Which Method to Use?

One of the nice things about quilting is that there's space for everybody, room enough for all tastes.

When it comes to appliqué, there are so many different techniques... too many to number or cover here. This is a matter of personal choice. I myself like hand appliqué, but there is no reason whatsover why you wouldn't be able to machine appliqué this project. If you choose this option, however, be aware that some of the pieces in this project are indeed tiny, so you may consider another option for those pieces. If you are considering hand appliqué and would like to explore different techniques, you might want to take a look at our appliqué tutorials.

My personal preference is freezer paper appliqué. I now see that others using this technique like to glue the seam allowances down to the paper, and after appliquéing the pieces down place a damp towel on the wrong side of the block to loosen the paper from the glue to be able to take it out. I've tried this method and, quite frankly, do not enjoy the mess. I've timed myself with both methods, and have actually found the basting to be faster for me. In any case, this is a matter of personal preference.

I also do not turn all edges down (photo at right). Whatever edge will be placed under another piece I add a narrow seam allowance (1/8") and leave unturned.

On designs such as the Country Cups, I also add a 1/4" allowance to the bottom edge of the piece that will be placed at the bottom of the block, which will be caught in the seam when the blocks are assembled. That way I don't have a gap between the appliquéed piece and the edge of the block:


If you have doubts as to how to mark the background block and appliqué multiple pieces, read the tutorial here.

To hold the pieces in place, I usually do one of two things. For larger pieces, I use basting spray on the back of the piece (yes, directly on the freezer paper), and then place it on the block using the placement guides I drew previously. For medium-sized and smaller pieces, I use a few drops of glue on the edges of the seam allowance (just don't place glue on the thread or it will be impossible to pull out) or one little drop in the center of the piece (such as a small leaf).

I also use silk thread to appliqué my pieces. I use white for white fabrics, cream/beige/light gray for light fabrics, medium to dark gray for medium and dark fabrics, and black for black fabrics.