Monday, July 4, 2011

Applique adventure!

For the latest round of Once 'Round the Country, the online round robin bee I'm participating in, I had the privilege to work on Anne's quilt. I knew almost as soon as I saw her center block that I wanted to do some applique.

working on the design for Anne's quilt
I don't have the earliest design drawings, but these were the last ones. My goals:
  • Echo the organic symmetry of the print fabric (which was also captured so beautifully by Kris in her flying geese border).
  • Use the designs of the print fabrics to inspire the shapes that I would use.
  • Utilize some of the open space left in Kris's border to help create a sense of flow from hers to mine.
  • Make it look cool.
Once I felt I was in a good place design-wise, I went ahead and made a full-size template.

completed applique design template for Anne's quilt
I did it on freezer paper since that was the only paper I had that was big enough. Once I had it all drawn out, I used it to trace freezer paper templates for all of the leaf and flower shapes. I also created lots of bias tape to use for the vines. This was my first time trying out a continuous bias creation technique (I used a tutorial from Make It Modern and a video tutorial at Erin Compton Design as my guides-- both were super-helpful). It was a little bit labor-intensive, but it worked really well and I didn't have to cut a large diagonal swath from Anne's fabric-- I only had to cut off a small chunk (I think I used 1/3 yard). And there is a ton of bias left over (whoops!). So I guess if anyone else decides they want to do vines, some will be ready for them!

bulb flower
I started by reverse appliqueing the centers of the bulb-flowers.

pretty white flower
Then I needleturned all of the leaves and the other flowers to the background. Next I added the vines. Lastly, I added the base of the white flower and the bulb-flowers at the ends of each vine.

This was my first time designing and executing an applique border and I definitely learned a couple things.
  1. Don't use so many points! There were a lot of pointy-points in my design-- the leaves, the ends of the bulb-flowers, the petals on the white flowers... I'm not sure what I was thinking there as I'm not very good at executing pointy points. But, they got done (albeit, they maybe aren't as pointy as I'd originally intended).

  2. Create the border wider than needed and then trim down after completing the applique. I didn't do that, and my border is a little wavy because I pulled the fabric a little tight at some spots as I worked. It shouldn't cause a problem for Zonnah (who is adding the next border and has mad skillz), but I'll definitely keep it in mind for future projects.

And the big reveal:

Anne's completed applique border
Yay! I think it turned out pretty cool. Hopefully, Anne will like it too.


  1. Okay, Robin. You have outdone yourself yet again! I am literally blown away by this. I am so in love with what you did and how it tied into Kris' flying geese. This is just beyond anything I would have ever dreamed of and I'm in love with it! Thank you SO much.

  2. Truly amazing! It's incredible to see how you turned a shell of a concept into something spectacular. Your applique looks great. Congrats!!

  3. Wow. You and your applique skills are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I can't get over how well you designed the applique. Just amazing!

  4. Fab, fab, fabulous!!!!!!!!

  5. O EM GEEEEEEE! You really outdid yourself this time. you did a wonderful job!!!

  6. Wowee! that is totally cool! Excellent job. I think she will like it a lot.

  7. You captured it beautifully! When I saw the hand drawn All I could think was they looked like under water!! Well hello they are!! LOVE it!! I think the elements compliment each other very nicely!!

  8. It arrived safe and sound :) I was blown away seeing it in real life! I think I know what I am adding and I hope it does your flowers justice :)
    Oh, and even my husband liked what you did. I don't get comments very often about the quilts so you should feel pretty special :P

  9. A wonderful addition of applique and one of your own design to boot!