Planning applique

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Well here we go again – more frustration and hair pulling over planning fabrics for applique. I don’t know why I can plan a pieced quilt with out too much angst – I can see a group of fabrics together, and when I see a pattern I’ll pretty much just know that that group will look terrific sewn into that pattern. Or might have one star fabric, and design my own pattern. Or customize a pattern to suit my fabrics.

I don’t have a quilt shop nearby that I can visit – in fact, the closest one which is about a 30 minute drive, I just don’t feel comfortable and at home when there. There are some terrific quilt and fabric shops in the city, but they are too difficult to get there, shop, and return home due to this illness I have. So – I order pretty much all my fabric on line. I’m pretty good at knowing what I need for the pieced quilts and going from there.

But my stash just doesn’t seem big enough for the applique I want to do – and anything I’ve ordered with applique in mind just doesn’t seem to suit (the proof is the applique I did this late winter and spring – half dozen or more blocks I’ve made in different colour combos and different patterns, all resulting in my disappointment). I feel that if I had $200 to go made in a fabric store, I just might end up with what my mind keeps envisioning – but I don’t and I won’t so I have to make some kind of decision.

I have made a few successful applique projects – the Piece O Cake applique sampler, and Lori Smith’s Simple Pleasures were needleturn, and my newest finished top, Folk Art Finery, was machine applique. These were made with a pretty limited colour pallete, working from a set of fabrics that were meant to go together. What I really want and I think this is my problem, is a print or dark (not black) background – I’ve done the needleturn quilts on muslin, and in my mind “I’ve been there done that” to want to do it again.

Sitting on my back porch this morning, in the lovely warm but not humid day we’re having, I was so enjoying appliqueing yet another block. But I wasn’t really enjoying it as I know I’m going to pass on these results as well. Am I destined to join a block of the month? Or buy a kit? I hate to give up making my own creation, but perhaps I’m strongest when designing or planning pieced projects, and I should let someone else do the work on the applique quilt so I can just enjoy the sewing!

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