Thursday, August 13, 2015
appliqué - a quiet project, a new skill
I have a new project and I'm learning a new skill. At Quilt Market, I was able to visit with Carolyn Friedlander and see her new block of the month pattern, The Collection Quilt, and the actual quilt up close. Some shops are selling the pattern as a BOM, in 9 separate instalments (with and without fabrics too), some are selling the whole pattern at once for you to make as you like, and I bet some are teaching it as a class, etc.
I have not been drawn to appliqué so far in quilting. But when I saw Carolyn's modern pattern I was inspired. Appliqué is a skill that can sure help solve some difficult piecing issues that arise in modern quilting and it is portable. This BOM pattern is basically a series of workshops from Carolyn where she thoughtfully shares her simple and effective techniques and tips. It is like going to her class.
So, Becca, who owns Sew Me A Song, and I decided there and then at market that we would do this pattern together as an informal BOM and connect via Instagram. Becca has the pattern in her shop (she is selling the whole set as one pattern) in case you can't get it locally and want to join us. I should warn you, this is a pricy pattern, because you are basically buying 9 patterns, several "extra" project options, and a full workshop at once, but in my view, well worth it.
Becca and I are determined to add appliqué to our skill set and are going to do one block per month, with the first one to be completed by the end of August. If you want to check in or even join us, our hash tag is #lbapplique and we are also tagging our work as #thecollectionquilt.
I have never done appliqué so I have no idea if Carolyn has her own method or if she is sharing her take on the way women have done this for centuries but either way, her instructions and approach rock! I was able to fold under my seam neatly and evenly. The appliqué stitches are easy to do. The pattern has loads of photos for us visual learners. Each of the BOMs is a new skill builder, so the first one is the easiest with each new one adding more difficulty.
My only personal adaptation so far is to use a iron away marker to mark my basting lines as I am out of practice with eyeballing an even distance, but I expect over time that will not be required. You can see the lines in these photos as I did not get the iron out yet, as the heat wave here continues.
Last night, after a totally unproductive day of spinning my wheels at unpacking and at my day job and at most everything (truly, I should have just gone shopping or something) I sat down and did a bit more at my newly set up desk. I still have to find my appliqué needles and I might buy some appliqué pins, but I did find the tiny and beautiful scissors and good enough needles in this well used old needle book. It is calm and peaceful work, appliqué, and I think I'm going to like it.
Here is hoping for a more productive day today.