Applique Quilts

Written by Rebecca Russell
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Appliqué is the art of cutting pieces of fabric and stitching them onto a larger piece of material to create a design. This art is very useful in quilt making, particularly for those individuals who choose to branch out from traditional patterns. Appliqué is generally used to create specific figures such as flowers or traditional holiday scenes.

Appliqué can be relatively easy to learn, but rather difficult to master. However, most appliqué pieces do not require the use of a fancy quilting stitch, which makes them desirable for the novice quilt maker. Appliqué typically uses only a simple running stitch, which can be done by hand or machine. Stitching follows the outline of the appliquéd fabric and if the creator feels so inclined, decorative embroidery can be added once the piece is finished.

Appliqué Quilt Patterns

One of the most popular appliqué patterns is affectionately known as Sunbonnet Sue. This pattern is typically the outline of a little girl in profile with a large bonnet covering the side of her face. There are many variations of this pattern, some detailed and some very simple. The simpler variations are generally good starting points for those interested in learning appliqué and they make lovely baby quilts.

Appliqué patterns are readily available online, along with tips for beginners. Appliqué quilts typically take less time to finish than quilts requiring a great deal of ornamental stitching, which makes them fun and exciting projects for children. Designs can be made from large and easily cut fabric pieces, and once the basic stitch is mastered, children will be able to finish most of the work with little help.


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