Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wool Applique- Just in time for Fall!

Here in Western New York, we are known for our winter weather and while we do get our share of snow, wind and sleet, I think we should be known for our Autumns.  Fall usually begins here in mid September and lingers into November.  I love everything about fall...local apples, pumpkins, beautiful foliage, sweaters, boots and of course.....wool!  I am a lover of anything wool.  I know,  it can be a little scratchy but I think it is a small price to pay for the beauty of this toasty warm fabric.  I am not much of a garment maker so I put my wool into applique pieces and felting.  Let's talk about wool applique.  I think I like it so much because it is easier than traditional applique (no edges to turn under) and it just makes me think about being all cozy inside when the winter winds are howling.

The purists in wool applique use specialty threads for their work but because I already have a small fortune invested in threads for my sewing machine, I usually just use embroidery floss.  It is so inexpensive and you can literally match any color.  I use one strand and take tiny stitches.

This little piece above is from a favorite publisher of mine.  Renee Nanneman"s Need"l Love offers full size patterns with amazing designs.  

I also like to add wool applique to quilting projects.   This pumpkin was added to a small piece.  The original pattern is from Primitive Gatherings.  I just added a larger border and then appliqued.

Another favorite designer for me is Kim Diehl.  She offers a beautiful selection of patterns and books. I like that she often combines traditional quilting and applique.  

My tips for easy applique include: 
1.  Cut your background fabric about 4-5 inches larger than you think you will need it. Press well.
2.  If you are using cotton or linen as your background, you might want to use masking tape along the edges
     to prevent fraying while you work.
3.  Lay out all of your pieces on the background before you stitch so that you can be sure everything is
4.  When you have a layout that you like, use a glue stick to "tack" the center of each piece. Just a small 
     amount of glue will do the trick.  This will help to keep everything in place while you stitch.
Next time, we"ll talk about felting your own wool and felted wool projects.  I told you that I love wool....


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