I don’t know what the temperature is where you live right now, but here in the Denver area school is back in session, which makes it official: Autumn Is Coming.
And with autumn comes the return of Quilting Weather. Shorter, cooler days inspire many of us to want to focus on making warm and cozy projects. It’s also a great time to get in the spirit of the season by adopting a “back to school” mentality and learning some new techniques.
For many of us, wool felt applique would certainly fall into the “new techniques” category but it’s an incredibly beginner-friendly and immensely satisfying technique that’s easy to get the hang of. The September/October 2017 issue of McCall’s Quilting features a gorgeous bed quilt, Fall Stars by Jo Moury, that’s made with wool felt applique; the pattern includes a lesson on working with and making your own wool felt.
Here are some video tutorials that will allow you to see different ways of working with wool felt up close.
Paula Stoddard loves wool applique and designs adorable patterns using it that make you just want to reach out and pet her quilts. (Be sure to scroll down a bit to see Paula’s latest project using wool felt applique, Dreaming of Spring.)
In this tutorial she did for “Quiltmaker’s Block Network,” Paula demonstrates a step-by-step method for using wool felt to make the Flowers for Ewe block that she designed for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Vol. 2.
In another episode, Paula demonstrated how to make the Some-Bunny block she designed for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Vol. 5 also using a fusible applique method.
In this episode of Quilters Newsletter TV, Amy Mundinger described what to look for in a wool sweater in order to felt it, how to felt the wool and how to prepare it for projects. The full episode (available for viewing on QNNtv.com) also includes some of the fun projects Amy has made with her felted wool.
In a second episode, Amy talked more specifically about how to create wool applique shapes, how to arrange and stitch them to a pre-quilted background, how to turn them into medallions for centerpieces or brooches, and more. The full episode is available for viewing on QNNtv.com.
In this “Quilty” episode, Marianne Fons joined daughter Mary to show how to make a darling wool felt heart that you can hang up as a decoration or give as a tiny gift. Learn how to work with wool, how to do a hand blanket stitch, and discover a good use for all those extra buttons in your junk drawer!
In the 900 series of Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting, Liz and Marianne demonstrated an array of decorative embroidery stitches perfect for wool applique as well as a trunk show of gorgeous wool projects that anyone can make. Visit QNNtv.com to view the full episode.
Also on QNNtv.com is a full episode of “Quilting Celebrations” with Patrick Lose featuring Miranda McGahee and Patti Conner in which Patti showed some projects she made using Miranda’s hand-dyed wool. Patti shows how she cuts out and places her appliques shapes, as well as how she pre-stitches some of her motifs before adding them to the project and some of her signature stitches. Visit QNNtv.com to view the free preview of this “Quilting Celebrations” episode.
So now that you know the basics, what are you going to make using your newfound skills? I have a few ideas for you.
Quiltmaker’s current series pattern Dreaming of Spring by Paula Stoddard combines pieced and appliqued blocks for a throw or wall quilt. It’s available as a kit, which includes the full Dreaming of Spring pattern, as well as flannels from Windham Fabrics and cozy wool from Weeks Dye Works for the quilt top and binding. Even better: it’s currently on sale for $20 off (price subject to change).
There are a couple of adorable patterns that Jen Daly designed for editions of Quilters Newsletter’s Best Christmas Quilts special issues that are made with wool felt applique.
You can find her Let It Snow table runner and pillow in Best Christmas Quilts 2012 .
And her O Christmas Tree Advent Calendar is in the 2013 edition of Best Christmas Quilts .
Both of these special issues are available as digital downloads and are currently on sale for only $2.00 each! I’m talking the entire issue, not just one pattern for $2.00. Such a deal!
So with all of those ideas, I say: Bring on the Quilting Weather!