Thursday, June 21, 2007

Reverse Applique Tutorial


Ginko Leaves in the Wind (c)2007 Pat Dolan

What IS reverse applique?

Applique is done by applying a new piece of fabric to the top of a fabric that has been chosen as a background. This process creates the design elements by the process of addition.

Reverse applique works in reverse…by adding fabric BEHIND the ‘background’ fabric, and then cutting away the top layer to reveal the addition below the surface.

Demonstrating this process is easier than explaining it!

Basic steps in reverse applique:
1. Select design
2. Consider what will be appliqued
3. Select fabrics
4. Create a fabric “sandwich” of top fabric, batting, and bottom fabric. The top fabric is the one that will be the major background color for all other elements.

I’ve chosen ginko leaves to be the focal point of a small piece. Here, the ginko leaves are laid on the fabric and the basic composition is determined.


Next, using colored pencil that can just barely be seen on the fabric, I trace around each leaf.


Then, I create the fabric ‘sandwich’ using two pieces of fabric with a piece of batting sandwiched in between. I use basting spray to adhere the two pieces of fabric (one on each side) to the batting material.

Here is the sandwich as seen from the back:

Next, the thread selection…

Using my sewing machine…

With the feed dogs dropped…
And using the darning foot...

I begin free-motion sewing (which is why the feed dogs are lowered) and carefully draw with thread over all the colored pencil lines which have outlined the ginko leaves.

The drawing is completely stitched - each leaf is individually stitched independently of all other leaves. Now it’s time to cut the top fabric and the batting away to reveal the hidden layer of fabric below. Special scissors are quite helpful for this…


After four of the five leaves are revealed, I decide not to cut out the fifth - and to do further designing embellishment with the quilting. Here is the piece, after some quilting.

The stitching shows much better on the back than on the front, at the moment.

I’ve decided to applique a white leaf to the top of this piece - here I’ve traced the leaf on fast-2-fuse® that is already fused on one side to white fabric.

The fabric leaf is cut out, laid on the work in progress, and ironed in place.


Then I do some top stitching on the fused leaf to the base unit using a free-motion straight stitch.

Detail of top stitching and quilting. This shows the difference in effect between regular applique to the surface and reverse applique.

Stitching completed - front and back views.



Reverse applique, then, is a process by which additional design elements are added from the back of the surface, rather than to the top. This provides more depth to the finished piece, as is seen here.


Presented by fiber artist, Pat Dolan of Manalapan, New Jersey, on behalf of the Kansas Art Quilter’s for the Sabatini Gallery, June 2007.

© 2007
Patricia C. Dolan

Copies of this as a Power Point presentation are available for $10.00/each plus postage.

Sacred Threads Exhibition in Ohio


GOING IN CIRCLES (c)2004 Pat Dolan

Quoting the Sacred Threads website:
"Sacred Threads is an exhibition of quilts exploring the subject themes of spirituality, joy, inspiration, grief and healing. This biennial exhibition was established to provide a safe venue for quilters of all faiths who see their work as a connection to the sacred and/or as an expression of their spiritual journey.

The objective is to create a dignified exhibition of artwork that touches on both spiritual and personal levels all those who view it. We want to share with others the experiences of quilters whose stories may be a source of healing and strength.

The Sacred Threads will be held June 16-30, 2007 in Reynoldsburg, Ohio (a suburb of Columbus)."

The link above will take you to a page where you will find all the contributing artists' names/state/countries/work titles created by artists from the United States, Canada, and Israel. I am honored to have two pieces included in this exhibit: "Going in Circles" and "Column of Fire." I only wish I could attend the exhibit to see all the works - it must be an amazing exhibition...

COLUMN OF FIRE (c) 2005 Pat Dolan

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ireland + Scotland

I'm back after a vacation/sabbatical in Ireland and Scotland - greener islands are hard to find! Here are a few photos offering but a glimpse of our journey.





































































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