The thing is that I have very basic equipment. Nothing will be done "in the hoop" on my twentysomething Janome that even then was marketed as a basic machine. It does eight stitches. But I don't mean to complain about my machine, because it does very well. For me it all comes down to designer Sarah Vedeler's coy instruction to "applique using your preferred method." My preferred method is needleturn by hand.
Given that one of Sarah's other key instructions was to leave the paper in the quilt until the end (there is a lot of paper piecing), this created a challenge. Hence the several hours of deep thought:
- I don't want to use fusibles at all. I am vain enough to want my quilt to have longevity - at a minimum the 50 years that could be left in my own lifetime.
- I could give up the hand applique and instead use Beth Ferrier's instructions for turned applique by machine. I pulled out her book - More Hand Applique by Machine.
- Beth's method would still involve some glue, as well as TWO layers of paper to take out at the end.
- I could use wash-away applique paper and leave it in.
- But how will I machine quilt an 88" quilt on my little Janome with its 7" throat if the paper is still in the appliques?
- Then, a new issue occured to me. Where will I keep the paper lined quilt for the whole year it is in progress? I don't have a studio where I can leave it on the wall for a year.
- I could keep it in pieces until the end.
- But even then it would be a couple of weeks to assemble it. Plus, the satisfaction of monthly progress will be greatly reduced, possible jeopardizing the whole project. I have to be able to put it away each day.
- If I take the paper out I can hand applique, but how will I keep the big pieces accurate enough to sew together neatly?
- When I used to sew a dress or jacket I had big curved pieces that still fit together accurately. How? I cut a wider seam allowance and marked and pinned the matching points carefully.
- AHA! I will make it like a dress and just give myself nice wide seam allowances.