Thursday, July 24, 2014

5 Things You Might Not Know About Appliqueing

There are those who like to do it
and there are those who definitely don't.

There are those who do it the old way,
and there are those who do it a newer way.

I admit,
I like to do it the old fashion way.

Want to guess?
Why, I'm talking about hand appliqueing.

Here are 5 things you might never
 have known about the wonderful world of
needle turn applique.

1. Appliquers have the best thread collections.
Every piece that's stitched down has 
to have the exact color of matching thread.
So you can only imagine the number of spools 
of thread that includes.

2.  Hand appliquers don't carry
much excess baggage.
There's really very little equipment that's needed,
a needle, a thimble, scissors, and maybe 
a few pins here and there,
minus that big thread collection, of course.

3.  Appilquers don't like to show off,
and do mostly undercover work.
The key to a good applique is not 
having any of that thread show on the top.
Hand appliquers learn to make visible stitches.
It's suppose to appear like
the pieces are just part of the fabric.

But, if you were to look at the underside of the piece,
 There's all those beautiful tiny stitches in
a rainbow of colors.

4.  There can be considerable weight gain when appliqueing.

Just one panel of my Roseville Album quilt
weighed 2.5 ounces before I started
and now that it's complete it's 
 doubled in weight to 5 ounces!

Now multiply that out over the entire
surface of a quilt and you've got a sizable increase of weight.
That could require a few extra trips to the gym.

And, finally,
5.  Hand appliquers can come up short.

No, it doesn't mean that I'm not very tall,
it means
invariably, I'm short an inch of thread
to finish the inch left to stitch.
The question is why does it seem
happen so often.

Those of us who enjoy that "A" word
might get a little wacky from time to time
as we repeatedly 
make those invisible tiny stitches over and over again
that nobody sees.

So hug an appliquer and tell them "good job",
 but no comments about that little extra weight.
We're very sensitive.

Until Next Time-


  1. This was hilarious! Perhaps someday the A bug will bite me. So far it's more like I run in the other direction screaming, "It's an A bug, squish it!"

  2. Such an entertaining post to read early this a.m., Kyle, and then I read Terrie's funny comment. There's no better way to start the day--with a mug of coffee, finding humor in a quilting blog, gaining information, and sporting a big smile.

  3. Loved your post! I hate running out of thread at the most inconvenient times! Your applique is beautiful! Not just the fabrics you have chosen, but your beautiful stitches! I have always used the needle turn method, but I am trying the freezer paper-starch method on some baskets. I have prepped a few and will see how it goes.

  4. Worse yet is when you thread breaks at a crucial point or V!
    Your post was very cute and your applique looks beautiful, I love the colors you picked.

  5. A very clever post Kyle. I love to applique the old fashioned way too!! I ALWAYS do that with the thread - all the time - what is up with that?? Love the picture of the back :0)

  6. What a delightful post!! I like the way you point out that appliqué is lots of stitches that we hope no one will see. Sending you a hug for being such a wonderful appliquér.

  7. Fun! A good example of when weight gain means you've approached the end of a project.
    Have a great "A" day!

  8. Sending a virtual hug from on the road in British Columbia at Mile 0 of Alaska Highway - such a dear post that hand appliquers totally understand. I have never had such a rainbow of threads since starting applique...and pleased to announce a personal weight loss of 9 pounds :-) maybe that comes from lifting my 100 x 100 appliqued quilt.

  9. I loved reading your observations! you are so right on. My favorite is the weight gain and the needing 1 more inch of thread. Why does that ALWASY happen ??

  10. Loved this Kyle!! Very clever and funny!!! I do hate getting so close to the end........with not enough thread! I'm with Barb, why does this always happen??

  11. What a great post Kyle - and now I have serious thread envy - that is a great collection! Your applique is beautiful and so is your enthusiasm!

  12. just made me smile, loved this post! the one inch of thread is just sooooo true! so glad your almost done its going to be such an heirloom , a true treasure.

  13. You are so right about the thread! I've got a big box full of threads and I love looking at them. It is like a treasure chest full of little jewels! I also have a drawer full of thread and maybe another box or two! Thanks for a great post!

  14. Such a fun post!
    Thanks for sharing your insights and wonderful humor with us!

  15. You are so silly! I am enjoying some simple hand applique too. Always 1" short to finish a piece! LOL

  16. Witty and wonderfully informative. Well written and fun to read! You're an appliquer and I'm not, but I'm green with envy when I see impressive work like yours.