As I have been appliquéing leaves on my leafy treetop bird blocks I have been wondering about all you quilters out there and what I can learn from you. I have taken 3 classes and all 3 teachers have recommended different threads, needles and methods.
1. What thread do you use when you hand appliqué?
2. What needle do you use for hand appliqué?
3. What method do you use for hand appliqué?
Now I will answer my own questions
1. I learned first on silk thread and didn't like it. Then I switched to DMC machine embroidery thread. And I was also introduced to Mettler silk-finish cotton thread. I think I pull pretty hard on my thread because at least some of the time the thread snaps while I'm stitching. I wish I had thread with the finish of the Mettler/DMC/silk but with more strength. If you look closely at the pictures you can see some of the ends of the spools are all chewed up. Thanks to our dog, Shadow. If I unknowingly drop the plastic spool on the floor and Shadow is around, you can bet he'll take a chomp.
2. I forget what needles all 3 classes recommended. I have been using size 11 straw needles. And I like them okay. But could I be using something better? I don't know.
3. I learned 3 different methods from all 3 teachers. I got better with each class, I think. And I use 2 of the methods depending on the project. I find I enjoy freezer paper hand appliqué because its more mindless and I really think it goes pretty fast. But I also like Jeana Kimball's method, though I machine baste my appliqué rather than hand baste. Jeana was a great teacher and I'd like to take another class from her sometime because at the time of the class I didn't pay enough attention to the more advanced techniques she teaches. I learned about how to place my hands and several things that improved the overall appliqué. That class was so much fun. It was in a big sewing room of a private home nearby, a great lunch was served. My friend Flora took me and it made for a fabulously fun day. If you ever get a chance to take a class from Jeana, don't pass up the opportunity. I can't say enough about her skills.
Shadow looks guilty here, doesn't he? I know its hard to see with his black eyes and black fur but I'm pretty sure its a guilty look. One new spool and one chewed-up spool sit tempting him.
The dress quilt was one of my favorite appliqué projects. It was extremely fun picking out fabric for this quilt and planning it. The quilt is from the book Quilting with my Sister by Barbara and Teri. It was the first time I'd done any layered appliqué. These two dresses are my favorites on the quilt because they were made from vintage fabric. My friend Anna went on a trip to Oregon and visited the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center in Tillamook. She bought 3 fat eighths of vintage fabric for me at the gift shop. I love all 3 of them. I still have one that I am hoarding and keeping safe for the perfect project. I haven't been to Tillamook yet but its on the list of places I want to visit. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and I'll be putting up the pictures of the Valentine Flags that have been sent to me. They are all really cute. I can't wait. And if you haven' t quite finished yours, hurry up! - nanette