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Thread: Please help re: applique vs. using a machine to stitch it down

  1. #1
    allisonirons's Avatar
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    Crap!! I just typed out this whole huge post and accidentally x'd out of the window!

    Okay. Here we go again!

    My MIL was a quilter for a number of years. She has incredible talent and has taken up knitting in the last 5 years or so and has put down the quilting. She frequently gives things to her FIL (GFIL) to sell at flea markets and recently she gave him a quilt top that was her first hand applique attempt. GMIL grabbed it out of the for sale bin and told MIL that she wanted it. MIL said she wanted nothing to do with it and that GMIL could have it if she wanted but that MIL didn't want to quilt it. She was just done with it.

    Then MIL called me and asked if I would do it for GMIL. I said sure. I just got the quilt top in the mail today. I feel like I don't want to take the time to quilt this whole top with it looking like this.

    Basically, as you will see, the stitches are freaking huge. MIL didn't know when she made this that the applique stitches are supposed to be invisible or as close to that as possible, so she did these enormous stitches all over the whole quilt. I thought okay, I'll just re-do the hand applique. No big deal right? Well there is a TON of applique. It is 12 14" (maybe that's a guess) but big blocks full of applique. So I did one petal and I can clearly see that my redoing it makes a huge difference. But, I have also come to the unfortunate realization that when MIL did the applique, each of the blocks were separate so she had a lot of freedom to twist and turn each block, and then after she was done, she sewed them all together with sashing to form the quilt top.

    Unfortunately, I don't have that luxury so I'm wrestling with this big quilt top and struggling with each stitch and I just did one petal! So I'm thinking that I want to do that top stitching in matching thread on the top near the edge of each piece, not that machine applique where it's solid thread, where you use tons and tons, but just normal top stitching. I think that would look good on this quilt and it would be much easier than hand applique-ing the whole thing.

    help!

    What do you think??

    This is the petal that I redid- you can see that I did the light pink petal.

    [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...e/DSC00719.jpg[/IMG]

    [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...e/DSC00725.jpg[/IMG]
    Here is that whole block.

    [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...e/DSC00724.jpg[/IMG]

    This is the whole quilt top, so you can have an idea how much hand appliqueing I'm going to have to do.

    [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...DSC00726-1.jpg[/IMG]
    This is my favorite block on the quilt... and you can see her huge stitches really take away from what a great job she did on the quilt.

  2. #2
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    A machine blanket stitch would look nicely on that IMHO...the birds have a folksy look to them as well as the some of the flowers. I have seen other appliques done that way, too...I wonder if it was a popular method at one time?

  3. #3
    allisonirons's Avatar
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    It may very well have been a popular method, but that wasn't what she intended, she just didn't know any better. And now that it's no longer hers... I kinda feel like I want to fix it because I really don't like the way it looks.

  4. #4
    allisonirons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    A machine blanket stitch would look nicely on that IMHO...the birds have a folksy look to them as well as the some of the flowers. I have seen other appliques done that way, too...I wonder if it was a popular method at one time?
    I don't mean blanket stitch, I mean just a straight stitch around the edge. Like 1/8" or closer to the edge.

  5. #5
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    Allison: I really hate to disagree with you because you have to live with the quilt. Take a step back and look again. The stitches look fine to me the way she did them. The patterns are folk art and so are the stitches. Or am I looking at it wrong? I'm sorry-I'm a big fan of folk art quilts, carvings, paintings, etc. and this looks very nice. This is just my VERY humble opinion. Good luck with whatever you decide-it's a lovely quilt.

  6. #6
    allisonirons's Avatar
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    I suppose that you could look at it that way, thinking that it's folk arty.... hmmm

  7. #7
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I think I'd take it apart to do the applique over. You wouldn't have to take all the sashing off, just take it down to smaller sections that would be easier to handle.

    edited to add, if you're bound and determined to redo the applique that is!

    I agree with everybody else, it doesn't really need redone. You'd be surprised at how great this quilt would look with the right quilting.

  8. #8
    liblueeyes's Avatar
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    I agree with janRN - if you look at the stitches and how evenly space they are and how they are equal in size - it seems that is how she deliberately did it. I think it goes with the " folk arty" look of the quilt and the age. But you have to be happy with it ! Good Luck with it!

    Quote Originally Posted by janRN
    Allison: I really hate to disagree with you because you have to live with the quilt. Take a step back and look again. The stitches look fine to me the way she did them. The patterns are folk art and so are the stitches. Or am I looking at it wrong? I'm sorry-I'm a big fan of folk art quilts, carvings, paintings, etc. and this looks very nice. This is just my VERY humble opinion. Good luck with whatever you decide-it's a lovely quilt.

  9. #9
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I agree with JanRN. It's a different style than you're used to, but the stitches are even and neat, done with matching thread, and the fabric is well turned. I think it's a piece to be treasured, not changed. But it's your decision.

  10. #10
    Super Member bebe's Avatar
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    I know that is hoe people use to applique that is why the thread matches. I would leave it along and just do echo quilting or something similar. Very pretty!!!!

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