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Igniting the creative spark (or letting my creative muse run wild)

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” ~ Buddhist Proverb.

My creative switch  flipped on yesterday during an applique class with Jan Cunningham.  She’s an award-winning quilter who graciously agreed to present her version of  Sharon Schamber’s invisible applique technique to members of the Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild.   (picture taken with cell phone – will upload better one later)

I’m adept with raggy edge and fusible applique, but needle turn methods have left me scratching my head and/or not liking the finished result.

Until now.

I’ve avoided (and mean REALLY avoided) working on a bird applique quilt for my mom because I wasn’t sure how to proceed.  Well, I think I have it down now.  I was able to cut and glue down my applique pieces during the class.  Chose not to stitch in class because I had the Carina with me which has neither needle down nor droppable feed dogs.  It took a few tries to get Jewel set up for a satisfactory stitch, but following are my settings for doing an invisible applique on a Janome 6600 Professional:

Upper Thread:  Sulky Polyester Monofilament (place upright in a jam jar on the counter behind the spool holders)
Bobbin: Aurifil 50 wt
Needle:  Size 10/70 topstitch or 11/75 embroidery
Tension adjustments:  2.5 upper thread and 1/4 screw turn to the right on the bobbin case.
Stitch width:  .9 – 1.1
Stitch length:  .9
Foot:  Open toe (regular or Accufeed)

Good quality poly thread in the bobbin didn’t work so well for me, so I’ll stick with Aurifil or Superior 50 wt cotton for now.

And for what it’s worth:  Sulky invisible thread does shine if the light hits it just so.  Mrs. Cunningham informed us that the Superior Threads mono-poly product has a matte finish.  I think I’ll give that a try.

This particular method uses lots of glue stick and a special interfacing that is left intact (unlike freezer paper that is removed).  Once stitched, the work is soaked for a couple of hours to remove the glue.  Supposedly, the fibers in the interfacing soften, which results in a hand-applique look.

Now, if this day would only hurry up and end so I can go home and get busy in my studio,  I want to see how it looks after I soak the glue out of the sample.