Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Applique Quilt

I find the most difficult piece to determine a quilt plan for is the applique quilt. First of all, I've never been good at the outline stitch that everyone thinks must surround each and every applique piece. Actually, very few quilters are good at it. In my humble opinion, you should never see this stitch. You should only see the effect of this stitch. That is, the outline stitch should cause the applique piece to appear to rise up and sit atop the quilt.

Too often I see quilts where the outline stitch has occasionally crept up onto the applique fabric. This is not a good look, and if it were me, I would have to stop, pick it out and stitch it again. Wow, that's not your average picking job either, because the stitches are usually very tiny.

So, I always suggest filling the background with a dense fill that comes up close to the applique pieces instead of outlining. But, what kind of dense fill? McTavishing (with it's many variations) is an awesome choice. You can sweep it's many tendrils into the space between the applique for a very good look.

But, what else will work? Let's look at a few other fills.

This continuous curl works well on this House and Fruit Tree quilt, don't you think? The background areas are not too tight to fit the curls in. However, some applique quilts have very tiny background spaces, and this might not work for them.

If you look at this design closely, you will see the secret to it. It is not just one curl after another, that would look too static. Instead, it curls off in one direction, backtracks and then goes off in another direction. That keeps the design dancing!

Perfect backtracking is not necessary for this design, and that actually adds to the happiness of its design.

This is the clam shell version of McTavishing. It worked very well to get into tiny little spaces.

Of course, pebbles can do a good job filling areas and I like it with the stipple to set a space apart.

This is called Swirl Doodle Fill (I think it was designed by Karen Marchetti...?) and I love it! The soft S shapes can fill in the teeniest spaces. And, it is fairly quick to do. So, go out there and try a new fill pattern!!!

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
                                                                               Maya Angelou

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Quilt Show!

Here are a few pics from my guild's 18th annual quilt show, held last week

This is by Leslie Peacock and it received the most Viewer's Choice votes. This has been shown on this blog previously.

An original art quilt by Bobbie Smith.

Sandy Davidson created a buffalo portrait quilt.

A colorful piece by Ruth Fulton.

Another colorful piece, a New York Beauty variation by Mary Dixon.

This Colonial Sampler has been given new life with new borders by Maureen Pastika. Here's the original, photographed and attached to the label. It hardly had any quilting at all to begin with.

Another great show. Don't you just LOVE quilt shows?!!!!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Do You Kaffe?

Of course I mean, do you use fabrics by the designer Kaffe Fassett? Wildly colorful and full of organic patterns, his fabrics look best randomly combined, even though the look is rather busy (ya think?!). A happier quilt would be hard to find.

But, how does the quilter quilt on such a busy canvas? At first I figured to meander it. But, the fabrics are full of circle shapes and so I chose to cover the piece with spirals, the most ancient of designs. Cavemen used spirals on rock walls to express the eternity of life.

I matched the thread color to the orange Grunge fabric of the backing. A less dynamic color of thread would have been lost. I'm actually surprised that the quilting shows up as well as it does in the photos.

Well, I'm off this morning for my guild's annual show in our little town of barely 2,000. Hopefully, pictures to follow!