April 2018 BMLE



Borders, Margins and Lessons from the Edge of the Quilt




April begins the challenge for what can be affectionately called the “A” Word. Applique can be one of the often misunderstood quilting techniques. Quilters are passionate about their feeling toward applique. You either love it or hate it. This month and the next we will explore the use of applique in our border challenge project. Keep an open mind and use this time to develop a new skill or try a new way to applique.

Applique is one of those unique words that can be used as either a verb or a noun. An applique is a piece, or pieces, of fabric that are stitched to a background fabric. Applique is the process of stitching those pieces of fabric to the background. The types of applique include raw edge, needle turn, turned edge using glue or starch, machine embroidery applique, single or multi-layer applique, stitch and turn, painted and stitched. Appliques can be stitched with simple or fancy stitches, depending on the effect that you want to see.

This month’s border is to be appliqued. Be creative and take some time thinking about what to do. We will be using two months to manage the applique border. Start early, because applique can take some time to get done. Be realistic and whimsical. You do not have to stick a whole Baltimore Quilt into your border. Use simple pre- cut shapes. Make friends with someone who has an Accuquilt machine, and get that person to cut some shapes with you. Use a template. Buy some premade shapes (a bit costly and the colors may not work with your project). Or check out the library book and paint and stitch your border.


There is a world of information regarding how to applique including free patterns to copy and use for your own quilt projects. The CHQG Library has several reference books available. Videos demonstrating all of the techniques for applique can be found on You Tube. Some of them are sponsored by Quilt Shops across the country and some are individual quilters who have learned how to conquer this technique in their own way. Take some time and look for a video if that is how that you like to learn and see what is out there for viewing.

Craftsy.com has several free articles on their platform discussing applique techniques.

Alamosaquilter@blogspot.com has a very detailed 2012 series of photos in her blog about using spray starch to prepared appliques for sewing.

Take a look at the Spruce (https://www.thespruce.com) to explore a variety of patterns and techniques that may be new to you in the crafts section.

And last but not least, your references should include our own guild members. Some of our guild members are experts at various forms of appliques (and have the awards to prove it) and are more than willing to share.

Some of our members handiwork this month on their BLME. Congratulations! They are beautiful.