Friday, September 18, 2015

An Applique Round Up

So here I am, piling on the applique again. It's because I need applique in my quilts like I need to breathe. It's not that it doesn't ever get tedious {because it does}, it's just that having simple applique in my quilts somehow makes me love and adore them all the more. 
Vintage Red blocks progress
So when it gets to the tedious stage, it's nice to jump right on over to another applique project. Sometimes I panic and think nothing will ever get done--how could it possibly? But I do have my ways. There's the carrot and stick approach--a classic. Then there are the times I tend to work in groups of four {blocks etc.}--no I will not go anywhere, even to bed, until I finish this last block. And I often set goals to complete all the bias vine, or all the flowers etc. Then I don't get to go to sleep for a week. {Just kidding.}
A border for the scrappy Lone Star quilt
I also make sure my applique bag is always packed and ready to go. That's mandatory for us applique-mad people. Sure, it's spilling over into a large basket I have my quilting paraphernalia sitting in there in the corner of my bedroom, but it's ready. Always. 'Cuz I take it in the car with me so that when my husband gets real talkative with whomever he wants to chat with, I have something to do with my hands. Sitting {or standing} idle just about kills me. Especially at Home Depot. Oh my goodness. Stay out of that store unless you're buying for yourself! And so usually I'd rather sit in the car and bond with my stitching.
Lil' Red Riding Hood still stalled, but ready to go...
And yes, sometimes I drag my applique bag out when we have company visiting in our home. There is something very relaxing about stitching away on something pretty while chatting about life. Such a comfy feeling. Too, there are people that you really don't want to be staring into their eyes for hours on end. Much nicer to be able to look away and thread your needle etc. Then it's not rude or viewed as obfuscation. Why do people think we're lying when we don't look directly into their eyes every single minute? Maybe we just tire of trying not to stare at the rebellious hairs in their eyebrows?
Summers End baskets getting prepped and ready to go
Occasionally an applique idea just appears practically out of nowhere. I have fabric stacked up and sitting on my counter for weeks and them pow! I'm right in the middle of cutting out and then sewing the base blocks for my new project. How I got from A to B is often a mystery.
Trying to remember how to miter the corners of
A Folksy Flower foundation
But more often, there is something I've been wrestling with for months. Agonizing over. Fabric stacked up looking yummy together, a vague idea trying to come together more clearly in my mind but I'm stuck, stuck, stuck. I've scribbled on graph paper and endlessly tried to fine tune. Sometimes it just comes down to being a chicken heart though. Much as it pains me to admit to anything of that nature to my dedicated readers.
Gotta start somewhere.....
Take this project. I have the books to remind me how to miter the corners. Really. Is that all that's holding me back this time? Not starting something I'm practically dreaming about at night all because I can't reconcile making the foundation of my applique quilt the easy way. Oh I do so  loathe sewing mitered corner. Ughh...  But we all know that sometimes you just gotta suck it up for the greater good. Which is what applique is. The Much. Greater. Good.*wink


  1. I love your applique projects. Very inspiring, too - you're pulling me into the vortex... 8)
    I've set things aside at a point that I thought was going to be a big bother, then come back to them much much later and found it wasn't such a big deal as I'd built it up in my head. Hopefully your miters go smoothly and easily!

  2. Oh, how I wish some of your applique addiction would wear off on me! You're so right about having projects ready to go, but what I've discovered on our trip is that lighting so often isn't optimal for old eyes to see well enough to do good stitching (my current embroidered block project ). I love how "Audrey's Easter Eggs" project is coming along!

  3. I love your approach to things! and of course all your projects, I admire that you design most of them yourself too, I always have to go with a pattern designed by others and then change it a little here and there and sometimes not!
    (and yes waiting for hubby's in Home Depot or Lowes - yuck)

  4. I am loving your Vintage Red project. The others are pretty awesome too, but I love Red!

  5. I really love this Vintage red project ! XXX

  6. Oh yes it gets tedious for sure! Sometimes it seems there's more to the prep than the sewing! :)

  7. Viva la difference!
    My projects come to a halt when they get to the handwork stage. I am a bit better about it then I was, but I often think, "how can I do this on my machine?"
    You've a lot of charming projects there.

  8. Instead of "sewing" the mitered corners you can also "appliqué" them, one fabric stripe open, the other "folded" over it.
    For me it's simpler and they are even more accurate this way.
    Best wishes!

  9. 16 Vintage Red blocks! You're on a roll. Looking good!

  10. Love how two of the blocks have a different yellow at the bottom. I love handwork also. Working on Bird Dance wool blocks right now. Itching to do some more cotton appliqué, the bids have some but I need more!

  11. Such a fun read. And since I love appliqué I so "get" this.

  12. I feel the same way about applique, but you are definitely more dedicated to it than I am. I am finding myself doing more and more of it though, now if your hand quilting could rub off on me, I sure would love it! LOL
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  13. Vintage Red is getting better every time you show it. I'm with you about always having something ready to take and stitch. It's amazing how much you can get done in those spare moments. The nice thing about the tediousness of applique is that it gives your mind time to explore new projects. It's just what happens.

  14. You know you can do it - go on, take a deep breath, relax and mitre that corner! Love your appliqué - always inspiring.

  15. You know it has to be done! I love what your mind comes up with, really love your applique quilts, there is such warmth and character about them. I hadn't thought about taking sewing with me wherever I go but when I think about the hours I have spent sitting outside fishing tackle shops I can see I need to take a leaf out of your book.

  16. I like the chunky handles on the basket blocks.

  17. Oh please please please tell me that Vintage Red is going to be a pattern - I love it so much!!!!

  18. The Vintage Red flower quilt is adorable! I d love a pattern too.

  19. vintage red is great and so are all your projects - hooray for Applique!

  20. Oh I think we're birds of a feather: the carrot and the stick, the hand sewing projects in my bag everywhere I go, the stitching with visitors, the piles of fabrics waiting!!! And your vintage red appliqué is just gorgeous! I've had a mind to do some 'improv appliqué' for a while...I don't know what that is - I plan to make something up as I go along! Now you've got me thinking!


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