The next quilt is "Dream." A story goes with this quilt. Carol Schillios is an energetic woman who develops projects aimed at improving the quality of life for women and their families around the world. Her self-help programs take incredibly destitute women and teach them life skills that build self-esteem and independence. For example, the Here Je Cooperative Center in Mali, West Africa, teaches women to earn a living by working with textiles and making jewelry. These programs are life-saving in scope.
Dream - Side B
The front and the back of the quilt were separately made and separately hand-quilted; the front is outline quilted, while the back is quilted, appropriately, with the "dinner plate" pattern. The two quilts were invisibly tacked and bound as a single quilt. Nifty, eh?! If you want to see more about these challenge quilts, you will have to join Alex and Ricky's "The Quilt Show" (www.thequiltshow.com). The Quilt Show is an online web community with thousands of members. It is literally an online quilt guild - and it's a bargain. Joining gets you a lot of topnotch quilters demonstrating their techniques and processes, regular information on what's new in the quilting world, a world of quilting tips, online quilt shows, a helpful forum, a gallery of thousands of quilts, and plenty of inspiration from Alex and Ricky. You can't beat it!
I need to answer a few questions that have come to me via comments on this blog. Here are some short answers:
- How do I hand applique on Kona? I needle turn all of my applique - practice, practice, practice makes all the difference when it comes to applique.
- Do I prewash fabrics or use fabric softener? I ALWAYS prewash - to remove excess dyes and processing chemicals, and to preshrink my fabrics. I NEVER use fabric softener, starch, fabric finish, washout markers, or disappearing ink markers on my fabric; they can be quick recipes for disaster if not handled right - so I choose to avoid the issue.
- Did I jump into applique or start by practicing something? I learned to applique back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. But seriously... when I decided to really "learn" applique, I started by making 23 of 25 Baltimore Album Quilt blocks from Elly Sienkiewicz's "Baltimore Beauties and Beyond" book (1989). The book is out of print but it can be found on Amazon for $40-50, and is well worth the money -- it contains a set of lessons that taught me, step-by-step, the ins and outs of applique. What ever happened to those 23 blocks? They were for learning - and so when I was done with them, I put them in my guild's annual auction and I no longer own them.
- Do I prep my applique? I assume that means: do I pre-turn the seam allowances under on the individual pieces (using glue, freezer paper, starch, stitching, back-stitching, or whatever...). And the answer is... I don't have time to do double duty. I am a hard core needle-turn fan; I can dive right into any project and start appliqueing pieces down in short order if I don't have to do all the mish-mash of gluing, pressing, turning, etc. involved in pre-basting applique. Once you learn to do needle turn, it's hard to leave it! Having said that... not everyone finds needle turn to be easy. Ah... but I never said it was all easy... it's just more efficient once the technique is mastered!
(c)2009 Susan H. Garman
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