Applique is one of my favourite things to be doing.
Several years ago, never having tried, I plunged straight into a class and learned how do raw edge applique using fusible web and made a Christmas quilt based on the 12 Days of Christmas by Nancy Halvorsen. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked.
For me applique is all about the journey from its inspiration to its development, construction and completion and most of all, the pleasure it gives others as well as myself. I love every step of the process.
I find inspiration all around me at the most unexpected moments. It can come from watching a beautiful sunset sky to discovering flowers in a wood, visiting historic places, stained glass windows in a church, a Roman mosaic, inlaid marble in a mosque and even the pattern of frost on the car windscreen.
What I love about applique is its flexibility and the endless possibilities to expand and develop your creativity, there is no limit. I also love that there are no rules, not really…
With any textile art, as long as the final piece doesn’t fall apart and you love it, it really doesn’t matter how you put it together.
Applique doesn’t have to be about just needle turning, freezer paper or fusible web.
If they don’t suit you, mix it up a little and try fabric glue, tulle, net etc.
Be bold and experiment with your threads as well.
When it comes to applique, never be afraid to experiment with your machine.
Make lots of test pieces, try out different stitches and see which effect you love best before you dive into your project.
There are many techniques which you can learn (or try out) and then adapt and modify to suit how you like to do it and the effect you want to achieve.
My current obsession is stained glass applique using black bias binding.
I spent many many hours twiddling and fiddling with it and breaking all the rules, until I found the best way to make it behave for me and the end results were stunning, even I say so myself.
It’s amazing how colours simply POP out and make a statement.
So what are you waiting for? If you’ve never done it before, start off with something very simple and play around with it. Most importantly, enjoy what you do, even making a mess of it, you will learn and find your way.
Remember, behind every masterpiece there is a pile of mistakes. He who never makes a mistake, never learns.
Grab your sewing machine and have a go.
Another fabric stained glass piece I made was taken from a pattern from Stained Glass Hobby and scaled up. This site is a fantastic source for practicing this type of applique. http://www.stainedglasshobby.com/index10.php
And finally, this piece was made after I fell in love with a picture on the internet.
I don’t know who the original artist was, but I adapted the flowers to make Mackintosh roses. This was my first foray into stained glass applique for my college work.
Lots of love Cxxx