If I asked you to draw a cactus, you’d probably choose the most cactus-y cactus of all, the saguaro. (You know, the tall fella with upstretched arms.) But let’s not forget, there are nearly 2,000 different types of cactus, and we love ‘em all!
This week Jenny is stitching up a desert garden out of 10 inch squares. She’s using several of our favorite templates – orange peels, tumblers, and a cute little petal – to create a dazzling variety of spiny beauties! Click HERE to watch the tutorial!
“I want to say I LOVE her teaching style! She is so funny, and I felt like I was spending an afternoon with a good friend. I really enjoyed this video.”
– Customer Review
This quilting diva has been a wonderful component to our education team and you can see why! Her gorgeous projects continue to inspire all of us makers!
Now, let’s talk about appliqué, Courtenay’s area of expertise! If you’ve always wanted to try it out, but imagined it might be intimidating, we’ve got the tools, techniques, and tips to change your mind. Appliqué is a lot easier than it looks – and it looks pretty spectacular personalizing and decorating your quilt!
We talked to Courtenay about machine appliqué designs and tips…
Q: Courtenay, how long have you been sewing machine appliqué? A: I have been quilting for over 25 years. I’ve had about 20 odd years of practice at machine appliqué. And I am really looking forward to sharing some of that with you
Q: What’s your favorite part of teaching appliqué for beginners? A: My favorite part of teaching is when students who aren’t sure they can complete their projects get to the point where they realize that, yes, they can make them—and they will be beautiful! Whether that’s how to machine appliqué small pieces, how to hand appliqué in the car on road trips, or how to let loose and try something completely new, like a free-motion zig-zag “heartbeat” stitch that looks complicated but is actually very freeing, I love seeing students succeed!
Q: What shapes can you make with machine appliqué? A: Anything you can imagine – and any pattern in your library, really. I like to show you tips for leaves, stems, circles, stars, hearts, petals, and working in layers. While a lot of my patterns are flowers or animals – ask me about placing bunny ears – the sky is the limit. You can decorate any quilt with appliqué, in blocks, borders, even your quilt label.
Q: What are some tools you recommend for appliqué? A: This depends a little bit on which method you’re using, but some of the applique essentials are:
For Machine Appliqué:
Fusible Web – Use this to temporarily glue fabric pieces in place while machine stitching.
I love Montana with her endless blue skies. Colorado with her majestic mountains peaks. The excitement of New York. The serenity of the Oregon Cost. And of course, there’s nothing like Missouri’s amber waves of grain! From sea to shining sea, this country is made up of beautifully unique states.
This week Jenny is stitching up an adorable appliqué map quilt featuring 20 of her favorite states. Click HERE to learn how to make a Road Trip quilt of your own!
(This easy project is made using Valori Wells’ Murmur collection. Valori created these gorgeous prints by stamping fabric with blocks she carved herself! Click HERE to learn more about process!)
In the intricate world of quilting, there are so many different ways we can make a sewing project unique! Appliqué is a fun (and super easy!) way to decorate a quilt with personalized designs and patterns.
Hand Needles – A smaller point for hand stitching, but also a bit enough needle to prevent hand cramping.
Mini Iron – A tiny iron will give more control over tiny fabric pieces.
Applique Pins – These come in handy when fitting several pieces into place.
Fusible Web(optional) – Melts to adhere the fabric pieces together.
Applique shapes (optional) – Precut shapes come in handy for quick and easy projects
Learn the basics of appliqué with Jenny and Jan Patek in this four-part tutorial series. They teach the essentials needed for hand appliqué along with tips and tricks for applying leaves, stems, circles, stars and more onto your sewing project.
For a more in-depth look into hand appliqué, join our newest online class! Beginning Hand Appliqué is an online class taught by our very own Courtenay Hughes. Courtenay teaches two different hand appliqué methods, troubleshooting techniques for tricky shapes, how to make reusable templates, and clean appliqué hand stitching!
The Itty Bitty Club Pattern pack is a great way to add some fun springtime decor to your home. Stock up on warm, fuzzy wool though because this pack comes with five different appliqué project patterns!
For antique blocks (or any finished blocks that haven’t found a home yet), watch Jenny’s “What to do with vintage blocks” tutorial to make a pretty, antique looking appliqué quilt!
If you ask Jenny, she really lucked out in the husband department. Ron is kind, patient, and incredibly creative. Best of all? When Jenny is quilting, he doesn’t sit on the sidelines; he quilts WITH her! Over the years Ron has cooked up a few great quilt patterns of his own!
The Finish Line Quilt is a Ron Doan original, and it’s a good one! Click HERE to learn how to transform a simple Jelly Roll Race into an appliqué project featuring orange peel petals, motorcycles, or anything else your heart desires! The sky is the limit!