Thursday, December 18, 2008

The week before Christmas

Last weekend we had DH's kids over for afternoon tea and that called for some baking. We enjoyed some lovely summer fruits, pikelets with jam and cream and these pecan brownies, I got the recipe here. For the Aussies, for 3/4 cup shortening I used 170 gm's butter. The leftovers freeze very well.Now don't be horrified when you see the photo below. Yes I've cut out the back of the appliques on my crib quilt. I know the stories as often told, if you cut out the back, it won't be strong and if it gets worn, it won't be easy to repair. Or this one, "they never did it on the antique quilts." I don't cut out the backs of the applique on my bed quilts and it makes it hard to quilt within the applique. But this is not something that's going to get used and I wanted to make it easy on myself. So It's all basted up now. I'd be interested to know what you do, cut out or not? Are the quilt police going to come and get me? And here's a thought, are the applique stitches more secure than hand piecing stitches in a quilt since they're smaller?

I'll probably do my last post before Christmas tomorrow, until then, have a good day.


Lurline's Place said...

Janet, this looks so great even from the back! My personal opinion on cutting out the fabric behind applique - do it! It is a common practice and recommended by the 'experts' - sometimes we have multiple layers of applique and quilting needs to be done around the layers - if you know what I mean! This quilt will be perfect and I look forwrd to seeing more!
Hugs - Lurline!

Janet said...

I will be interested to see what people have to say about "to cut or not to cut"
I don't cut the fabric behind my applique but mostly because I would be so horrified if I ever cut the front applique that I'm too chicken to do it.

Shari said...

I'm of the opinion that it's your quilt and you can make it anyway you want... but honestly if you have multiple layers it makes sense to thin it out! It looks lovely by the way...

Shari said...

PS Those brownies look good and I do have a little time on my hands...

Jay said...

Janet, I originally was told / taught that it's not a good idea to cut away the background fabric. Just like the stories that you mentioned. In fact, my good friend and applique / quilting teacher is a firm believer in not doing so. However, I have started to give it a try, for the very same reason that you mentioned, to eliminate the bulk / layers that would get in the way of hand quilting. It definitely makes the quilting much easier.

As you mentioned, the applique stitches must be just as strong as, if not stronger than, hand piecing stitches or even machine stitches. Usually we have many more applique stitches per inch, so I can't see where it is going to cause a weakness in the quilt. After all, if it were a pieced quilt, there would simply be one layer fabric (ignoring the seams, of course) across the entire surface of the quilt.

Anyway, that's my two cents to share with any and all that are interested. It's just the opinion of one man / quilter.

By the way, I have been meaning to write a comment to let you know that I love your blog. I found you / the blog by way of the post where Kathy mentioned you. Your applique is absolutely gorgeous! You really are an inspiration. And it's even more wonderful that you also hand quilt your quilts. (Oh, I loved the green and red quilt from the Piece O'Cake pattern. They are among my most favorite designers. I have almost all of their books.)

Well, that's enough rambling for now. Take care, and have a very Merry Christmas! And Happy Quilting in the New Year! Jay

Kathie said...

I do not cut away the back of my applique, just my preference.
think it is just one of those things.
NOW let me say I may in the quilt I am doing right now there are layers of applique of kona solids so I am thinking I will have to cut away some of it.
Its OUR quilt and I agree if you cut away CAREFULLY and your leaving a good s/a your applique stitches are tiny you will be fine it is not going to come apart cause you cut away the backing!

wonder if Jay has a blog????


Jay said...

Hi again. This is in response to Kathie's question wondering if I have a blog. I do not. I've never really given it much thought, because I already have to use the computer a great deal as a high school teacher. Also, I seem to while away far too much time in front of the computer at home checking out all of my favorite quilting blogs. So, I figure that if I were to start blogging, there would be even less time to try to get some quilting done. Already I'm always feeling like I don't get much quilting accomplished. I dabble with hand-dyeing lots of fabric, and I have many great projects planned and / or started. I know, sort of typical. Now I just need to finish some.

Anyway, once more I've rambled on far too long. Merry Christmas too all! Jay