What’s Up with Appliqué? Find Out from these Quilters

To celebrate the debut of Kevin Kosbab’s new book, The Quilter’s Appliqué Workshop, Kevin and a cadre of contemporary appliqué artists–plus Quilting Daily–have gotten together for a blog hop, with giveaways and more.

Let’s start with a little Appliqué Personality Quiz, from Kevin.

What’s your appliqué personality?

Some quilters think appliqué isn’t for them, but I think they just haven’t found the right method yet. How do you figure out which appliqué technique will suit you? You could give them all a try, or just sharpen your number 2 pencils and turn to the time-honored approach of a completely unscientific personality test. Which of these quilting personalities sounds most like you?

A. I sew fast and furious, often making quilts for family, friends, or charity, so they can take quite a beating. I love easy shortcuts and don’t have time for anything fussy.

B. My satisfaction comes from of making my quilt just right; I enjoy the challenge of making sure my points meet perfectly and my stitches are all even. Accuracy is very important to me.

C. I find hand-sewing relaxing and am happiest with just some fabric, a needle, thread, and my two hands. Since it’s the sewing itself I enjoy, I want the prep to be simple and streamlined.

If you answered A, I’d recommend raw-edge fusible appliqué for you. It’s a simple way to embellish quilts with appliqué, and machine-stitched edges are durable enough for those well-loved projects. (By the way, if you don’t like the stiffness fusible web can add to quilts, my book has tricks for avoiding it.)

If B sounds more like you, try a prepared-edge technique, such as using spray starch to turn appliqué edges over freezer-paper templates. This is a great technique for ensuring precision whether sewing by hand or machine. As a bonus, freezer-paper templates can be reused several times, which is especially handy for projects with many of the same shape.

If you’re in the C crowd, needle-turn appliqué could be the thing for you. Undeservedly reputed to be a difficult process, turning the seam allowances under as you sew just takes a little practice, and the payback is the fun of watching your appliqué shapes emerge before your eyes as you sew. Precision is quite achievable, but needle-turning offers an extra opportunity to embrace organic variations and improvisation.

These are just starting points–few of us fall exclusively into one of these categories, and different projects have different needs. My book The Quilter’s Appliqué Workshop features complete instructions for all these techniques and more, along with 12 projects showing what you can do with those skills. Whether you’re taking your first steps into appliqué or you’re an experienced hand looking for some fresh ideas, I hope you’ll find something to inspire you.

Be sure to hop on over to these quilters’ blogs to see how they apply appliqué to their fiber art and check for tips, giveaways, and more. We’ll be giving away a copy of the book.

The schedule for the tour will be as follows (no post on Sunday 2/23):

• February 20: Kevin Kosbab, Feed Dog

• February 21: Angela Pingel, Cut to Pieces

• February 22: Sew Mama Sew

• February 24: Ebony Love, LoveBug Studios

• February 25: Generation Q

• February 26: Heather Kosbab, Happy Appliquer

• February 27: Diane Gilleland, CraftyPod

• February 28: Quilting Daily

Other topics you may enjoy:


Appliqué, Embellishing, Quilting Daily Blog