Surprise – I’m Working With Applique!
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a precision piecer. I love my sharp points and matching seams in sewing and piecing. It’s not that I don’t like applique. I absolutely love an appliqued quilt when it’s made well. I appreciate the time and effort that goes into a Baltimore Album or any complex applique design. It’s just that I’m not good at hand work, so I’m not good at applique. My circles are not round, my points are frayed, and working with tiny pieces drives me crazy.
Having said that, I worked with Kyra Reps last year on a project for her patterns. Kyra is the dot queen – quilted, appliqued, painted, you name it and Kyra puts dots on it. Kyra is known for her amazing Dot Mandala quilts. So, while Kyra and I worked on a project together, I had to try making one of her mandala patterns.
Kyra works with the Apliquick system of applique tools: two rods for turning the edges of the applique pieces, one-sided interfacing for the shapes, and fabric glue.
As I said, I’m not good with hand work, even though I’ve tried several techniques for edge-turned applique over the years. But I was impressed with these Apliquick tools. The rods make turning the edge much easier than any other technique I’ve tried, even with tiny pieces.
I decided to try one of Kyra’s small mandala patterns which can be bought as a kit. Yay! All the interfacing pieces are pre-cut and organized, saving me all that work. The price of the kit is worth it just for that!
Look! I actually made a round circle!
The curvy leafy pieces are more of a challenge because of the points. Here you can see I’ve fused the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric, then cut a 1/4″ seam allowance around each piece.
Here’s my set-up for turning the pieces. I add fabric glue to the seam allowance, then turn the edge in tiny folds using the rods.
To get sharp points, turn the fabric at the points first, then work around the edges.
I actually got a lot of the pieces turned before I had to move on to another project. I’ll post again when the pieces are laid out and I start to sew them down. At that point I’ll need to decide on machine applique or hand applique. Shall I be brave and try hand applique? Stay tuned.
Thanks to Kyra for inspiring me to try applique again! If you are interested in finding out more about Kyra Reps and her company, Quilting Tranquility, check them out here. And look for Kyra’s classes at quilt shows around the country. This week she is teaching at the AQS quilt show in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Till next time,