Sunday, January 9, 2011

Miniature Reverse Applique

Projects are well under way in my studio.  I've publicly committed to completing a minimum of one Unfinished Object (aka UFO) per month in 2011.  Here is the back story on January's first item on my list...

 (Pepper Cory Stencil 12"W x 14"H)
Years ago, I'm thinking mid-90's or thereabout, I attended a couple Pepper Cory classes through the Anchorage Log Cabin Quilters Guild.  This was back when classes were held at the local dog pound!  I'm so glad we don't meet there anymore because it broke my heart to see the homeless animals and I always entertained thoughts of adopting more pets.  Anyway, if I recall correctly, this particular class was on quilt stitching designs.  While Pepper was lecturing I got busy pencil marking my mauve fabric with one of her  9" X 11" cut stencils.  At the time, mauve and blue were popular interior colors and my home was no exception, but since then, mauve is not my thing and doesn't really fit in with my color scheme.  In part that is why this marked fabric moved around my studio as long as it did before progressing to the next phase.

Originally I'd planned to hand quilt the penciled line design but then thought my effort might not show up well enough so I diverted to Reverse Applique.  For the uninitiated, Reverse Applique requires that  two layers of contrasting fabric are layered right sides up, basted together, cutting through the top layer and tucking the inside cut edges under, then stitching down by hand or machine.  Needle Turn Applique means an applique shape is 'applied' to a base fabric, turning the outside cut edges under and stitching them to the background fabric.

After my scissors cut the fabric there was no turning back.  Little did I realize how intricate and tedious sewing reverse applique on such a small scale would be.  I confess, without glue stick I would never have managed security and precision in my cutting and sewing.  To further elaborate, each tiny leaf in the border is half the size of my little fingernail.  Each of the six sampler motifs measure less than three inches squares.  I know ~ I was nuts!   I decided 2010 would be the last year this project would be shuffled around my studio so after the applique was finished I completed the hand quilting in approximately 10-12 hrs.  Last Friday it was bound and labeled.  Voila!  UFO #1 is Done.

As I stated, mauve doesn't fit my current decor but knowing I will NEVER repeat a mini like this one again in this lifetime ~ I'm hanging onto it for posterity unless someone recognizes its monumental value and offers me substantial compensation for it.  : )

1 comment:

  1. Hi Judy-I remember that class well! And like you am glad they don't meet there anymore--it was too sad seeing the animals in cages. Love, love, love your reverese applique version of my painting stencil. Beautiful work. What is "substancial compensation" by the way? Email me at with info....
    Cheers from the North Carolina coast (where I've lived for 15 years) and where this weekend (ice, snow, and ice again) rivalled your homestate's climate!