teaching sewing confidence, tip by tip

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Creating and Adding Applique to the Children of Israel Block

Using iron-on adhesive transfer web to attach applique to block
To follow on with my idea to include an image of Moses as part of the block, I quickly sketched out a basket and bullrush design slightly smaller than the central square of the block.  Next I selected my fabric, obviously something to represent basketweave would be good and in my stash I found this wonderful Quilter's Linen by Robert Kaufman.  I used two shades, beige and taupe - the darker shade will create depth and shadow for inside the basket.

Basket pieces cut out and ready to attach to block

Using an English product called Bondaweb (I think it's called Wonder Under in America) I ironed the adhesive transfer web to the two fabrics.  Next I cut out my basket design and drew around it onto the Bondaweb paper backing.  I cut the basket sections out of the fabric, removed the backing paper and ironed them onto the central square block.

Appliqued basket with free machine stitched outline

Using a zigzag stitch I appliqued the basket onto the central fabric square.  Once this was done I sketched bullrushes onto the fabric using an air erasing pen - as long as I don't iron over my sketched lines before they disappear then the pen will be gone from the fabric over the next couple of hours.

Close up detail of central square

I lowered the feed dogs on my machine and free motion stitched over the sketched lines using different coloured threads.  I used a different colour bobbin thread to add more textural detail as this lifts through from the back of the fabric depending on the tension used.  Finally I filled in the outline of the bullrushes again using a different colour to add more detail.

TIP: I haven't appliqued within a block before and what I've learnt from this is that it would be better to do the sewing and applique onto the fabric before cutting it to size for the block.  The heavy stitching pulls the fabric in slightly and, as we all know, every 1/8" counts when you're patchworking so now I'll have to do scant 1/4" seams to make up the difference.  Cutting the square after appliqueing would mean you could cut the square accurately to size.

And here's the finished square within its block
Finished applique and free motion stitching
Well it's time to walk the dog now, she's been quite neglected today as I've been so engrossed in creating this block so I'll sew it together tomorrow.

Other related posts about my 'Children of Israel' block:
My First Quilting Bee
Children of Israel 12" Quilting Block
A Very Wet Tuesday


  1. Love everything about this block, so original and I think the fabric choice is wonderful. Lesson learned about doing your applique on an over sized piece and then cutting to size. Well done.

    1. Thanks, it's strange making a block with someone else's fabric and colourway choices but more exciting. Once I did the applique I think it actually pulled the fabrics together better, more cohesive. Right about oversizing fabric for an applique piece, I always end up learning more from my mistakes! :)


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