Monkeying Around

Monkeying Around

Tags: applique, applique stitching, fusible applique, quilt block, quilt pattern

Today I've been creating our newest animal block to mark the month of Autism. Yes, you guessed it by the title, a monkey block.

Drawing this up for applique was fun. I always draw my designs using Inkscape (software I teach in my online workshop Free Software for Quilters). It takes a while to perfect all the lines and then breaking the whole drawing into individual pieces, reversing them, adding stitching lines and overlapping lines where needed.

templates for monkey block

Then it is time to select fabrics.... and you know, all my fabrics are color coordinated in bins, and no matter what ever order you stack them in, the colors you want will be in the bottom back bin - and who ever said quilters don't get a workout??

fabrics for quilting and applique

With fabrics selected - only need a few for this project, it is time to trace out the design onto fusible webbing.

outlines drawn onto fusible webbing

Once pressed to the back of the appropriate fabrics, I'm ready to cut them out.

fused fabric with monkey block pieces drawn on

One tip here: I always lift one corner of the backing paper before cutting it out. It is so much easier to remove when I need to. I don't remove it all the way though as I need to cut around the lines first.

lift one edge of the backing paper before cutting out

The help of a light box and my layout plan, makes it real easy to build up the block placing.

a light box makes it easy to see where to place each piece

Now for my favorite part, the stitching. In the pattern I give directions for both blanket stitch and free motion. For this sample I'm using blanket stitch. I reduce both the width and length of the stitch to make it easier to get around the points and small curves.

machine blanket stitch is used to cover the raw edges of the applique shapes

Then I use free motion stitching to embroider in the extra lines such as the moth.

free motion stitching is used to add detail to the applique

And there you have it - my finished Monkey Block

Finished monkey block - see Arbeedesigns.com for this pattern
If you'd like to make this too, you can find the pattern here: The Monkey
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