Saturday, May 2, 2015

Needle-turn and Double Appliqué

Three things I'm restoring to my new home that were lost; 
two needle-turn appliqué pillows and this Hibiscus Quilt.

Because I forgot to take them with me when evacuating.  Join me as I reconstruct the Hibiscus Quilt first - only because the needle-turn pillows are taking a lot of time, go figure. I will update you with the progress of the pillows and quilt in future posts.

The appliqué technique of the center of the original Hibiscus quilt was raw-edge machine appliqué.  Not the new one...
It's emerging using two techniques: traditional Hawaiian needle-turn (the leaves) and double appliqué with the hibiscus petals and centers.  Why?  Traditional Hawaiian appliqué isn't done in layers.  I felt a different method was in store after finishing the leaves - a method I'd never tried: double appliqué.  You can see a partially finished petal attached to the center block, above, and zoomed in, below.
The right side of the fabric is sewn on the line as traced around the pattern to lightweight, non-woven, non-fusible interfacing.  The interfacing is trimmed and curves clipped close to the sewn edge.
Slit the interfacing to turn the piece, and iron - rolling the interfacing under.
 Tah dah!  You're ready to machine or hand appliqué.  I chose to continue to hand appliqué since I'd already started needle-turning.  

When I walked into the Maui Quilt Shop ( to peruse and relax after snorkeling, swimming and sunbathing, I saw a few patterns I'd lost, and completely unaware, I began to weep.  Turning away from shoppers to compose myself, I then saw the exact fabric of a Hawaiian dress I also lost which didn't help the eye-watering situation. Turning another way, I saw needle-turn pillow kits (to purchase and use with their classes offered on Fridays, which I'd taken years before) and I was absolutely a goner. Noticing I was the only patron in their tiny but cozy shop, I approached two employees, asked for a tissue, got in control, and explained the situation.  Big breath.  There, I can shop now. Of course I bought patterns, dress material, fabric to make pillows, and signed up for a needle-turn appliqué refresher course that very Friday.  I was in heaven!

I have the series of half-square triangles all cut and sewn together, since this quilt is primarily made of them.  It's a very simple but stunning study of contrasts, illusion and transparency.  I purchased some fabrics on the island  at another very nice quilt shop ( but they had a flat effect.  So I came to the mainland and found these at Fiddlesticks here in town (, and will keep you entirely in suspense until I finish the quilt! I was a bit disappointed that the exact fabrics weren't available anymore, but what quilt fabric lines stay around for long?!?  BTW, Fiddlesticks was one of the shops that garnered the 2015 APQ Shop Hop award!  You can purchase the Spring/Summer issue right now.

I am swimming in batiks but not drowning!  Stay in tune for the reveals!