I have been itching to show this quilt top since I started it…er…last summer.
This weekend I finally put in the final stitches, and I have to admit that I’m quite pleased. More importantly, my son Julian is pleased, since this quilt is for him. Which is why the appliques are of dandelions and bees. Luckily, his little brother Simon asked for nice, streamlined sharks for his quilt!
Because of the intricacy of the silhouettes (antennae, anyone?) the shapes had to be done in raw edge applique. I don’t really want them to fray over time, though, so I had to be inventive in how I applied them. I’m terrible at machine applique, and I don’t really like the way it looks on my machine at home, so I ended up doing the whole thing by hand. I fused the shapes to the background and then blanket stitched around them with clear thread. To protect the edges, I then chain stitched around them with embroidery thread.
I’m not sure if this will work to protect the edges a bit and prevent them from fraying, but the embroidery will at least ensure that the outlines of the silhouettes remain crisp.
I haven’t come across this technique in my research on-line, and I’m thinking it will turn out to have been either brilliant or really, really stupid. Once I’ve washed the quilt a few times, I’ll let you know how it turned out. I can at least say that the process of hand-stitching was enjoyable, if slow. I hope I don’t have to applique any more insects for a while, though.
[Edited to replace hideous photos with decent ones.]