I was asked to do a book review on this book called "Learn to do Applique in one Weekend" by Nancy Brenan Daniel. I had a good time looking this book over. I have attempted applique, but not needle turn applique - so it was fun to see how people do it. I usually prefer to get things done fast - only because I don't have a ton of extra time to put into a project, but I can see how needle turn applique is the way to go if you have the time. Nancy also went over other techniques of applique and she explained them well in the book.
Here's the example of the needle turn applique. It was fun to try - it will take some practice though as I found out myself. I used freezer paper for the first time and that was so fun. I didn't know how cool that stuff really is. But - like I said, this technique will take some practice and to keep from getting discouraged I would try a machine applique technique first before you tackle this.
This is the example of the wool applique. This is a popular technique right now and the way it is explained in the book makes it so easy. I like how you don't have to piece anything - it is simply put together with the stitching. What is nice about the wool and blanket stitch applique is that most sewing machines have the blanket stitch programmed into them and that makes this applique go by super fast. I have used the blanket stitch several times in a lot of my patterns. It's a fun and easy way to get your appliques done fast.
This is an example of shadow applique. I have used this technique with a satin stitch on my sewing machine - what is fun about the shadow affect is that you incorporate transparent/sheer fabric to go over the top of the applique. It gives it a fun affect. This is also an easier technique that is great for beginners and is explained well in the book.
I thought the instructions in this book were easy to follow and it made me want to incorporate more applique techniques into my own quilts. I will one day master the needle turn - when I have more time of course.
I was also able to interview the author of the book - Nancy.
Question -At what age did you make your first quilt?
I think I finished my first quilt when I was about 19 years old. I started my first quilt when I was 10 or 12...and no I never finished that one! BUT, I still have what I did finish.
Question - How many projects do you think you have made since you started quilting/appliqueing?
Judi...I've been designing new quilts for over 25 years! Before that I made traditional patterns with some modifications. I've made HUNDREDS & HUNDREDS!
Question - How long have you been appliqueing?
Applique came later for me. I learned to quilt from my Grandmother and she did not do much applique. The only applique she did, that I know of, was for my daughter, Karen, when she was a baby. It was a 'Kitten' quilt. I started seriously looking at and designing applique in the late 1960s.
Question - How did you learn to applique?
I taught myself, mostly, from books AND I had an English friend who taught me English style....until this day.
Question - What is your favorite applique technique? Why?
I've pretty much 'translated' the English paper foundation applique technique into a freezer-paper technique...which I've taught since the early 1970s.
Question - What applique technique do you recommend for beginners?
I prefer to introduce my beginners to the paper foundation techniques because it is forgiving and easy to do. What they see is what they get (or sew). Needle-turn and other advanced techniques come when they are ready for them AND after they have had success with the beginning techniques.
Question - Why do you love applique?
I prefer hand applique... even though I also do the work by machine... I like
applique because it is portable AND because I can use so-o-o-o many different fabrics in a single project!
Question - When you started to applique, did you plan on writing a book?
No... I just loved doing it. I was a designer long before I started writing and
designing applique for the books. In the 1980s and 1990s I was in a small guild of members who wanted to learn to applique... because they saw me doing it at meetings. I said I would teach them...BUT only if they would sign up for a series of twelve easy lessons AND do a block a month. That was my first
collections of patterns.
Question - What was your inspiration for writing this book?
I learned so much from my first applique students. When a pattern was too difficult I certainly heard about it...so I would simplify it or toss it out of the collection. I learned that a single technique didn't work for everyone...and that by offering a 'different' way now and then would 'click' with different students. I continue to learn more about teaching ALL the time.
Question - How long have you been teaching?
I've been a certified academic teacher since 1966. I've been teaching quilt making
Question - What is one goal that you would like to accomplish in your quilting career that you have not done yet?
WOW...that is a good question Judi. I always have a new book in mind. I'm always designing new applique and patchwork. I love to create...PERIOD. My total goal in life is to live a 'creative life' as long as I'm able.
Thanks Nancy! I had a great time doing this book review and I hope it has been helpful to you. You can order Nancy's book here and please check out these other blogs - they have done other reviews on different projects for this same book.
Jessica Kovach from Twinfibers
Joanna Martinez from AppliqueToday
Stacy Gandy from SewButterfly