Monday, March 1, 2010

Does anyone hand applique anymore?

I used to do a lot of hand applique a few years ago.  That is about all that I did, as far as quilting goes.  I had a yahoo group for Primitive Folk Art Applique as well.  I really enjoyed having that group and sharing my love of applique with others.   I no longer have that group, as there were some problems in the background and I found that I couldn't deal with it anymore.  During the last year of owning the group, I also started doing machine applique, just to keep up with everyone.  After awhile, it just didn't bring me the joy that appliqueing used to.  I always enjoyed hand work and found it relaxing.  I think, now that I look back, that trying to get so many quilts done along with others, just isn't what I want to do.  I want to get back to the basics and enjoyment of the process of hand applique.  It might take me years to complete quilts, but I would enjoy making the quilt more.

I have some fabrics that I bought to do some projects from Blackbird Designs book, 'When the Cold Wind Blows'.  I've been trying to decide on whether to do it by hand or machine.  I think I've finally come to the conclusion that hand is the way to go for me.  Since we will be moving this year, I'm going to start cutting them out and getting them ready for hand work while sitting outside this summer and also for traveling.


The first pic is of Winter Garden.  I have the fabrics all ready to go for it.  It's a large quilt and each block is cut 28 1/2".  That is big!  If anyone has any tips for cutting out such a large background block, please let me know.  This next pic is of a wallhanging in the same book.  It's called Frost on the Ferns.


There is also another quilt in this book that I would love to do.  I don't have a pic of it taken yet, but I have pulled fabrics from my stash.  It's a Christmas quilt and it's called Holly and Mistletoe.  I realized this past Christmas that I don't have any quilts for Christmas, so I may have to start this one too.  It's got some applique blocks and lots of pieced blocks.

I haven't been able to do too much this past weekend, as I had a major flare up of Fibromyalgia.  It's still giving me problems today, but I'm hoping it will subside soon.  It's been in my fingers and hands a lot this weekend, so not doing any hand work.  Just taking it easy and watching 'Ghost Hunters' dvd.

18 comments:

Lori said...

I do hand and machine applique but really enjoy the hand work. The projects you've chosen are beautiful.

Kathie said...

I love what you have chosen to make and Yes I do a lot of hand applique, for me its the look I love and I am not in a hurry to finish any quilt.

yes I miss your yahoo group too...
too much drama I got off when things started changing. Maybe you need to start another one ?
Kathie

Alma Allen said...

Hi Chelle,

Sounds like you have a lot going on in your life. I agree with you about hand applique. It's my favorite too. Just peaceful! Plus you can stitch while close to your family...not alone at the sewing machine. When I do hand applique...I go for speed. I can stitch a large block in a couple of evenings. At least I used to be able to before all of the invisible machine applique stuff.
As for cutting the large blocks...I use two plastic rulers. I cut a strip the width of the block and then cut the strip into the block size. Two rulers really make this easy. Take care! and By the way....love your blog. Great format!

Jo said...

Hi - I have that book, and love many of the projects in it. I agree that handwork is tremendously relaxing - perhaps also because of the tactile pleasure of holding the fabric?

I really like the wallhanging - but have been afraid to put it on my list - any tips for working with a dark background?

Jeanette said...

I also love hand applique. I find it relaxing and enjoy sitting with my family. I like to needle turn the applique as I stitch and find it annoying to have to pre-prep the pieces that would be required to machine applique. I know some people are fast at it and love it though. That's not what I prefer.

I'd live to make the Trick or Treat quilt from that book. So many projects... ;-)

Quilt Hollow said...

My board is of a good size so I'm able to cut length and then turn fabric keeping it neat to get the other side cut to size.
I've seen your needle turn applique up close and personal and love it. Remember trying to teach me? Hee!!

Karen said...

Hand applique or machine applique. I like them both. Hand applique had the look I like best. I have a quilt from the book "When the Cold Wind Blows" prepped for hand applique but haven't started it yet. Enjoy doing yours.

Sherri said...

I love hand applique' too and have been wanting to start a new project since finishing up my Tisket a Tasket applique' quilt!

Sew Create It - Jane said...

I like a hand applique too...I have a bit that I take with me when I'm waiting for my daughter at ballet. We mothers sit in the kitchen of a village hall and I find it helps keep me focused on something while the mothers chit chat. Last year I was diagnosis with fibromyalgia and there are some days where keeping up a conversation going can be an effort...I'm sure you can identify. By having my head down and focused I find the waiting more bearable! :o)

I look forward to seeing your Blackbird progress.

Sue-Anne said...

I love hand applique. Its what I do most and I love sitting of an evening, stitching while watching tv. I don't care that it takes a long time to complete, that's why I make machine pieced quilts, just for a change. I have the same Blackbird book and all the projects you have chosen are beautiful. Have fun and enjoy the process.

Jan said...

Dana, you may remember I took your class at Ramstein on hand applique - wish I knew where it was so I could put a border on the square and have it for show and tell. Last year, my four Monday sewing friends all made the same quilt - Gathered from the Garden. I decided I wanted it hand appliqued and after the first 29" stem which took me 3 days to do I got worried as we all promised to have them finished for the October quilt show.
So, I subcontracted out my hand applique to two women. One did one block and the other did all the other blocks, and my quilt is beautiful.
Now, I have signed up for a BOM at the Attic Window in Wenatchee and am thinking, "I could do this - hand applique". But, can I really? After about 2 lengths of thread I have to stop - carpal tunnel. This will not be a primitive or country applique as you do. Instead it is a cute fun design by Brandywine Design's called "A Critter Christmas". If I go in knowing I do not have to finish it this year, I hope to do it by hand. If I start by hand and find it just won't work, my old Pfaff does a beautiful buttonhole stitch.

So fingers crossed it works out. The fabrics in our kit cover most of the quilt, some will be pulled from stash. I am excited and we have many people doing the BOM for support.

Anyway, I remember how much you love your applique and say, go for it. Why do it something if it is not enjoyable.

Juliann said...

I love hand applique - it is my main quilting method and right now I have at least three hand applique projects going. I will be back to see how you are doing.

Carrie P. said...

Oh, yes, I hand applique all the time. As you can see from my blog name it is my passion. I am starting to back into now that the tendonitis is getting better. Enjoy your applique progect.

Rose Marie said...

I only do hand applique and enjoy the process so much ..... so relaxing and rewarding at the same time. You have such lovely projects to start, have fun!

Meredith said...

I do all of my applique by hand. Enjoy making teh quilts. I love that book.

Gayle said...

I love hand applique, although I also do some on my machine. I've got a whole bunch of 6" baskets that I work on when traveling in the car - and that's been a lot lately. Haven't done much hand quilting for a long time - in fact on Tuesday I made arrangements to swap hand quilting for a hooked rug. I have a quilt 1/4th finished, but I haven't worked on it for at least 7 years. Would love to get it done, and another gal would love a hooked rug, so it's a good trade.

Sure wish you were able to post more often - I love reading and seeing your photos.

Magnolia Bay Quilts said...

If you enjoy the process, that's all that really matters. I'm anxious to start a hand project, and I've been looking at that book online. Thanks so much for sharing.

Wenche said...

I'm sorry your Yahoo group turned into a bad experience for you. But as a hand sewing person (piecing, appliqué and quilting) I welcome you to a life of slower pace and less stress. It's very important to enjoy making quilts. :) Good luck on your move and with the rest of your future.