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Friday, July 26, 2013

Florentine Edge Appliqué

Pipe Dreams, an original quilt by Ann Fahl
Have you seen the September 2013 issue of American Quilter Magazine? The above quilt was featured in my article about Florentine Edge Appliqué on pages 24-28.  I've probably mentioned this technique  before, I am really enjoying using it on my newest quilts. Pipe Dreams was about getting a new toilet.  You can read all the details on my website.

The article looks great, but what is funny is that I sent images of a newer quilt; which they decided not to use. So all of my blog readers can read the back story of this newer quilt and the article! 
Coneflower Tea, © an original quilt by Ann Fahl  22 x 22 inches
The quilt Coneflower Tea, contains so many of my personal images, I just love it.  It is hanging in my studio right now. The base of the quilt or the "tablecloth" is a large ginkgo leaf.  On it, rests a teapot and 2 cups.  This teapot is a favorite of mine, it also appears in another quilt titled Tea Party.  This quilt is particularly colorful and my cat Oreo is included. The actual teapot is bright red. Back to Coneflower Tea, the pot in this quilt is decorated with a small pink coneflower.

To tell you the truth, I've never made tea in this pot.  It sits in my family room, where I can enjoy looking at it.  So in this newer quilt, I've removed the lid and arranged some large coneflowers inside.
Closeup of the ginkgo leaf.
The very wide stitch on the edge of the lime/yellow leaf is my Florentine Edge Appliqué.  In the past I have wanted a wide zigzag stitch.  My machine gives a 7mm stitch and I believe Bernina has a 9 mm wide stitch, neither is wide enough for my needs.  By accident I found if I set my machine for a free-motion zigzag and moved the quilt side to side, I could create an edge that was 1, 1.5, 2 inches or wider as needed. Eureka, I have done it! This creates a soft edge, not a hard defined edge that a standard satin stitch provides. This is exactly what I'm looking for. 
Detail of bright blue leaves with green variegated Florentine Edge
These leaves are small, only 3 or 4 inches long.  I love how the blue fabric pops when edged with the green variegated Rainbow thread.

Briefly this is what you do to create this stitch, there are 3 steps:

1.Set up the machine with feed dogs down, darning foot installed
2.Set zigzag width for about 3 (you can experiment with the width)
3.Stitch along the edge with a free-motion zigzag stitch for 1 or 2 inches
4.Retrace your steps and go back over the zigzags you have just created
5.Now move the fabric side-to-side going as far into the center of the shape as you'd like.
6.When you have covered the first row of zigzag stitching, begin again with step #3. Continue around the shape in this manner until the edges are covered.

This isn't a fast method.  It takes time to create this interesting edge but it is worth the time.  For detailed instructions, check out the article in AQ, or see my booklet titled Applique Ann's Way.

Ann Fahl

4 comments:

Sheila said...

I Love that effect. I am going to try this on my next appliqué.. Do you have any tension issues moving side to side so sharply?

Rachel said...

Nice article. Great technique. Lovely little quilts. Thanks.

annieQ said...

Loosen your tension as needed.

Sarah said...

I tried this technique on a little practice piece. It's great! I used sulky rayon thread, because that was what was in the machine. It looked very nice. Thanks for the great information.