do you change your mind when working on a project. In my last post with the quilt blocks, I said I was going to quit with the ones I had finished and add sashing, but after looking at these pieces that I had already prepared for applique and realizing the amount of work and hours that went into the preparation, I've decided to continue with my original plan and make all 48 blocks.
That meant that I needed to find fabric to back the applique. I was trying to have each back piece different. I think the reason that I didn't have all of them ready to stitch was that I had no more fabrics in brown, rust, and mustard tones that I was using. I thought I was going to have to use duplicates, but when I went down to the basement to check in my fabric stash, I remembered that I had a number (maybe 15 or so?) jumbo zipper bags filled with fabric - some new cuts and some scraps - that had been given to me when I was teaching quilting classes at my church. Seriously, these bags are about the size of a throw pillow that you'd put on your couch. A lady I had not previously met called me and asked if I was interested in the fabric. Someone else had given her my name. A friend of hers was moving and wanted to give a bunch of fabric away! How could I not say yes?! So anyway, I dug into those bags and came up with all different fabrics for the remaining eleven blocks. Can I say SCORE!!?
I realized that at least some of these had probably never been washed (still folded from the store), so the ones I was going to use went in the washer and dryer and then I spent some time this afternoon pressing them. I don't want anything to shrink after all the work of making the quilt. Now my next step is to cut the 12-1/2" blocks and glue down the first pieces of the applique.
I really like this method of applique. You cut your pattern pieces from freezer paper, iron it to the back of your fabric and cut it out with about 1/4" margin of fabric. Then you use fabric basting glue to turn the edges over and glue to the freezer paper. These then get glued to the back fabric and you blind stitch. After all the stitching is finished, you trim away the backing from behind the applique, soak in warm water for a couple of minutes and pull out the freezer paper. Then press and the block is finished and ready for your quilt.
I have two other quilts that include some hand applique that is done with the old fashioned method of basting the edges of each piece and pinning to the backing. What a difference. I'm glad I don't have too much left to do on those.