Monday, July 15, 2013

Needle Turn Appliqué--- Sort of

Yes, that's it! 

That is all This Quilting Mama accomplished in a five hour class. The instruction at The Joyful Quilter (in Glenville, NY) by Kathryn Greenwold was awesome as the class covered numerous elements of needle-turn appliqué. 


However, it seems that the modern age in which we live has spoiled me. I am used to fast machines, all the fabric in the world available at a my local quilt shop (or the other 8 shops within a 45 minute ride), and all the best tools, rulers, and notions to help me whip up a quilt in an afternoon. Appliqué is not only hand-held, but depends on the maker's ability to slow down, to sew one perfect and invisible stitch at a time, and to relish in the process as much as the beautiful product being created. Stay tuned to see if I am able to complete this project and if I come to love handwork.

 My deepest respect and hat is off to any woman who has made a beautiful Baltimore Album quilt with thousands of little appliqued pieces. Below are some such quilts from various shows I've attended over the last year. Each is amazing in the sheer about of work and hours dedicated to those little tiny pieces and even smaller stitches. Enjoy!

My daughter particularly liked this "Elephant Friendship Album" from the antiqué quilt collection circa 1857. Curators Debra Grana and Sharon Waddell write, "Mary Palmer Ogden was the recipient and probably the maker of this friendship album. The elephant may seem to be unusual, but Mary lived only a few miles from where the first elephants brought to the United States lived. During the time the quilt was made, Mary married and moved from Yorktown to Ossining, New York." (Vermont Quilt Festival 2013)

"Petersborough Album" earned Susan MacDuff the Best Hand Quilting award at the Vermont Quilt Festival 2012. 

"Sampling the Silk Road" (seen above and below)  earned the Handiquilter Best of Show" Award and "Best Appliqué" at the Vermont Quilt Festival 2012. Maker Christine Wickert of Penfield, NY writes, "The appliqué blocks were designed by Edyta Sitar. The border, beading and quilting designs were my own. I challenged myself to execute a large quilt made entirely of dupioni silk for the backing, batting and the quilt thread." It was hand quilted.

 From the Garden State Quilters Guild show 2013, comes this lovely quilt. "Aunt Millie's Garden-Brown is the New Black" earned maker Megan Johnson the following awards: Best Hand Appliqué, Best of Show- Machine Quilting, and First Place for and Appliquéd Quilt, Professionally Quilted. The pattern is from the Piece O' Cake Ladies.


  1. I love the look of applique, especially Baltimore Albums - but I am just not in-tune to that dedicated hand-work on that scale. But then people think I'm nuts to stitch little blocks.

    1. No kidding! That is exactly how I feel about the whole appliqué I really like the raw-edge fusible appliqué and then playing with my machine to quilt everything down.

  2. Kathie GreenwoldJuly 16, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    I love the gallery of old and new applique. I fee exactly the same way - absolute respect for the patience and skill it takes to put together a full size applique quilt. The Elephant quilt is especially wonderful - I agree with Katherine.

  3. Very nice post for inspiring this quiet craft. I'm a painter and a graphic artist, a sock-knitter and a clothing sewer, so I really don't need an all-consuming, expensive and precise craft. I wanted a way to try making a quilt for almost no money in a way that let me sit on the couch and do one square at a time, one stitch at at a time. Using thrift store blouse fabric and my own design I'm finding it really satisfying. I love that there's virtually no prep work of the pieces and I love the slightly puffed texture.