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Thread: Help with ideas for applique - 4 elements

  1. #1
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    I'm making a scrap quilt for my friend. It's going piecing in the center. I'm going to put a black border around it. On the border, I'm going to applique various designs - a mobius, a libra symbol/scale, Ox (Chinese zodiac) symbol, things like that. He also wants something representing the 4 elements. So far, Earth is going to be a mountain and fire is going to be like ... well, it's like how I drew campfires growing up, minus the wood. Point being, I'm good on that.

    I'm stuck on Air and Water. Ideas? This will be my first applique work, so I'd like to stick at medium difficulty (or easy, bonus points if you have a real easy design).

    And would you suggest quilting it FIRST and then adding the applique? When I've done hand binding I've had to go over stitches... not the most fun in the world but definitely do-able. Or would you applique FIRST and then quilt around it? Because I use my Flynn quilting frame, it's can be difficult to work in larger areas.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I would definitely applique first and quilt afterwards. The quilting can greatly enhance the applique.

    If this is a large quilt, you could do it in sections (where you remove all but the middle third of the batting and quilt that first). There are a couple of books that explain how to do this, and it has been the subject of a few threads here.

    For air, I'm thinking you could FMQ swirling feathers in a variegated blue thread on a white background. Or you could applique white clouds on a blue background, perhaps adding some birds riding on the air.

    Water is an example of where an applique could be greatly enhanced by quilting. You could create an applique lake and quilt ripple patterns on it, or swirls. Or you could create a waterfall and quilt straight lines down the water fall and circles in a pool at the bottom.

  3. #3
    Super Member wvdek's Avatar
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    Just want to wish you good luck. No suggestions.

  4. #4
    k3n
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    I was thinking clouds for the air as well and I like Prism's suggestion on the addition of birds. I like the waterfall idea too and agree to quilt afterwards to enhance the appliqué. Sounds like a wonderful project, can't wait to see it done!

  5. #5
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    What about for air you find some white material with say a silver wispy pattern to symbolize a breeze (this can be a larger piece). Then put birds or trees like Prism99 and K3N stated.

    Same thing with the waterfall. They have some beautiful fabric that resembles water. In fact, you can google nature fabric and find something for water. Oh, don't forget the fish jumping out of the water! :D :D

  6. #6

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    waves for water??not sure about air

  7. #7
    k3n
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    FISH!!! Of course! Why didn't I think of that, fishies jumping out of a waterfall falling into a wavy pool!

  8. #8
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    This is fun!!! :lol: :lol:

  9. #9
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I think you already have some great ideas. I would go with them, good luck and sure your friend will like it.

  10. #10
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewcrafty
    This is fun!!! :lol: :lol:
    Hope Lucy thinks so too! I'm great at thinking up tricky stuff for other ppl to do! :mrgreen:

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