Last week, I mentioned I was working on a new design - well now it is available on a pre-publish offer as the last of the finishing touches are put into place. Be sure to become a member of our VIQ club (free membership) to get the pre-published discount.
Now that it is near to completion, I wanted to show you some work-in-progress photos and share some tips I'd been thinking about as I constructed this quilt.
As I cut out the pieces of my design, there were two tips that I thought you might find useful when creating the pattern - or any other applique pattern for that matter.
If you have been following me a while now, you'll know I prefer fusible applique so the first tip is a little trick I do before cutting out each piece. I like to lift one edge of the backing paper up but not completely off so the two pieces are partly separated. This not only takes away the frustration of trying to separate the sections after they are cut out but also reduces the likelihood of fraying while doing so. I simply peel a little of the paper back across the line so it gives me enough to grab after it is cut out.
The second tip is when cutting curvy edges. We all know scissors have straight blades so they can only cut straight lines - this is why I turn the fabric as I gently squeeze the handles of the scissors instead of twisting the scissors around the line. I've taken a short video to show you. Notice my hand with the scissors is not twisting, it is my left hand (uppermost in the video) with the fabric that is doing the turning.
In the pattern, I've used options for the background of this quilt - you can use simple blocks (I recommend a 9-patch), embroidered blocks, fussy cut blocks or a combination of all or any of them. The main thing to remember is keep them subtle so they don't take the focus off the poppies.
Before I start stitching, I like to select the thread colors by laying them out on the quilt with a tail of thread laying over the applique section they will be stitching. You get a better sense of the color when seeing a single thread.
I use free-motion stitching to attach all the pieces - no need to twist and turn here as I can move the design easily under the needle.
I always double stitch my applique, usually using a matching thread color first, then a much darker thread to outline. This second stitching not only outlines and creates dimension, it pushes the layers together creating a flat edge - another way to prevent fraying. Can you see the difference it makes?
Here is a close up of my finished quilt I've named Poppy Plume. The pattern is available to pre-order here: Poppy Plume
And before I finish off this blog, I had another thought - I could easily double the design making it twice the length to create a beautiful table runner. I mocked up a photo to see how that might look!