Machine Applique flower Garden

Several years ago I bought this pattern intending to hand applique. I was already working on a Piece O Cake hand applique project that had to be finished before I would let myself start yet another long term project. I finished that one, the top anyway, still need to quilt it!

Kim McLean pattern

Various other projects got started and finished along the way. I’d already purchased the background fabrics and designated a project box but I couldn’t seem to get myself to commit to another hand applique of this size. I love hand applique, I find it very relaxing to hand sew, but the thought of choosing all the fabrics and then stitching was just more than I wanted to take on. My solution was to use this pattern to perfect my machine applique skills! My goal was to take it on my guild’s retreat in June and really make a dent. Once I had a plan it was easy to get fired up! I cut all the backgrounds at the beginning of May and then started prepping my applique pieces. It helped that my husband was travelling a lot at that time, so I had a lot of time to myself (read: I didn’t have to pick up my mess!)

I got 12 blocks prepped before going on the retreat and was able to stitch 9 of them before I needed a break and a switch to another project.

Flower applique, the first 9

Flower applique, the first 9

I’ve been plugging away at the rest of the blocks and have completed all the machine applique. Here are the other blocks:

A group of 6

A group of 6

Another 4, the pink and purple one in the lower right snuck in there again! Oops!

Another 4, the pink and purple one in the lower right snuck in there again! Oops!

more blocks

more blocks

The final 3 !

The final 3 !

Yeah! 24 blocks ready to be trimmed and sashed!

I use Sharon Schamber’s method of machine applique, more or less. She uses a special stabilizer, available on her website here, that doesn’t have to be removed , a huge advantage! The applique edges are turned and glue basted to the stabilizer making a very neat turned edge.

Applique prep

Applique prep

Can you see the light purple glue in the photo below?

Glueing the edges

Glueing the edges

Here I am turning the edges with my special applique tool. A friend gave this to me and I can’t remember who makes it.

Turning the edges

Turning the edges

I’ll do another post about how I stitch the pieces, that’s a whole topic!

After everything is stitched Sharon says to wash/soak all the blocks in synthrapol to remove the glue. Yikes! This was kind of scary, but my goal was to follow the directions and try a new technique. Here are all my lovely blocks soaking in my laundry sink!

This is scary!

This is scary!

They definitely  shriveled up quite a bit and required a lot of pressing. Hopefully when they are in the completed quilt they won’t be wrinkled. I put my trust in Sharon Schamber! Hopefully it will be successful!

On to the sashing!

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