Saturday, March 22, 2014

Hawaiian Applique

Hawaiian applique is usually made with just two fabrics, one appliqued on top of the other, with a circular repeating pattern. Usually the patterns are organic, representing leaves, flowers, or animals. I decided to try my own updated version of Hawaiian Applique with a completely rigid and geometric pattern. I needle-turn appliqued the design onto the background fabric and then simply echo quilted it. The quilt is quite small, only 24" square.

 I decided to do simple echo quilting because I wanted emphasize the shape of the applique. Once again, I like the back as much as the front!

Here's a detail view of the front. It doesn't really match my decor, but it has a new home above my bed.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Hexagon Stripes Quilt

I recently finished what is probably my new favorite quilt. It's nearly twin sized, with a navy blue minky back. This is the first blue quilt I've made, which is surprising as blue has been my favorite color for at least the past 25 years. There were a lot of firsts in this quilt; it was my first experience with English Paper Piecing, the first time attempting hand applique (which it turns out I LOVE, look for more hand applique to come!) my first time quilting anything larger than a throw, the first time I used 505 spray baste, my first minky back, and my first time using silicone to reduce friction on my SewSteady table (minky is fuzzy and likes to stick, I used a dimethicone gel because I already had it, but many quilters recommend Sprayway 946 silicone spray).

The blue hexagons are cut from shirts that belonged to my grandfather. The red, grays, and whites are scraps from other projects, and the red silk with the three-legged-llama-dogs are from a tie that my brother got as a gift. The hexagons were thread basted to paper patterns, then whip stitched together into the stripes, thread basted to the gray fabric (a brushed cotton bed sheet from Target) then appliqued. I then spray basted the top, batting (my usual Warm and White) and minky, rolled it up and started quilting. The quilting on this one was kinda crazy, the echoes are a 1" zigzag, which means quilt an inch, stop, lift, pivot, repeat. I marked the peaks and valleys of the hexagons before quilting, which made it easy to eyeball the distance from the previous row of stitches.

Binding the minky made me nervous, so I ran it through my serger after I squared it up. I auditioned a few bindings, and wasn't really happy with any of them, so I asked my sister. Katie suggested red, so I went digging in the stash (it's in milk crates under the bed) and found this red solid. I don't know what it is, but it was the perfect color for this project.

It is by far the cuddliest quilt I've ever made. Something about the minky makes it drape so wonderfully. Any other quilt I've made with this much quilting has been so much stiffer than this. In the week since it's been done I think I've found Katie snuggled with it almost every day, unless I get to it first!