19 September 2011

Applique Masterpieces

There have been a plethora of applique books released lately and you could be forgiven for not knowing which one is best suited for you.  Let me differentiate them for you:

Learn to do Applique in Just One Day by Nancy Brenan Daniel
If you have been wondering 'where do I start', then this 64pp book is for you.  This is an updated version of an original and new techniques have been added, such as fusible applique and dramatic shadow applique.  The instructions are easy to follow, there's a host of new projects in contemporary styling using bright fabrics, organza and even wool.  Includes classic needle-turn and raw-edge methods

A Lifetime of Applique:
The Ultimate Applique Guidebook by Annie Smith
This is one of those books that you will have for a lifetime of applique - from beginner to advanced.  Features:

The history of applique;
Hand and machine applique techniques;
How to design your own applique patterns;
150 applique elements:  flowers, leaves, stems, bases, birds, bugs and flourishes, allowing you to make each design your own.

Applique using technology:
Inspired by Tradition by Kay MacKenzie

The companion CD (for Mac or PC) in this book allows you to print the 50 different blocks in 5 sizes:  6", 8", 9", 10" and 12".  Of course you could also enlarge with a photocopier to larger sizes if you wish.  Reverse versions are also included.  Step-by-step instructions on how to use the CD are included for there elegant designs.

The added extras in this book are Kay's Hand-Applique Tips, Back-Basting Preparation, Hand Stitching, Raw-Edge Machine Applique, Fusible-Web Management, Q&A plus a gallery of ideas.

Our tip: As a terrific time-saver, try printing these designs directly onto Wash Away Applique Sheets.

Also by Kay MacKenzie "Easy Applique Blocks"

Beautiful Botanicals by Deborah Kemball
Deborah Kemball has traveled to some exotic places, all the way teaching herself how to quilt.  She has developed her very own individual style and is greatly influenced by her love of European cottons, silks, chintzes of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which were themselves inspired by Indian designs.

Deborah is a great believer in using household equipment and minimal tools with her major items being:  standard scissors she uses for everything, a few odd pins, No. 9 Betweens (preferably Roxanne's), freezer paper, Mylar heatproof plastic, a selection of threads and thimbles.  She loves the colour RED which is evident throughout the book.  Detailed images and diagrams throughout showing different stitches such as Whipstitch, Detached Buttonhole Stitch, adding beads and how to applique single-curve and multiple-curve stems.

The 45 applique flowers featured are:  Baltimore Beauty Flower, Bluebells, Chrysanthemum, Dahlia, Daisy, Forget-Me-Not, Fuchsia, Grapes/Wisteria/Hanging Blooms, Iris, Lily, Machaelmas Daisy/Coneflower, Mimosa/Floral Spray/Berries, Pansy, Peony, Pomegranate, Star Flower, Stargazer Lily, Sunflower/Aster/Zinnia, Sweet William, Whirled Flower, Easy Template Flowers, Butterfly, Nosegay plus additional leaf templates.

Projects include:  6 pillows, 7 wall hangings, 1 table runner, 5 border patterns.

Applique Quilt (by machine):
Flowers Hearts and Garlands Quilt by Liz Jones
Liz explains the journey behind this machine applique quilt was the desire to be able to applique any shape and to guarantee perfect placement.  Her method fulfills both these criteria and she explains it in detail.  You can quickly free-motion machine baste applique pieces of any size or shape and finish the appliques with a smooth satin stitch.  Some of the recommended essential tools we have linked to this book on our website.    If the whole quilt seems too much for you, start out with making one of the lovely floral blocks for a cushion or table runner.  Stunning use of colour.  

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