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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
    Power Poster 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

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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:

  11. #11
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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alchemical_symbol

    check out this site. It has the symbols for the four elements. Doesn't mean anything to me but might to your friend.

  12. #12
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    Wow, have fun and can't wait to see photos

  13. #13
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wvdek
    Just want to wish you good luck. No suggestions.
    yes, good luck.

  14. #14
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    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.
    It didn't even cross my mine to use FMQ to enhance the applique.... you're a genius I say, a genius :D Thanks!

  15. #15
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STAR
    waves for water??not sure about air
    That was one of my ideas. I am leaning away from it, only because I've FMQ-ed waves 3-4 times and I'm a little tired of them :mrgreen:

  16. #16
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharon321
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alchemical_symbol

    check out this site. It has the symbols for the four elements. Doesn't mean anything to me but might to your friend.
    Thank you for the link. Those would follow the theme of the other applique so much better, but I think I might get bored (I have Attention Defici... ooh, shiny) doing 4 triangles. But it does fit the other symbols... thanks for the link!

  17. #17
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    An idea the boyfriend came up with for water is to do an H20 molecule. It was said mostly as a joke at first, but I'm thinking it could work. Mountain, fire, wispy clouds, and an H20 molecule. Probably ultimately not going to do it, but a fun idea. Since it's the closest to an element of all the pictures... it has 2 elements - hydrogen and oxygen :D And my friend would get it - one of those, know your audience things. We do theatre together, where I was running lights, and he was telling me the cues, and I was using a delta symbol, representing change in math, rather than writing out "change" for each light change. And my friend got it whereas no one else knew what in the heck it meant

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