Sunday, March 10, 2013


When I attended the PASG Quilters' group meeting last month, I was informed that we would be making a fun case to carry our various tools to quilt classes/workshops/retreats during the March meeting.  After examining the sample and the cutting list, I decided it was a little plain.  Yes, I could simply use some wild and happy fabrics for my case, but I don't have any that isn't earmarked for something else and I can't justify buying more for this.  So I came up with a plan.  A fun plan.

First I chose some fabrics that weren't set aside for anything in particular.  Neither of them is particularly stunning, but I liked them when I acquired them.  The bottom fabric will be the lining and one of the inner pockets.  Note: I simply adore violets.  Pansies and violas too, but violets are my favorite.
 I needed to go ahead and cut my fabric so I'd have a better idea of size and proportion for an applique.  I like the contrast between these fabrics, and the grey will make a nice neutral background for a violet or two to pop out from.
Then I did a little surfing and found lots of pictures of violets.  Lots of pictures.  (And a pansy too, because it was gorgeous.)  You see, appliques are really just pieces of fabric that fill in an outline.  All you need is a set of outlines to fill in.  If you're good at tracing around a picture, you can make an applique design.  This also means coloring books are an awesome source for making your own appliques. 

In the case of flowers, I like to find as many shapes as I can.  Different angles for petals and leaves are a must if you want it to look real.  Tracing onto a transparency sheet allows for flipping elements as needed.

The next step is fun, if somewhat fiddly.  I don't own a light box, so I got to trace my elements onto paper via a window.  I had a basic idea in my head for the picture, so it only took two tries to make it.  The dotted lines indicate where an object is behind another.  You do need to keep the size of your elements versus the size of where they're going in mind during this process.  I don't show it here, but there was a good deal of measuring going on.
Next, you trace the design again, this time onto another transparency sheet.  This is a tip I read in a quilting book over the summer.  You can check the placement of your pieces as you're working by laying this piece on top of the applique in progress.
Here's the fun part.  The final check to make sure your design fits where you want it.  Room to spare without affecting the seam allowances!
Now you're ready to make the individual pattern pieces for the design.  I'll be using a thin cardboard to make templates for tracing onto freezer paper.  That way I can reuse them down the line since two of my sisters also love violets.  Once my freezer paper shapes are ready, I can start in on the applique.  I need to have it finished before the next Quilters' meeting so I can sew along with the other ladies.

I have already found some fabric to use.  Of course I have plenty of purple scraps on hand.
Once the applique is done, it will be hard not to go ahead and finish my case.  I'll have to tough it out and work on the quilting on the table runner instead.  Or finish a cross stitch.  Or something.  Oh darn. ;-)


Kathi said...

I love applique. I've never done it because it looks so difficult! You must have a lot of patience. This is going to be beautiful!

MiniKat said...

Kathi: Applique is really much easier than it looks. It can become complex, depending on your design, but it's not difficult. And the results are totally worth the effort. :-)

Kim said...

oh- this is going to be so pretty Kat! I love violets too- I have wild ones growing under the trees in my backyard :)