Home Quilting 6 of Your Largest Questions Answered

6 of Your Largest Questions Answered


Wool appliqué is an ideal take-along mission for when you find yourself touring, or simply NEED some tranquil time to flee from the whirling world round you. These are additionally nice initiatives to sew together with an excellent audio e-book, TV sequence, or film. When beginning out, it’s essential to know what you’re moving into. So we consulted our wool appliqué consultants and requested them to reply your six largest questions!

Appliqué Your Coronary heart Away

One of the vital enjoyable issues about quilters is that we’re all so distinctive. We now have a wide range of pursuits outdoors of quilting. We don’t have to love the identical fashion of quilts to take pleasure in the identical kinds of quilting strategies. And, now we have distinctive methods to strategy making the identical quilt design or related types of quilting, whether or not it’s selecting completely different materials or a unique approach to make them.

Bloomin' Botanicals
Bloomin’ Botanicals designed by Erin Russek

Erin Russek, former Affiliate Editor for lots of the Quilting Each day magazines, and I incessantly discuss in regards to the variations between our most well-liked quilting types. We each love appliqué and taking the time to benefit from the course of. In comparison with me, (be aware, it’s my commentary), she is the one who’s extra deliberate together with her designs and contemplative in regards to the final result. She’s an unimaginable designer and her work exemplary. By far, she has far more expertise and has refined her strategy for appliqué.

Terra Cotta Gardens, designed by Tricia Patterson, featured in McCall’s Quilting March/April, 2019

A Wool Appliqué Quilting Grasp

I can’t even start to share how a lot I’ve discovered from the strategies she has developed. Whereas we each take pleasure in a whimsical design, I’d say I’m extra about taking an natural strategy to designing and quilting usually, extra improvisational at finest. And, I simply love including elaborations to quilts! Whereas I additionally try to make the right quilt, I don’t typically have a plan up entrance, principally an thought of a design or one thing I wish to strive, earlier than I start.

wool appliqué
Erin’s wool appliqué colour choice of Flower Crown, designed by Nancy Mahoney

Our dialog led to speaking in regards to the completely different approaches for wool appliqué. We talked about a few of the strategies Paula Stoddard (a former co-worker of ours who shares an enthusiasm for working with wool), introduced within the October 2017 put up, Wool Appliqué. Within the weblog she describes the approach she used to make Peek-a-Boo-Bunnies. And, that led to evaluating notes about our approaches for the March/April wool appliqué initiatives, and ultimately to this weblog put up to doc a few of our responses to questions we expect quilters would possibly ask about wool appliqué.

Your Largest Wool Appliqué Questions Answered


Q: What sorts of initiatives are finest for wool?

Erin: Wool is extraordinarily versatile! Felted wool can be utilized for appliqué and un-felted wool may be nice for piecing. It’s most likely finest to start out small to see in the event you like working with it.

Tricia: I’ve used wool in various initiatives: wall hangings, placemats, pillows and throw-size quilts. I agree with Erin that it’s finest to start out small. I additionally assume it’s best to pick out bigger initiatives that may be pieced in smaller sections. Take a look at Paula Stoddard’s Dreaming of Spring design beneath. She added wool appliqué to her mission one block at a time.

Dreaming of Spring designed by Paula Stoddard


Q: What are the completely different sorts of wool individuals use?

Erin: The most typical sort of wool utilized in appliqué is felted wool. Craft felt, manufactured from bonded fibers, can be out there at many craft shops. You gained’t discover it as sturdy for a quilted mission as you’ll an un-felted pure wool, or felted wool you could find by your native quilt store or on-line.

Tricia: I can’t say I’ve ever used craft felt for a quilted mission. It looks like it might be too light-weight to get the dimensional impact I wish to see if I’m including wool appliqué to a mission. I search for a material manufactured from 100% wool, both un-felted or already felted. It’s turning into simpler to search out already felted wool in a design sample equivalent to a examine, plaid or floral sample. If I’m searching for a patterned cloth I typically buy un-felted cloth and felt it (see the “washing wool” query beneath for one felting methodology).

Personally, I simply love a hand-dyed felted wool. Many dyers have perfected their dye course of to supply a felted cloth with even colour saturation. I’m actually drawn to felted cloth the place the dye course of produced a pleasant refined variation of shades, brought on by colour settling inconsistently over the floor of the wool. Try woolylady.com to see some extra examples of great wool materials for appliqué.


