Community Quilts from Jazz

I have a treat for you.  Jazz finished three quilts that she will be donating on.

Jazz writes:
Jo, you know I love to sew, especially to quilt. I thrill to select patterns, choose fabrics, cut and piece. I even enjoy binding! But there’s one thing I hate to do. I hate to applique. I hate it so much I won’t even do it for my best friend. It’s tedious, it’s persnickety, it’s not something I have the patience for, even as I wish, wish, wish I did.

I admire applique. I buy books about it and study them. I buy applique patterns intending to use them. I talk about applique a lot. I delight in the images of applique.  I have high regard for the skill required to do it well. So, it was a charming surprise to receive some lovely finished applique squares from your fan, Holly Melton. Y’all, Holly can applique!

I so enjoyed stitching these pretty applique squares into a quilt. Her colors, blue, mauve, and green, were easy to incorporate with some plain squares (allowing her handwork to shine) and I backed it with the perfect coordinating print you gave me. It doesn’t show well in the photos but I used purple glitter thread on the back.

It finished at about 38” x 38” which is the requested size for the babies at the hospitals of Harris Health. Thank you so much, Holly! I look forward to playing with the rest of what you sent, but I could no longer resist these marvelous appliques!

Sue Rea, of Pearland, Texas, gave me some scraps in January. In the assortment, I found some majestic purple and teal pinwheel squares.

I was stumped about how to assemble them, but my lovely and talented wife (who doesn’t even quilt) knew immediately what they needed – light, bright lime sashes!

I think she’s a genius, what do you think? It’s backed with a soft, gray flannel, just the best thing against new baby skin.

My third quilt is also for the hospitals’ newborns. It’s squares from my own stash, with elegant white-on-white blocks donated by lla Migut of De Plains, Il, and a sweet, tiny, yellow rose print from Holly Melton from Brazil, IN.

The back is a flannel print that I can’t remember buying, and all the usual suspects deny having given me. Still, it seemed the perfect complement to the pattern, so I give my most sincere thanks to whoever donated it to me.

Of course, they’re all batted with the soft and easy to sew batting you gave me, Jo.

These will be delivered directly to Ben Taub Hospital next week, along with about 15 more. Thank you to everyone who made it possible!”

WOW…these are all great.  Thanks to everyone who donated goodies that made these happen.  I big shout out to those of you who donated postage money.  Over Christmas, there was extra money in the account so I sent batting to Jazz.  As you can see, she’s making great use of it.

I’m so happy to see so many great quilts…by the way, I’m with Jazz.  I love applique.  I have studied how to do it but just haven’t found a way to really enjoy it.  For me, I think I’d rather be doing other handwork that doesn’t show my imperfections so easily.

Any appliquers out there…is there a trick Jazz and I don’t know about?

16 thoughts on “Community Quilts from Jazz”

  1. Judith Fairchild

    Yes, there is ! You take a very light sheer cotton and lay it over the piece of applique sew a 1/4 inch around the the applique, trimm and cut the edges for the rounded sections yo lay flat. cut a small slit in the sheer turn the applique out to be the front and the sheer in the back. Press and stitch to the square of backing. Easy and quickly done. I read c about it in a quilting magazine about 30 years ago.

      1. Holly did a magnificent job on her appliques. Makes me want to try it again, but her perfection intimidates me. Thank you, Holly!

  2. I like to use the backbasting method If you can prepare a day or two or more before you’re ready to stitch it’s even better. you can find tutorials online with a google search.

  3. Kristy Wilkinson

    Jo, I think the pellon method makes applique accessible to everyone. It also makes it easy to make any shape you want. You sew on the line you draw on the sew -in light weight interfacing on the right side of the fabric . Then you clip your edges 1/4″ around and then clip an x in the middle of the interfacing only and turn it to the back. Your edges are all turned under and you have a beautiful smooth edge! You can machine applique it on or hand sew it on. I glue baste mine and then I hand blanket stitch them. But I have just been working on doing some with machine blanket stitch and tiny zig-zag to sew down the edges. Lori Holt is the gal who you should check out. She is the queen of this method. I am making her Flea Market Flowers quilt. I love the results! K-

  4. I agree, appliqué is a 4 lettered work, aplk, it brings no joy…only when I can admire other’s work. Well, the mountain is out today, enjoying temps in the low 70s…..yea, spring has sprung!

  5. LaNan Eldridge

    Pretty quilts! Appliqué either hand or machine is one of my favorites. With machine appliqué my friend is the fusible…either regular or lightweight. Sometimes I’ve used an appliqué sheet to put my pieces altogether and other times not. I usually use the blanket stitch but am trying to perfect the blind hem stitch way with invisible thread. My problem there is to find a machine that likes invisible thread!!! Hand appliqué is relaxing and the key to that is using a straw needle. It all reminds me of coloring books as a kid

  6. I too love applique quilts, but not done a lot of it. I don’t think I’ve tried machine applique. The only things I see that haven’t been mentioned for hand applique – use fine thread well matched to the fabric, and don’t pull the stitches too tight.

  7. I forgot one – if you use pins to hold your pieces in place, use short ones, or insert the pins from the back side. This will help prevent catching your thread on the ends of pins.

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