September 22, 2013

Applique Applications!

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I am hooked on Applique.  It's a rather versatile craft so I thought I'd share today a concept that I've used quite a bit - making appliques free-standing or removable.

When I began designing my "Cupboard" series of wall-hangings for Children I wanted to make them interactive with removable parts. The method I used was to fuse the appliques onto felt, rather than fabric, a technique I saw in a gorgeous nativity quilt/advent calendar designed by Nancy Halvorsen of Art to Heart.

The felt is trimmed about 1/8 inch outside the appliques after blanket-stitching. You can see in the 'Pantry' the tins, bottles and packets which come off the shelves for play and then are put back in place to make a delightful wall-hanging:

The black felt showing just beyond the items in the 'Refrigerator; give a three-dimensional effect:

In the Country Cottage perpetual calendar, the days and numbers obviously need to be removable, so they have the same treatment.  The numbers are on little birdhouses and the days of the week are clouds, so they have white felt, rather than black, showing beyond the outline:

When I came to make the 'Wardrobe' and Lily with her sweet little outfits, I didn't want black or any colour felt showing beyond the outlines. I found that I could achieve the effect I needed by carefully cutting the felt in line with the applique.  The clothes on hangers are all removable:

and here's Lily dressed in one of her outfits:

The 'Lounge Cabinet' appliques are likewise all removable and these are on matching coloured felt so that it is hardly noticeable around the pieces.  With the photo frame, however, it was something that needed to stand out, so instead of cutting the felt around the shape, I have cut a wider scallop frame as a feature:

An extension of this idea can be seen on "Hearts by the pocketful".  The heart appliques are fused onto felt which is then cut into a scalloped shape.  Sewing the lower portion of the heart to the background and leaving the top open forms a pretty pocket:

I hope that this has given you some new insights into the wonderful world of Applique!

I'm at various stages on five commissions at the moment.  The construction is complete on three, samples need to be prepared for a couple, templates need to be refined, then the dreaded pattern-writing has to be started from scratch on two of them. I shared a sneak peak on Facebook of my favourite design out of the five:

That's plenty to keep me going in our gorgeous Spring weather, if I can stop my itchy eyes from watering long enough to focus.  The wind is stirring up lots of seeds and pollens today but I'm not complaining - anything is better than Winter for me!

Happy stitching!


Farm Gate Creations Incorporating Hummingbird Quilting said...

Oh wow, some very clever ideas you have there with applique Val.

KaHolly said...

You're a genius! How funny you are making these. Yesterday, I brainstormed a quilt for a tot that is very similar, but usiing colors and shapes. Never thought to use felt for the appliques, though!! You sure have been busy!

Gina E. said...

I adore all your cupboards series! The My Pantry I made for my husband's niece's daughters is now scrunched up at the bottom of a toy box...sigh. Hubby warned me I shouldn't have given it to them. But no, they had a lot of fun with it, and if they resurrect it one day I'll be happy to wash and mend it.
I think the next one I do will be the wardrobe - so cute! The girls are a bit older now, so they might treat it with a bit more respect - ha!

primrosesattic said...

I love your designs. They look so much fun.

Regina vicentini said...

Bom dia amiga Val!
Sua criação aguça nossa veia artística e nos faz ansiar pelas novas criações que você irá desenvolver ao longo dos dias. Parabéns, são lindas criações!

Anonymous said...

I love the updated "paper doll" quilt! That is such a cute idea! You are very creative, of course!

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

Oh, wow!!! These are great!!

Angie in SoCal said...

You are very creative, Val. Thanks so much for the giving us ideas. I don't understand why so many quilters are so afraid of applique.

barcord said...

beautiful Designs.

Noela said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful work. Hugs..... said...

Brilliant! Both your creativity and methodology! I'm delighted to have "found" you!