a decent quilter, not an expert but middle of the pack.  Most of my quilts are what are referred to as patchwork.  Patchwork is simply taking the material and cutting it up into smaller pieces or patches and then sewing them together to create something completely new.  In patchwork most pieces are cut into triangles, rectangles or squares because they are easiest to sew.  Circles, curved pieces and other shapes can be used in patchwork as well. This is what makes the quilt top.

this is an example of a type of patchwork quilt. It is a king size quilt I made


Applique is another way to create designs on quilt tops.  In applique you cut a more intricate shape, such as a flower, a house, an animal, the possibilities are endless to what you can applique. After you have the shape cut out you attach it to the quilt top in a way that the edges of the shape look finished and don’t fray.  There are two methods of applique I am going to focus on if everything goes well, I may only get to one.  One is needle turn applique and in my opinion is the bigger challenge because you have turn a very narrow hem under the shape with you needle as you hand sew.  I am not usually very precise or patient when it come to hand sewing.  The second is machine applique, and you finish the edges of your shape with your sewing machine.  The trick here is often to move a large piece of material in a limited space while staying very close to the edge of the shape. We will see how it all goes.  I have tried applique once before and lets say its a good thing 2 year olds don’t care.

One thought on “Applique 101

  1. Mrs. Pam, ah quilting…it is best I leave this to your skilled fingers. I have only had fleeting flights of fancy in attempting anything with this technique. Upon first reading your post I thought to myself is she not already an expert. However, I see that you see room for improvement in a technique that is a challenge for you. I admire your persistence in continuing to improve upon your art. I look forward to seeing you finished piece. 🙂


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