Thursday, June 16, 2011

What was I thinking?

The Springfield chapter of Quilters Unlimited has started making the 2014 QU Show Raffle Quilt. The ladies on the committee have designed a quilt using Dear Jane blocks with batik fabrics. I believe there will be an appliqué border. At our last meeting I signed up to do B7 World Series. I don’t know what I was thinking. My appliqué skills are just okay. I saw a few finished blocks at our end of year luncheon – they are so small – 4 ½ inches! What was I thinking? I just received my kit and, as usual, Judy B. has included great instructions, but it’s up to me what method I use. She also referenced two websites – Dear Jane in the 30th Year of her Journey and Sharon's Dear Jane Pages. Oh, and I have to complete the block in 2 weeks! I plan to do a practice block. I know many quilters use silk thread to appliqué – do you recommend it? This fabric has been starched. Is there a particular method you suggest? Do you know of a good online tutorial? I looked at my books and I don’t have anything on hand appliqué. Do you know of a book on the subject? I welcome your advice.


  1. how many blocks are in the series Maureen?

    i only use cotton thread as i feel my fiber contents should "agree" with one another. i know a lot of appliquers who do use silk thread though and like it. one caution; have heard that it shrinks when you apply heat. i always do some ironing on my blocks when i'm done and really don't want that sort of hassle.

    the good news is that they are small. they should work up fairly quickly. it will be great practice for you and i bet that they come out beautifully.

    i often needleturn my applique but there really are lots of choices and some are better for accuracy than others. my guild did a workshop on the Piece A Cake method quite some time ago and the ladies seemed happy with that . . . i was unable to attend but you could google it and probably get good info.

    hang in there. take a breath. smile. they will be beautiful.


  2. I feel your pain. I don't do applique--I have tried it, but haven't become comfortable with it yet. It looks like it will be a beautiful block!

  3. I would recommend DMC No.50 thread for applique. I use maybe 3 colors for all my applique...a light tan, and darker brown and a red. The thread is fine and strong, but easier to work with than silk.

    Pam Buda did a tutorial on her site... how to do the same prep method I like to use. She then machine appliques, but you could do it by hand.

    Hopes that helps! Your block will be wonderful!

  4. I'm not an expert, and I hand applique very few things. About the only ones I enjoyed doing were some of my Dear Jane blocks.
    Are you a YouTube watcher? Tutorials with words are OK for some things, but whenever I want to watch how somebody does something, I head to YouTube.
    Search for "hand applique tutorial" or something like that, and look for videos with a large numbers of views. I just spotted some lady named Nancy Ellen, I believe, who has hand applique videos part 1 and part 2. +42,000 views for each.

    Good luck! Such a major endeavor, coordinating a group to make a DJ quilt for a raffle. I'll watch for a progress report now and then.

  5. I love hand applique, however I can't needle turn. I use a toothpick. It works best for me. Batiks can be hard to applique so be sure to use a very sharp needle and a thin one. I use John James needles. #10 Straw needles. Just take your time and use tiny stitches and you'll do fine. Hugs.

  6. Geez, I can't offer any helpful advice since I don't do applique. I do know that the handful of times I've worked with batik I found it really tough (as in hard to get a needle through) so I can't imagine how it will handle for applique. I guess I'll just offer moral support!

  7. I always use freezer paper and 50 cotton thread for my applique. I use this blog for the tutos :
    and love it. Starch or glue on the seam allowances can be helpful for this block to have neat edge, batik is not the easer to use...

  8. You got lots of tips and the internet has so much infomation.
    My tip? have faith in yourself! You can do it and it will be lovely!!