Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Here Comes Trouble

Cue the theme music from "Jaws"

Die-hard hand appliquers, step away from the computer screen.  Everyone else, place your seatbacks in their upright and locked positions, and stow away your tray tables.  There's the possibility of turbulence today.

Deep breath everyone.  Ready?  Here we go:

The subject of my post today is MACHINE APPLIQUE.
Yes, I am making Lollipop Trees as a fusible, machine applique project.  It's a different approach to what you usually see on this blog.  But I think it's a legitimate one.  And it's fun--so what's not to like?  

As I was thinking about what I was going to write, I realized that my approach to the quilt is a unique one, and not just limited to the fact that I'm using the sewing machine:
Fabric selection:  when I ordered the pattern from Glorious Color I also got the Kaffe Fasset fabrics that were available with it.  We all agree they're really fantastic.  But here's the thing about fabric collections.  I do feel that if you use only one designers fabric, then it looks like the designers quilt, not your own.  Quilting is deeply personal, so I always need to feel that it's unmistakeably MY quilt.  So I've incorporated my own fabrics into it.  

I've read alot of posts on this blog and others about people suffering from Fabric Selection Psychosis and Paralysis.   It's completely understandable.  I've avoided it by choosing fabrics for my blocks the following way:  I chose 1 or 2 or Kaffe "feature" fabrics for the main body of the block.  In the above block it's the large leaves, the flower center and the large circles.  The selected fabrics should look nice together but I don't get all hung up on things matching perfectly.  Then, I go to my stash to see what else might work.  The olive green leaves, the small purple circles and the orange polka dot are my own fabric.

Here's another thing that's making this quilt personal for me:  in the original pattern photo you will see that the blocks are symmetrical; that is, the elements on the right are identical in size and fabric to the elements on the left.  But mine aren't.  There's not a huge amount of asymmetry, just enough to shake things up a little.  I like it.

 This quilt is really all about the incredible design and the beautiful fabrics, so I'm keeping the quilting stitch a narrow, simple satin stitch.  The thread either matches the fabric, or is a complementary color.

So is anyone else doing this or another Kim M. project on their sewing machine?  Let your voices be heard !


  1. I completely agree with every point you made!! How amazing is that? :) I like picking a new focal fabric and filling in from my stash. I also like to change at least one thing - then I feel like it's mine. Great post and fabulous start!

  2. Hip, hip HoOrAy!!! I am glad to see a machine appliquer here. Thanks for your (brave) post. Welcome!!!

    You're quite amusing... ; )

    I couldn't agree more about how to make a quilt yours. I don't buy kits because I want a quilt to be MINE!!! And, I too LOVE asymmetry.

    Oh, this is going to be FUN!

  3. Oooo your work is lovely!!


  4. I love your fabric choices and your courage to do things your own way. It looks GREAT BTW. That orange polka dot is a brilliant choice. I agree with Piecefully Pam - I did a BOM once and wound up swapping out most of the fabrics every month! LOL

  5. I am a hand appliquist but I often do machine applique, it is a decision from project to project. The one thing that I appreciate about quilting in the 21st century is that "there is no 'one' way to do anything". We're all right!!! The quilting police have an easy job.

  6. Fantastic!! I love your blocks, there's something for everyone whether it be fabrics, colours or methods. They're our quilts and we only have to please ourselves. Your explanation of how you go about choosing fabrics is spot on.I'm looking forward to seeing your other blocks here, you know we want to see them all.

  7. Hi Trouble,

    I think your blocks are gorgeous Linda, and you should add your own touches, it makes it yours then. I can just barely sew a straight line on the machine, so applique by machine to me is really awesome. Good for you to do whatever suits best. I did a class with machine applique once many years ago and I was a disaster from start to finish! Keep up the stitching, love to see the quilt coming along. Cheers, Kim McLean

  8. there are other ways to applique? Me LOVES my fusible and machine applique.. loves! Starting a McKim from Quilted Romance soon... swoon!

  9. Love your post Linda and your blocks. I think machine applique is great, matching the thread to the fabric is the key. Gorgeous.

  10. Linda, can you tell me how you achieve such perfection with your applique satin stitch? I really NEED to know!!!!

  11. I've read this post & it has given me some Relief...I have been Stressing over Fabrics...I am not a Big Fan of some of Kaffe fabrics & I do like to 'do my own thing'..so to speak...I am more a Pastel Girl with some Brights...Thank You so Much for putting me at ease even though selecting fabrics for any New Project always seems to be the hardest part...