I spent some time today working on the applique block for this month's Sweet Land of Liberty sew-along. I thought I should work on what looked to me like the hardest part first and when that's finished, it will be easy going. At least I hope so.
Below is a part of a drawing of a tree for applique onto an 8½" block.
Below is Cheri's version of that block. I could make the tree easily if I were using wool, or raw-edge applique, or fusing the tree to the block. But I'm not. I'm using cotton and turning edges under. You can see that some of the branches are so close together there's barely fabric to turn under.
I deliberated how to cut out the tree because there just isn't much to it -- it's all thinness. And then I remembered that I could trace it onto the dull side of freezer paper, cut it out, iron it onto fabric, and cut around it. And that's just what I did. Except I adjusted some of the branches so there was a little more space between them, so that there was enough to turn under.
When that was done, I knew it would not work for me to baste the edges under. I remembered having used glue to hold turned edges into place when I made several blocks for an Airedale Terrier rescue quilt years ago.
The pieces were tiny and I was new to applique. Glue worked.
I pulled out my Elmer's washable glue stick and, after about an hour, I had a tree. It's not quite like Cheri's pattern but that's the beauty of Cheri's patterns and primitive quilts. Adapt as needed. A wonderfully imperfect tree.
I don't know what I'll do about those berries, though.... They are very tiny at just 3/8 of an inch. They will challenge me for sure!
Next I'll choose clothing fabrics for the people and get them ready to applique. Will I embroider on the block? Probably not. Maybe I'll use a Micron pen or some other permanent pen/marker. Or leave it blank.
After this hardest block is finished I think it should be smooth sailing for the other blocks this month. Maybe not fast, but not as challenging.
If you applique, what methods do you use? By machine, hand, fuse, glue, needle-turned, raw-edge, turned-edge...?