Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fake it or Make it?

What do you really think about appliqué? Not the design as such but how it's actually done. I don't know about you but I've always had a thing that appliqué, especially on a quilt, needs to be done by hand and be invisible. Any other kind was faking it. I guess it really stems from the fact my Mum used to teach and judge handicrafts and we would always hear her comments about items that were poorly finished, seams not pressed and hand sewing that was visible. All those comments seem to have embedded themselves into my brain and so I've always hand sewn(very carefully!) any appliqué I've done. (TH has mentioned I might be a teeny tiny bit pedantic about it but really, who are you going to believe ;)

But having said that, the first Dresden I appliquéd took me over an hour to finish. Yes, I did have some little interruptions, still that meant even if I could do three a day, it would take me ten days. Two a day, fifteen days.  So I had a rethink and a google and then a play on my machine to test out some machine appliqué. I decided to go with a blind hem stitch and just do one and compare, cause you know, I can always unpick! Or frog it? Is that the right term? You know where you rip it, rip it, rip it!

I'm really happy with the result.  It took me longer to figure out that I was trying to put the blind hem foot on back to front (It actually took me a fair while to realise this and then I didn't use it anyway) and to stop giggling than it did to do one plate.  The thread is one that Faye has given me(Thank you!) and it blends in really well on all the colours and I'm very happy with the results.

Dresden Plate Applique Techniques

Have a look at them side by side. The one on the left is by machine and the right hand one is done by hand. From about 15cm away(less with my eyesight!) you can't tell the difference!

Dresden Plate Centre Applique

I've also used it to put the centres on. They take no time at all compared to all the stopping, starting, turning for the Dresden's.

Dresden Plate Centre

So even though I feel like I'm faking my appliqué, doing it this way means I'll get to actually finish this quilt in time this decade. So I guess my answer is I have to fake it to make it!

I did have a couple of other questions though:

Why do I only do wobbly sewing on the parts where it will show?
Why don't sewing machines come with a foot lever for the presser foot, instead of that stupid knee thing?
Why can you only find the pins you've dropped by stepping on them?

If anyone knows the answers please let me know!


Archie the wonder dog said...

The Dresdens look great!! Let me see...It's to do with Sod and his law *w*...I don't know but it took me a while to use the knee lift and not accidentally press the pedal at the same time!...See my first answer! Actually, I only use glass headed pins as the coloured heads are easier to spot on the carpet! Have a great weekend!

Sana Saroti said...

I think it looks great! I am not the quilt police ;-) It still looks very neat and if it safes you so much time, go for it!

Katie said...

Soon you'll be able to post it... How exciting will that be... Ooh in time for November fresh sewing day lol! So really you get a knee lift OR a standard pressor foot lever?! I thought it was an AND option - that sounds scary... Re the pins, next time they're on sale get a telescopic magnet :) I've used it to pick up pins I've accidentally emptied into the waste paper bin too - works well... If you're a clutz like me it's essential ;)

Lucy | Charm About You said...

This really made me laugh!! Not the applique though, I think it looks amazing! What is this knee thing - I was totally lost and don't know what you're talking about, am I being crazy?! The dresdens look amazing!