Posts Tagged ‘hand applique’

Circles and Design Choices

February 22, 2017

This week’s design assignment focused on shape and placement of motifs. I couldn’t get a handle on what I was supposed to do until I unearthed some great banana fabric and decided to use that as my design inspiration. A piece of black fabric on the sewing table caught my attention, as did a piece of yellow in the scrap basket and a couple of rectangles of green on the design wall (sometimes I leave interesting squares up just in case I need a little surprise in my quilt). Here’s what happened.

Lani Longshore banana top

I had intended to fussy cut banana bunches and have them cascade down like wisteria clusters. After re-arranging the patches for the fifth time, reality set in. “Self,” I said, “keep a couple of bunches, but find a different shape for the rest. How about circles?”

Once I figured out that circles of bananas were the way to go, I decided to expand the motif. That is why the polka-dot fabric is cut into the shape of a banana (you can see it if you squint).

I learned my go-to technique for applique from The Chicago School of Fusing, but I knew eventually I’d be embroidering or beading all over the top. Yes, there are some lovely light-weight fusibles available, but I didn’t want to deal with even a trace of adhesive gumming up my needle. Nor did I want the extra bulk of a turned edge, no matter how scant the seam allowance. Instead, I choose raw edge applique with a hand-stitched zig zag.

Lani Longshore detail

My stitches on the first circles were less than stellar, but nothing a row of beads can’t hide. I got better with practice.

Lani Longshore another detail

This is another piece that might have to marinate for a bit. The fabric hasn’t told me what embellishments it wants just yet. I can wait.

Luck and wisdom!

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