by Sandra | April 1st, 2009
Joan asked these questions based on the Egyptian Goddess photo from the March 30th post and I thought it would be best to answer for everyone to read:
“Now that I examine these pictures, I have a few more questions. Is the hair black fabric with embroidery embellishment? Was the silk crepe fabric of the dress difficult to needle turn? Is the earring embroidery/appliqued? What are your thoughts on cutting away the back as you layer applique objects?”
Is the hair black fabric with embroidery embellishment?
The hair is first appliqued with black fabric and then I used three strands of DMC black cotton embroidery thread and created “lines” of twisted chain stitch. The twisted chain stitch created the illusion of braids and added dimension and texture to the applique.
Was the silk crepe fabric of the dress difficult to needle turn?
Extremely difficult! Not only did I have to needle turn a flimsy fraying edge, but I also had to do so with a slip of a lining to eliminate shadowing of the applique. The added issue was making sure I didn’t distort the “scrunching” texture of the silk as I appliqued. This was not for the faint of heart!
Notice there is no shadowing from the background fabric or seam behind the dress? Another thing that drives me crazy is shadowing because it is very distracting visually.
Is the earring embroidery/appliqued?
Both. I appliqued down the gold fabric and then stem stitched the rings of darker gold with one strand DMC cotton.
What are your thoughts on cutting away the back as you layer applique objects?”
I do not cut away from the back of my applique unless I have a build-up of three or more layers including the background piece. Then I only cut away so that I still leave two layers intact–the two uppermost layers. Not only does cutting away behind the applique weaken the construction integrity of the top, but it also creates those unsightly hard edged divots (I call them applique pock marks). Batting will not adequately fill in those divots during the quilting stage either.
Time, weight and wear will, in short time, create permanent hard edge ridges from the seam allowances and ‘sunken cheek ’ impressions on the quilt’s surface. I have also found that doing this brings attention to and accentuates irregular stitching along the applique’s edges too. Experience has taught me this is not the best approach for an applique quilt either visually or technically.
Joan, I hope this answers your questions!
©2009 Sandra Leichner