Friday, November 14, 2014

Strip Applique Project

Dreaming of Summer

 Our Wisconsin winter has come early this year. RATS!  It has been a long gray week so my inner child wanted to make something colorful and fun. Plus, I'm getting another class together. The result is this little project with maybe a too pretentious name?  Sometimes I have the hardest time naming quilts! (Suggestions welcome!) 

Designing the background landscape

 This type of quilt making is demonstrated more fully in my book Lovely Landscape Quilts. They are fun, fast and easy to make using straight strips. The foundation you see in the above photo is a fusible knit interfacing that I buy at Joanne's. It is NOT the kind with those little dots of glue; it has a rough side which is a bit shiny and that is the side we lay our strips on.

Because this is  class project and I provide kits of fabric for my students, I needed to create a landscape which could be easily replicated with different fabrics.  I think making kits with the strip piecing and strip applique style I'm currently enthralled with will be expensive... will I have to buy a yard of 20 different fabrics for each project?!

But I digress. 

Rough draft
 I decided that I didn't like the rock print, it is too different in texture for one. For two, this is a playful quilt, not supposed to look 'real'.  

Much better

 There are a couple of advantages of making a landscape with this technique. First, you don't have to press a fusible web all over the back of all your fabrics. (That gets expensive and then you have fabric scraps you can't use in regular quilt projects.)  

Second, it is easy to flip a fabric around and use the backside - there is no web there.  

Trimming off loose threads
 Once the strips are arranged they can be pressed with a warm steamy iron. Then they need to get stitched down. I use monofilament thread and a loose satin stitch.  Once the quilting is done, you really don't see the zig zags from the stitching and you can trim off the loose threads. 

Checking on the flowers
 I have a whole bolt of white flowers - sometimes white flowers are hard to find so I bought a bolt just to make sure I have them for kits.  I also decided not to just fuse them on but make them dimensional just for fun so I fused a white fabric to the back of the flowers.

Landscape with flowers
 I just wanted to check out my idea before I committed to it so I cut out some flowers and arranged them.  It works. :)

Blocking the landscape quilt
 Because the flowers were going on top, I quilted the landscape first.  In a previous blog I showed you how I block quilts. Basically I soak them, spin out the excess water and use a T-square to ensure even sides and corners.

Dreaming of Summer
 I just straight stitched the skinny flower stems.

Close-up of the flowers
Kind of a fun colorful quilt, yes?  

Now on to the binding... I haven't quite finished this quilt yet.

Comments welcome. Stay warm! 


  1. One more reaction: Makes me smile :)

    Thank you!


  2. It looks like the perfect little activity for me. I like to work this way too especially the backed flowers. Your piece is so artistic and balanced, full of texture and color. The little flowers are such a good touch. Like flower confetti, or jimmies on icing, the perfect accent. LeeAnna at not afraid of color
    I discovered how to go to my google plus page, and there you were! Hope I can remember how to do that in the future! LeeAnna

    1. Thanks LeeAnna! This is the perfect time of the year to play with fabrics... I was thinking that I might want to add a butterfly to the garden. I'll have to see if I can find your blog. :)

    2. Found you! I like your Grandma's flower garden.

  3. What a sweet quilt, Cathy! Would you mind sharing the name of the fusible interfacing you use?--Laura

    1. Thanks Laura, you know I don't know the exact name... it is a tricot knit and lightweight white, it stretches. The next time I get to Joanne's I'll find it and write down the name. Sorry!

  4. Cathy, why do you use the tricot knit? Why not use light weight non-woven fusible?

    1. I like the lightness and softness of the knit. When I'm designing and arranging strips I can lightly press them in place as I go and then once I'm done I can press with steam and a hot iron to make them permanent. I'll have to look for a non-woven one - like the one you mention here - and see if I can find one that doesn't have the little dots of glue. (Those little dots of glue show through the fabric, at least I've never had them not show through...)

      I sure don't mind finding another product that works though - I'll have to poke around the interfacing shelf next time I'm there!

  5. I love this little quilt.
    Kind regards from germany Käthe