Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Learning Needle Turn Appliqué from an Expert

I had the pleasure last week of taking a hand appliqué course with international award winning quilter, Kathy Wylie. Wow, this lady knows appliqué! She was the speaker at our guild meeting last Tuesday. She’s funny, smart, knowledgeable and really down to earth. Her work is meticulous and has won many prizes. Those are actually the kind of quilts that I see at quilt shows and in magazines and automatically think that I’ll never be able to do that. Both the appliqué and the quilting are really unbelievable. She has sure earned those prizes.

I registered for the course this summer, before even knowing what we would be appliquéing. It’s just as well, or I probably wouldn't have had the confidence to take the course. We learned to appliquéd a small section of her pattern, Flourish on the Vine. Our pattern is one of the horizontal stem pieces coming out of the centre. It’s placed at both ends of the runner.
Flourish on the Vine by Kathy Wylie
Applique project

I thought I was exhausted coming home after the workshop, but once I got some supper in me, I kept going and finished the section we were working on. I even transferred the rest of the pattern onto freezer paper. It’s now all ready to cut out and be appliquéd.

Applique inside the lines
Applique Inside the Lines
I've only done needle-turn appliqué a couple of times before. Based on the book, Appliqué Inside the Lines: 12 Quilt Projects to Embroider and Appliqué by Carol Armstrong, I embroidered and appliquéd two projects that are in my cubicle.

I put aside the Flourish on the Vine project to practice a little more. I’m working on the feather project from the book that I had started but never finished. I’m doing the project as fall coloured leaves. I know that quilters will recognize them as feathers but anyone else will see leaves!

Dresden Plate

What did I learn?

  • Like anything else, the more you practice the better you get.
  • Appliqué is addictive.
  • It’s best to appliqué in really good light. It makes all the difference!
  • It’s important to have a ¼ inch to do the needle-turn. Less is NOT a good thing!
  • Kathy taught us to mark the pattern onto the fabric before doing the appliqué. It really helps! 
  • It’s also important to mark the appliqué piece on the fabric before cutting it a ¼ inch larger. This helps you guide where you should be turning and appliquéing. 
  • We learned many other things, but I’m not going to reveal all of Kathy’s secrets here. Instead, I’ll encourage you to take one of her classes!

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