Stuart's Surgery
Popular Patchwork|October 2017

Each month Stuart Hillard answers your quilty questions!

Jill from South Wales emailed me recently asking for my advice on adding appliqué to quilts. I’ve certainly noticed from visits to many quilt shows over the years that appliqué quilts always have a crowd around them. We admire the work but find it daunting – but does it need to be? Here I share my guide to all things appliqué.

Appliqué is the art of adding one fabric onto another as a decorative patch or motif. Rather than piecing the fabrics together, a shape, for example a heart, is applied to a base fabric, and others are added to create a motif. Early examples of appliqué in quilting used ‘broderie perse’, where a single motif was cut out of an expensive printed chintz fabric and appliquéd to a more inexpensive plain or solid background fabric. This was a small piece of printed fabric that could be stretched to decorate a larger quilt. Appliqué in all forms is fun to do, highly decorative and adds a different element to quilt making.

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