Friday, February 1, 2013

Getting my Ducks in a Row and Adventures in Applique

Until now, I have only made one project with applique. It was this Pony Tails Quilt that thus far, has only been pieced:

I added the applique by hand and didn't have a clue what I was doing. I took it in to Jackie for quilting. She is learning to custom machine quilt and said she will soon be ready to tackle customer quilts. I told her she was more than welcome to practice on mine. I don't need perfection. My applique is certainly no where near it, but I still think this is an adorable quilt and I will have no problem making more like this. The pony's are too cute, and even though there are no pony tails in the quilt, the name stays.

So now, that I have fallen in love with Cheri's baby quilt patterns, I am attempting to tackle them. Barbara over at Cat Patches was my mentor when she shared this detailed post about fusible applique. I am on a quest to learn all the methods, but this is the first one I need to master.

First lesson: follow the instructions. I know. It's obvious, but I guess I just seem to learn things better the hard way.

Do not cut out the middle of your applique piece while it is ironed onto the fabric. Cut it out before! Barbara did mention to engage our brain. I must have omitted that part. Thus I had to wait for my next trip into town in order to resupply my fusible.

Lesson #2: Buy more than one yard or you will run out in the middle of your project, and you will have to wait for your next trip to town...again :)

So now I have beakless ducks:

These beaks are awfully tiny and I am intimidated by them. I'm not intimidated by the ducks. Just the beaks. How in the heck am I going to applique those teensy little things?

Another quandary I found myself in was that the ducks are yellow and the blue water shows through their little tummies. I tried putting the ducks under the water, but they looked funny.

I raced to Barbara and asked her advice and she steered me down the right path. I have a horrible sense of direction so steering me is often required. I got lost out here on these ranch roads the other day and I imagine it'll be a very long time until I live it down. I came out a different gate than he did and he said, "Why are you coming out of THAT gate?" "Still, it made DH's eyes twinkle so I'm fine with it. :) And in my defense, it was horribly overcast and I could not see a thing.

But Barbara suggested I add another layer behind the ducks. Thanks Girl!

I think I will sew around everything three times to make it look like a child traced it. Barbara shared that in her tutorial and I have seen Erin use that for her adorable birdie projects and I am smitten with those little birds!

Should I use black thread to give it a sketchy look or matching thread? Today I am leaning towards black. I think it will help give detail to the ducks and their little wings will show up better.


Unknown said...

hand Embrodery the beaks on, that's what I would do on a tiny piece.

Denise :) said...

Karin, these are so darling! I like Debbie's idea to embroider the beaks ... and I think I'd use black thread to delineate the different aspects of each little ducky! The Pony Tails quilt is a big smile!! :)

Nancy said...

You have just described why I do not applique and probably never will.

Love the ponies!

Vickie said...


Dar said...

Your pony quilt is just too cute. And way to tame those little ducks. I think it was funny that you tried to put them "under" the water. You are doing great with applique.

Michelle said...

Those are absolutely the cutest thing ever! I'd go with the black thread.

Pauline said...

If you use black thread it surely will show up better. You're much braver than I am. I've tried applique one time and that was enough. No fun, wasn't pretty, I don't need that hassle. Love the little horses.

Nancy said...

Oh my gosh, those ponies are so cute. Adorable! You could call it Pony Tales and make up a name and story for each of the little ponies.... (Since, as you said, there are no tails in sight.)

I have no experience with machine applique. I've only ever done it by hand. Sorry I'm no help. But you'll do great. The ducks make me smile.

Cindy said...

I'm bad, I do as little as possible by hand. Machine applique for me - and if the piece is small - I say to myself - how can I embellish that piece without using handwork. LOL

KaHolly said...

You are very sweet to let your friend practice on your quilt!! Kills two birds with one stone, so to speak. Speaking of birdies, I LOVE Erin's work!! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

juliehallfeldhaus said...

I love that pony quilt where can I find the pattern? That duck pattern gave me an idea too! Hope I can work on it soon if so it will show up on the blog:)

Doniene said...

You are doing great!!!! Always an adventure to learn a new skill!!! But you are a pro at learning new things!!


Karin said...

I´m in love with this pony-quilt. Is there a age-limit for this quilt? lol
You are doing a great job on that applique. Learning by doing - I think that´s a good way to learn new things - its works great for me ;)

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