So, this is the “old-fashioned” way to applique. It’s definitely a lot more work than appliqueing with fusible adhesive, but you don’t get that annoying stiffness, and you don’t have any visible stitching. This is the technique used for all those traditional Baltimore Album quilts. It’s also the technique I used for my very first quilt.
See all those letters? I hand-appliqued every one of them to the quilt top using this stitch.
Crazy, right? That was over ten years ago and now I find myself wondering where the heck I found the time for that.
But it’s also a reminder that it doesn’t take as long as you think it will. If you watch an hour of TV a night and do some handwork while you watch, it’s amazing how fast it will add up.
By the way – this quilt is over 8 feet tall. Hand appliqued and hand quilted. I don’t recommend doing a quilt this big for your first project. I just didn’t know any better. 🙂
Anyway – in the video I mention a couple of things I wanted to provide links to. This is essentially the same stitch I use to stitch up softies, so you can take a look at the ladder stitch video to get another view of the technique.
One of the weird things about this applique technique is that you draw your shapes on the top of your fabric, so you need to use a marking pen that you can remove from the fabric when you’re done. Take a look at the video on how to transfer embroidery markings to see a couple of options. I like the water soluble pens that dissolve when you spritz them with water – but you must test them on every fabric you will use.
I’m not kidding here. Test them to make sure the ink disappears when wet – and then let them dry to make sure it doesn’t come back when they dry. I’ve only had that problem with synthetics, but I test every fabric every time.
Now do you want to see the appliqué technique I currently use for all my quilts? Click here for that video. It’s way easier and faster. 🙂