I’ve completed the first two rows of Jacqueline’s Album (pattern by Lori Smith) quilt. There is supposed to be an American eagle type design in the second block, second row. I substituted that with a different Lori Smith block, one that I thought my Aunt Jacqueline my like.
I’m using the back basting method of applique…here’s the back of one of the blocks….it really amazes me how accurate the placement and shape of applique is achieved with this method! There are plenty of tutorials around the web on how to back baste…Gayle at Sentimental Stitches is a good place to start.
There are many methods of hand applique preparation, and I think I’ve tried them all. Backbasting did take some practice and trial and error finding the right needle and thread for the backbasting sewing. I’m now using Star hand quilting thread and a size 7 sharp needle. The hand quilting thread is quite stiff and thick, the sharp needle has a thick diameter from tip to end, these two in combination leave a good enough hole in the fabrics to follow when sewing the applique piece. I also find that doing the backbasting several hours before the applique seems to set the holes to follow.
The great thing about backbasting for me was the accurate placement, especially for those symmetrical designs.
And then I recently received a copy of Jeanna Kimball’s Red and Green, An Applique Tradition. Jeanna provides many terrific stories and information about the history of applique and how various patterns may have been developed.
What I really took from this book was that Jeanna encourages the applique maker to develop her own designs, taking the templates and layouts provided and arranging them in a way that appeals to you…not necessarily following a traditional layout for a block.
This puts a whole different spin on my efforts to duplicate exactly the Jacqueline’s Album design. I’ll continue along as I have been on this quilt…but I can see an applique quilt in my future where I’m not going to think too much about exact mirror image symmetry!