Modern Applique Illusions: Ripples

Welcome back, and thanks for tuning in to the Modern Applique Illusions blog tour!

Today, I’m thrilled to send you over to Jenifer Dick’s blog, 42 Quilts, to read her impressions about the book and see a project she made with one of its patterns! One of the things I love about appliqué is that it can be used to embellish just about anything, and Jenifer put this principle into practice with her tote bag project.

A quick note about the projects, to illustrate another thing that I love about appliqué. Even though the patterns for the projects in the book are given at a particular size, they can be further enlarged or shrunk to fit on whatever project you’d like to apply them to! For this blog tour, I asked participants to either make scaled-down versions of the projects in the book, or go in completely different, original directions (like Jenifer did). I love the endless adaptability of appliqué, as well as the fact that adapting a pattern to your own specific needs does not necessarily  involve a lot of math.


Jenifer chose to base her tote project on the Ripples quilt in the book. This is one of my favorite projects in the book, since it’s simple and minimalist, and still makes a big impact. This is due to an exceptionally simple device that, in the internet age, we’ve become so accustomed to that we hardly notice it any more–the drop shadow.


Simply put, the addition of slightly smaller grey duplicates of each applique shape, offset slightly from those shapes, creates the illusion of shadows cast on a lower plane. This is what gives the koi the appearance of floating. I quilted this quilt with series of concentric rings, and the quilting lines pass through the appliqués, creating the further illusion of a rippled water surface on a plane above the koi.

Surprisingly, all of these effects are easy to achieve–the quilting is certainly easier to do than if I had echoed around each koi, and can be accomplished using a ruler, fabric marker, and walking foot. The koi appliqués themselves provide gentle curves and inner and outer corners, suiting them perfectly to teaching introductory machine appliqué techniques. In fact, when asked to create a lesson plan for shop owners from one of the projects in the book, this is the project I chose to focus on.


Since I put a lot of thought (and play!) into my quilt backs, I regret that I can’t share a better picture of the back of this quilt with you because it’s traveling right now. I can show you the beautiful chinoiserie-inspired print that I chose for most of the backing fabric, by Anna Griffin for Blend Fabrics. I love the strong contrast of the teal with the orange of the fish on the front of the quilt, and the Chinese-inflected print matches well with the theme of calm, graceful, koi.


I have a bit of this fabric left, along with some scraps from the koi appliqués themselves, and I will be giving them away to a lucky reader. Just leave a comment on this post, and I’ll draw a winner in three days (midnight on Nov. 14). You’ll also receive a package of Pellon 805 Wonder Under, which is the fusible web that I used to create the projects in the book! I look forward to reading your comments, and make sure to also check out Jenifer’s post for a chance to win a copy of the book!

11/10: C&T Publishing
11/11: Jenifer Dick/42 Quilts 
11/12: Debbie Grifka/Esch House Quilts 
11/13: Kathy Mack/Pink Chalk Studio 
11/14: Shannon Brinkley/Bottle Tree
11/15:  Pellon 
11/16: Kevin Kosbab/Feed Dog Designs
11/17: Generation Q Magazine
11/18: Krista Robbins/Sew What’s Cooking?
11/19: Violet Craft 
11/20: Fat Quarter Shop/Jolly Jabber
11/21: Kristy Daum/St. Louis Folk Victorian
11/22: Cindy Lammon/Hyacinth Quilt Designs
11/23: Modern Quilts Unlimited

Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you back tomorrow!


12 thoughts on “Modern Applique Illusions: Ripples

  1. Pingback: Modern Applique Illusions: Grand Canal |

  2. The koi is my favorite project from your book! I am especially in love with the one made with the large scale flower fabric. It perfectly conjures the image of one of those spotted koi without being too literal.

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