Q: How do I select the perfect thread for my mission?

Erin: It is determined by how a lot you need your stitches to indicate and the way assured you might be in your stitching. If you’re new to this method it’s possible you’ll wish to select a thread that matches your appliqué patches if you are studying. That manner any irregular stitches gained’t present up as a lot. When you actually wish to have your thread be a part of the design there are a myriad of pretty threads that may actually stand out.

Tricia: I really like to make use of a wide range of threads for wool appliqué as a result of they add texture to my designs. Proper or flawed, typically irregular stitching may also add to the whimsy–if that’s the impression I’m attempting to attain. When working with a wide range of wool weights and textures I make a small take a look at piece manufactured from a sampling of the backing and wool cloth. I take advantage of the tester to check out threads if I’m planning to make use of a wide range of weights within the mission.

wool appliqué
Examples of felted and un-felted wool materials.


Q: Do I wash my wool earlier than I appliqué and might I wash the mission after I’ve completed?

Erin: Your wool must be felted for such a appliqué so it gained’t fray. If you choose un-felted wool run it by the washer with sizzling water and dry with a excessive warmth setting. As soon as your block is completed you may hand wash it or run it by the mild cycle in your washer. Moist wool may be very heavy so it won’t be a good suggestion to scrub a big quilt with a lot of appliqué. Felted wool gained’t fray however ought to nonetheless be handled gently.

Tricia: After utilizing the strategy Erin described above for laundry wool cloth, you may also ask about ironing it. I do know once I’ve felted wool it comes out of the dryer trying a bit puffy and uneven. Un-felted wool can definitely be used straight from the dryer, however if you need a smoother look to the material it does have to be ironed. I by no means place a medium or sizzling iron instantly on wool, as a result of it may depart a shiny end or change the great texture.

As a substitute, I place an ironing sheet, tissue paper, or perhaps a barely dampened handkerchief between the iron and the wool to flatten the material earlier than I lower out the appliqué patches for my initiatives. And, as you add appliqué patches to your mission you would possibly wish to take into account a wool urgent mat to assist hold shapes good and even, to stop flattening them so you retain the beautiful dimensional impact of wool appliqué.


Q: What’s the simplest way to make use of for stitching appliqué to a backing cloth: fusible net, glue or pins?

Erin: I selected fusible net for my Quiltmaker colour choice as a result of I wished to put every appliqué form exactly and fusible net is one of the best ways to do that. The one downside to that is that the fusible net will get in your needle as you sew and it’s important to hold cleansing it off. Basting glue can be an excellent choice though it may be troublesome to put items exactly with this. I’ve seen some individuals use staples to baste their patches earlier than stitching. This appears like a great way to be exact and get rid of your needles getting all gummed up.

Tricia: I used small dots of Roxanne Glue-Baste-It (beneficial by Erin for an earlier cotton appliqué mission) for my McCall’s Quilting wool appliqué mission, unfold roughly 1 inch aside. I positioned the glue dots a bit greater than ¼” away from the sting of the appliqué patch so it was held in place, however far sufficient away to maintain my needle from catching on the glue.

Roxanne Glue-Baste-It


Q: What stitches do I take advantage of for wool appliqué?

Erin: I used a blanket sew to connect my appliqué. I’m fairly new to wool appliqué and the blanket sew is the commonest sew I’ve seen for these initiatives. For embellishing, nevertheless, the sky is the restrict. You will get as fancy as you need!

Tricia: I additionally most frequently use a blanket sew to stitch down the sides of my wool appliqué. I’ve been learning the work of Sue Spargo and Wendy Williams recently and have broadened my repertoire by experimenting with a wide range of stitches on wool for appliqué. I’m discovering there are numerous embroidery stitches that can be utilized for wool appliqué that add curiosity and enjoyable to any mission. Try the progress I’ve made on the wool appliqué mission I’m at present engaged on beneath.

wool appliqué
The beginning of Tricia’s present wool appliqué mission.

Whether or not you’re simply beginning out with wool appliqué or a seasoned professional, we hope you discovered one thing on this fast Q&A. We’d like to see what initiatives you’ve created utilizing wool appliqué — share with us within the feedback beneath, on Fb, and on Instagram!

Initially revealed in Quiltmaker journal January/February 2021.

*This text accommodates affiliate hyperlinks that helps us earn a small fee (at no further price to you). We’re grateful to your assist!


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