Applique with Becky from Patchwork Posse: National Sewing Month 2013

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It’s Day Twenty-Five of National Sewing Month! Too see the daily blog posts, projects of the day, and more National Sewing Month details, click here.

National Sewing Month 2013

Today we’re thrilled to welcome Becky from Patchwork Posse! Read on to see what she has to say about appliques!

I thought it would be fun to chat a little bit about applique. Not necessarily the process of sewing it, but where to get your fabric from to use on it.

Applique is a great quick and easy way to add a little something special and extra to a quilt, shirt, pants, bags…or whatever you can sew it to!

Typically we approach applique with this fabric for the stem, this for the flower…. or this for the head, this for the body….but today we are going to do something a little bit different.

We are going to chop up orphan quilt blocks to use for applique!

This is a great method for using those random quilt blocks that have no home, or maybe those that aren’t pieced the best.

Goodbye following the matching game, We are going to grab some blocks, cut them up and be totally OK with how they turn out.

how to use applique to hide problems in your quilt blocks /

When it comes to the quilt block, there are a couple of choices. You can pre-quilt it (or use one that is already pre-quilted like a cutter quilt), or you can go with what you have.

If you’d like to pre-quilt it:

1) Pin the quilt block wrong sides on top of batting

2) Quilt by machine, a meandor stitch, or stitch in the ditch.

Your block is ready to go!

Take a look at what you are going to be cutting out. Dig around and find a quilt block that will “work” with the subject. For example, I cut a pumpkin out of a fall-ish kind of block. I cut a ghost out of light and airy kind of quilt block.

using orphan quilt blocks for applique templates

Audition the template on the quilt block. Move it around to find the right combination of colors and design. Watch the seams that you don’t land one right on the edge – that will make sewing it to your final project a bit more difficult.


Another option would be to place applique in a strategic place on your quilt or project. Cover up those bad seams, points, or whatever else you don’t want others to see.

After you have cut everything out and placed it where you want it you can sew the edges down using a zig-zag or satin stitch for a raw edge applique.

This past year I have focused on orphaned quilt blocks and how to get them finished in a project. It has been a lot of fun finding a new purpose for something. You can find more tutorials and projects I have done here on my site: Sewing Projects for Quilt Blocks. You can also receive a free snail and butterfly applique template when you sign up for my newsletter!




What is the first quilting project you remember making?




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  1. Lisa Marie says

    I made a Christmas Tree wall hanging from HSTs. I saw the pattern in a quilting/crafts catalog and I just had to make it even though I had never quilted. My skills have improved since I made it, but I still like to hang it up every Christmas.

  2. Bonita Anderson says

    A doll quilt for antique dolls using vintage fabric from a cutter quilt that I got at an antique auction.

  3. cindy seymour says

    I have so many extra blocks that I have needed to use up and never thought about making appliques out of them. Thanks for the idea ! I will be checking your site out for more ideas.

  4. Debora Coatsworth says

    I made a baby quilt with bright vibrant colors for my great nephew Ethan – he was born at 27 weeks gestation weighing 1 lb 12 oz., Now a thriving 1 year old. He is a miracle baby; and he loves the colors on his quilt. Now I’m hooked.

  5. Patricia Stowe says

    The first quilt project I remember making is a small quilt for a porcelain doll my Grandma had bought me when I was 11 or 12. I actually came across that little quilt just the other day while cleaning out my closet. It’s made of flannels. 🙂

  6. says

    My first project is a Baby Quilt. With a craft like that your imagination can go just wild .It’s also teaching me patience. LOL
    I’ve been very fortunate with People donating Fabrics and tools to me. To start my dream of 20 years to learn how to Quilt. Happy Quilting everyone

  7. Ronnie says

    The first quilt project I made was a baby quilt for my own child. It was a Sun Bonnet Sue and Overall Bill. I had no idea what applique was or how to do it. lol

  8. says

    In the 80’s, I took a short college course based on Christmas crafts. Little did I realize that I created a small Cathedral sampler by hand.

  9. susan rogers says

    I made a quilt and machine embroidered butterflies where the points met, since a few didn’t quite match up perfectly.

  10. Denise P says

    It’s been many MANY years, but I believe it was a quilt for one of my sister’s dolls. Many is the miles underneath the pressure foot since then. 🙂

  11. .Laurie Gilliard says

    My project was a baby quilt for my second son. Each of my three children received soemthing that I made (sewed) for them

  12. Donna Stanley says

    A king sized quilt for my bed. A big undertaking for a first time quilter, but I sure learned a lot!

  13. Alison Seamans says

    A doll quilt. I had just been to a doll event where they raffled off a quilt. One woman was so disappointed not to win it. I went home and made a quilt just to try it out and sent it to her. I’ve been making doll quilts ever since!

  14. Janet says

    Well I jumped in with both feet for my very first quilt, an Egyptian themed QS quilt with embroidered corners with an appliqued Queen Nefertiti in the center, all hand quilted as I didn’t have a sewing machine back them.

  15. Kathy Gates says

    My first quilting project was pillows that I quilted around a picture of ducks, water and grass by hand. I love this tutorial. I am fairly new to quilting and my first real project was a sewing machine cover that I made by cutting a sewing machine shape out of a chevron patch and quilted it to the front of the cover and used 2 chevron patches as the sides of the cover. A very fun project 🙂 Thanks for you giveaway too!

  16. Sandra Williams says

    I made a very basic quilt for my niece when she was a baby. It was different types of fabrics. That was about 30 years ago.

  17. Kathy E. says

    My first quilting project brings a smile to my face. I knew NOTHING about quilting, but wanted a bedspread on my new big double bed in my first apartment. I chose shades of purple and hand cut perfect squares, trying to line them up just so. I lined it with an old blanket and the backing was a sheet I bought on clearance at Penneys. I still have it (35 years later) and has been used at picnics and baseball games many times! Thanks for the memory!

  18. Karen Funk says

    There have been so many, I guess I don’t remember the first one, but I certainly love sewing and quilting.

  19. Virginia Bronner says

    You are really testing my memory with this question. I was in the girl scouts many many moons ago. Longer than I care to remember. Anyway, my first quilting project was a potholder. I am sure it didn’t come out perfect, but I can remember my mother acting as if it was a work of art. Thanks for the memories.

  20. Trainng Wheels Sewing says

    When I was about 13 or 14 I made a pieced “maxi” skirt as an art project. About that same time I was making hand bags with outline quilting on bold prints. Because garment sewing was my focus I don’t think I considered making quilts until much later, but I used the piecing and quilting techniques in my garments.

  21. Connie says

    O, forgot. My first quilt ever was 2 years ago, at age 63, for my hubby. I used flannel and he absolutely loves it.

  22. Margaret Schindler says

    My very first quilt that I made was at least 46 years ago and it was blocks with applique hearts sewn on it. I put lace around each heart. My mom was by my side teaching me how to make the quilt because I had only been sewing clothes for my daughter back them

  23. Paula Foltz says

    I made a wall hanging for my husband. We are pepper heads so I cut out peppers from red corduroy and appliqued them on – the creative stitching is in the shapes of chili peppers!

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