Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Prairie Journal fabric collection, Part Two - The Strippy Vine Print

Applique for Beginners and Beyond

 One morning while I was working on my A Prairie Journal line for Henry Glass & Co., I was thinking about applique. I designed the main panel of the line for those quilters who want instant gratification - and maybe those who will never try their hand at applique. With the Prairie Journal panel they can make a small quilt that will give them that look. Here is my free quilt pattern that incorporates the panel pieces and easy piecing ... a cute little 40" x 40" quilt! (If you click on the image, it will take you straight to the free pattern download).

A Prairie Journal quilt
That morning I was thinking about the quilters who DO want to try applique, but are just afraid to get started. And in particular, I was thinking about vines... beautiful vines in the border of a quilt are so striking. But the marking of the vine border can be intimidating, and patterns don't always provide full scale diagrams. So, I'm sure some quilters look at the instructions and say "Maybe not".

I remember that fear well. In 1999 I designed a border to surround a pieced quilt center. I had never before appliqued a vine border at the time. It was a fairly involved design, and it took me awhile to overcome the fear and take the plunge. Below is a portion of my first appliqued border with vine.

Detail, "Summer Cottages" 2000

But I wanted there to be an easier way for the beginner. So I designed this print as a part of the A Prairie Journal line. I call it The Strippy Vine Print:

A Prairie Journal 9919-44
I designed the print as a kind of blank canvas for the applique beginner or student. The printed vine is your template to add shapes such as flowers, leaves, berries, birds, etc.

Here is the paper version of the Strippy Vine Print that I used at my Quilt Market Schoolhouse to illustrate the "Before" and "After" of adding appliques to the yardage:

The printed vine is also meant to be the placement guide for applying the bias vine after your shapes are added. There are several methods you can use to make bias vines. The printed vine on The Strippy Vine print is 3/8" wide. In a previous blog post I explain how to make bias vines using pressing bars. If you are using the pressing bar method, cut your bias strips 1 1/4" wide x the length you will need to cover your vine. To review my pressing bar tutorial CLICK HERE.

Another way to make bias vines is to use a bias tape maker.  Cut your strips 3/4" wide when using this method. Below I am using a Clover 3/8" bias tape maker to press under the edges of the strip:

If you don't have a bias tape maker handy, you can make one yourself. Cut a 3/8" slit in a piece of thin cardboard or chipboard. Finger press the edges of one end of your 3/4" wide fabric strip to get started, so that the raw edges meet in the center.Insert through the slit and begin pulling the strip through the slit, pressing the edges as you go:

Add your appliques and stems first to the vine, using any applique method you like:

Then place your vine over the printed vine to cover your stems:

I have designed four free to use patterns using The Strippy Vine Print that you can find on the Henry Glass & Co. website. Click on the picture below to take you to the page.
The Strippy Vine Print can also be used for a horizontal strip quilt. Here is another of the patterns I designed for use with the print that is a free download on the Henry Glass website. 

Folk Art Strippy
You can even cut apart the borders from The Strippy Vine Print to add a touch of applique to any project. There are thirteen coordinates in the A Prairie Journal line and here are a few of the coordinates that look particularly good with The Strippy Vine Print:

I can't wait to get the full yardage in June and begin playing with The Strippy Vine Print!

Until next time!