Sunday, July 7, 2013

Little Blue Bird-my new adventure in applique

Last in my blog posts about last weekend’s classes at the TVQA Spring Seminar.  (Are you glad or sad?)

Applique: I want to love it, really I do. Applique can make a boring quilt come alive. It adds personality and pizzazz.

image via

But in my fast paced world, it just takes too much time.  I only have a few hours a day where I can squeeze in hand work.  Try as I might, I just got more frustrated with turned-edge applique with every stitch.  I knew I would never be a hand applique master with the first project.  So machine applique is where I focused my learning.  But still, the love was just not there.  It always felt like something that had to be done.  With all the ideas in my head, quilting-wise, why would I spend my time on something that felt like a chore?!


For a couple years, Pat Sloan & I have bantered back & forth on Facebook on the joy of applique.  Like I said, I want to love it.

When I saw Pat was teaching her applique just 2 short hours away, well that was it.   I was going to give this one last chance at .

Now, I’m not going to say angels were singing, but I will say that in the past week I have actually dreamed of applique (and not in the old fire & brimstone kind of way).

Pat is a great teacher and really takes time with each person in the class. 

She was able to help folks perfect their blanket stitch, regardless of machine.  This is harder than you’d think….all machines work differently-from brand to brand & model to model.  If you’re not a Pfaff stitcher and you try to figure one out, you’ll know what I mean. 

And my last flag-waving on Pat’s behalf (for now) is that she isn’t just about the technique.  She shares her knowledge of notions & the WHY behind her choices.  For me, without the why, it’s hard to make the leap to try something different. 

For example: fusible webbing:

These 3 classes last week were the first EVER I had taken in my nearly 10 years quilting.  As a self-taught quilter, I am accustomed to figuring things out by trial and error.  I am still figuring things out. 


I have always thought of fusible webbing like premium fabric.  You know RJR fabric & Moda fabric are of like quality & don’t really feel or “act” that different.  How different could fusible webbing really be?  (Ok, the angels did sing a bit here)…OMG!  I recommend that each of you who have only ever used Wonder Under go buy a yard of Heat N Bond Lite (you can click here, no need to search the net).  Tip #1: that 3 second pressing time is for REAL.  Tip #2: Getting the paper off the back is not a chore, and you can easily SEE the fusible (no more gummy iron).


So, if you are involved in the decision making at your guild or show regarding teachers, go here:  If you have never been to her site, GO!  She does more online quilting goodness than you can imagine.

My Class was “The Magic of EASY Machine Appliqué”  We worked Pat’s pattern, Little Blue Bird, available in Pat’s web store.  (you know I really like her if I am sending you her way to shop!)

Here’s my rendition, fused in place


Here are my thread choices (I think) for the blanket stitching  (that red spool on the right should be on the berries)

blue bird

When I get it stitched down, I will be back with an update.  The vine is not fused in place, but I’ve used Roxanne’s Glue Baste It, at Pat’s recommendation.  Yes, I am a little scared.  But in quilting, as in life, you have to push through the scary stuff to find the really cool stuff that you never knew was out there.

So, my love of applique journey continues.  Don’t forget that Pat’s new collection for Moda will be here mid-September.  Go ahead & check it out here & learn how you can save 5% off these yummy designs.

What teachers have pushed you to new quilting heights?


/sewprimitive said...

Fire and Brimstone - LOL!!!

PatSloan said...

you are a TRUE applique addict when you dream designs.. SMOOCHES to you!

KatieQ said...

I LOVE the look of applique, but only like actually doing it. Maybe I'm not using the right fusible or techniques. Taking a class might solve my problems too.
I'm glad you got to take a class with Pat Sloan. She would definitely be my first choice.