on a roll with appliqué

Sunday, February 6, 2011

When my grandmother visited over the holidays, she was pretty tickled to see that my son has been using this quilt she made for one of my brothers in the 1970's. She made appliquéd quilts like this for each of her grandchildren. There are more than 30 of us, so that's nothing to sneeze at!
I asked her where she got her appliqué motifs and she revealed that they were adapted from coloring books! I thought that was simply brilliant and it made me like the quilt even more. The other thing I like about it is the naive quality of the color and fabric choices- not deliberate or matched, just using whatever scraps were on hand.
I love the whale. I might have to do a whale appliquéd something-or-other for the shop.
I made more than a few cardinal appliqué coin purses in December. I use a similar technique to Grandma's that doesn't involve turning under the edges of the applique. I cut the shapes to the exact size I want and apply to the background using double-sided iron-on adhesive called Heat 'N' Bond. I think Grandma just used pins though. Then I stitch around the edges with a blanket stitch, zig zag, or straight stitch. Grandma used button hole zig-zagging in black, just like the coloring book art.
The cardinals were popular enough, that I set up a mini assembly line to meet the demand.
Since people liked the cardinal purse, I thought it would be fun to do a bird for each season. Unlike Grandma, I work out the designs in Illustrator and tend to agonize over the fabric combinations. Even with my huge stash, I find myself running out to the fabric store for just the right thing. For appliques with small parts like these, the fabric patterns have to be low contrast, smaller scale patterns that read as one color.
Now that I've done them as purses, I can see them as pillows or hoop art too. Ah, well. Moving on to some new onesie designs.

1 comment:

Sarah Elizabeth said...

That is one extremely cool quilt!!!

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