Saturday, March 16, 2013

Totally Awesome Applique Book

Today (National Quilting Day) I have had no time for sewing, but did manage to put in a few hours reading through my newest quilting book: "Simply Successful Applique" by Jeanne Sullivan.
That crazy complicated block on the cover? Instructions for making it inside!
I ordered this book online after being very impressed by the positive review Michelle at the Quilting Gallery gave it. I was intrigued because one of my sewing goals this year is to do some hand applique, which I have yet to really try (I took a class once but never finished my sampler project that I started in it). I have a few different applique books, but most just cover the basics and are more of "here is a really simple project"which is great, but I want to do cool stuff like Baltimore blocks! I actually aspirationally bought some American Album patterns (CA and AK) a few months ago, my goal this year is to do one of them.

Now I was planning on just flying by the seat of my pants for this intricate hand applique that I don't know how to do, but this book solves that by going beyond basics and into the nitty gritty of how to do Baltimore-style tiny pieces. It assumes you know nothing about applique and in painstaking detail goes through every step of the applique process. Seriously, painstaking detail.  I should definitely be able to mimic these stitches by following Jeanne's meticulous instructions.

Forgive my awful book photography. This shows  step-by-step photos  of how to stuff mini berries for a trapunto look.
Check out the thought that went into adding an example like this...really impressive.
And detailed stitch guides for many common shapes...
Jeanne goes even beyond the basic, into some really cool details like making a teeny tiny trapunto ladybug. And then to top off this tome of knowledge, she includes a cd of 9 really detailed and intricate patterns! Like, seriously intricate. And not just the patterns, but instructions and tips for each one! I am seriously over the moon. My boyfriend has had to sit through me showing him all of the best parts of the book (look at this!! and this!! That's a DIME next to that teeny tiny leaf!!) because I am just that excited.  In fact, I am so excited that I am writing an entire post about lol.

In other news, I am still chugging along on my mystery quilt tomorrow!

Here is a project list I have made for myself, mostly for my own purposes of keeping track:

In Progress:

  1. Mystery quilt - I will probably just finish the top and give it to my guild. I'm enjoying working on it but am not invested enough to actually buy backing, batting, binding and go through the whole quilting process on it.  Although the solid fabrics could show off some very pretty fmq...hmmm...
  2. Layer cake bargello- I am excited about this one! But it might go into the ufo pile because I just sort of started it on a whim and it's not that important.


  1. Charity wholecloth. I should get on this, it's hogging a lot of space in my sewing corner
  2. QAYG block of the month blocks.  This is kind of in progress, but I am not super psyched about it so it will probably become a UFO
  3. Quilted Jacket - I want to work on this thing to get it finished and out of my life. I am mighty close, if I don't quilt it (which I probably should...arrrrrg....)
  4. Stairway to cat heaven #2 - the person who commissioned it disappeared off the face of the planet so I have slightly lost steam.

Not Yet Started:

  1. Baby quilt. I have a tentative pattern picked, no fabric chosen yet though.
  2. Hand applique projects! I should probably do something simple before I tackle my American Album blocks...
  3. Quilters Wallet - I bought this pattern a while ago and all the supplies for it, so I just need to sit down and do it.

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