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Wool Applique: I am in love!

Summary

Once you feel wool applique, you will fall in love with it. Read Quilting Contessa's thought and tips on wool applique. Share with your friends.

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Wool Applique: I am in love!

Two weeks ago, at our bee, Jane led us in making a scissor holder with simple wool applique. I fell in love immediately.

Wool Applique: I am in love!

 

Once the wool is felted, it doesn't fray and can be stitched onto the background with a simple blanket stitch. The patterns are endless and quite colorful.

scissor

 

And yes, there are people who machine stitch their wool applique. But that defeats the purpose for me. Hand sewing is a bonus for those of us who like to work while watching TV or at a place where the sewing machine can't go.

Being a beginner, I had questions. How do you know if it's real wool? Basic answers are easy to find on the Web, such as lighting a small sample with a match, but the one I liked best was getting it wet. If it smells like a sheep, its wool. I also learned about "new wool", which isn't wool at all and will fray when felted. One great hint was to put the wool in a pillowcase when felting. It keeps most of the lint out of your washer and dryer.

The selection of stitches used for applique is based on simple embroidery and doesn't take long to learn. Although videos are available online, I recommend asking a friend. I never could get the French knot by myself, but one lesson from Jane, and I was on my way!

 

The project I am now doing has a cotton background. I asked about other backgrounds and found flannel to be popular. Jane sometimes turns her flannel over for a less fuzzy exterior that doesn't ball up as much. I asked about commercial felt, which is often polyester and not wool, and was told that it was OK for small projects such as tree ornaments, such too bulky for larger items. Someone asked about working in a hoop and learned that it might distort the project.

yellow flowers

 

Wool projects can get heavy and bulky, but the folks I asked don't cut away the lower layers of their projects. The layering adds a 3-dimensional appearance which is well liked by most quilters. Sew the bottom layers first and then work up. And yes, they do use fabric markers for shading.

poppy

 

Of course, I asked about needles and threads and received recommendations for favorites. For now, I'm using two ply of embroidery floss because my mother left me a box with at least one of each color on the planet.

floss

 

One of the reasons I love quilting is that the body of knowledge will last me the rest of my life. Am I starting a Baltimore Album next? That might have to wait for the next lifetime.

 

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Glossary

Applique
Attaching individual pieces of fabric to a background to form a design.

Same As: Appliqué


See Also: Freezer Paper Applique, Needleturn Applique, Machine Applique, Reverse Applique, Shadow Applique
Flannel
A soft fabric which can be made from cotton, wool or synthetic fibers. It is usually loosely woven and slightly furry and is very warm. It's tendency to ravel makes it a very good fabric to use for rag quilt.
French Knot
An embroidery stitch formed by wrapping yarn around a needle as it is drawn through the cloth.
Hoop
A small circular or oval apparatus that is used to hold the layers of a quilt together during quilting.
Ply
Used to describe a single strand of thread. Thread can be known as one, two or three ply thread based on the strands.
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Quilting Contessa
Quilting Contessa is a collection of various authors around the world that have submitted articles for the QuiltingHub 'How To' quilt wiki.  These are authors that do not write enough to have their own authorship, yet provide valuable content for the site.  If you wish to submit an article, contact us on QuiltingHub.
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