Florine Johnson Designs - Hand & Fusible Rooster Appliques for Quilts & Crafts

Joy of Quilting: Part 1

I've tried other types of hand work from stab stitching of several kits ordered through Good Housekeeping magazine back in the early 1960's, one of an oriental style tree, to knitting, crochet, crewel work, cross stitch and finally to quilting. Starting with a class on the basics of a sampler quilt given by Sherry Lundquist,​ I thought I would love piecing. I've always been fascinated with machines of all kinds, so using a sewing machine was right up my alley...or so I thought.

Naturally, it turned out that hand applique was to be my "thing." To a lot of quilters, HAND is a four letter word that should be avoided whenever possible. I used to think that too. The first hand applique block Sherry instructed us to work on was a decently sized heart. Oh, the peaks and valleys I managed to sew around those curved edges of that heart. Horrors! During the next class I told her, "Don't ask me to hand applique ever again, because I can't (read won't) do it."

A few months later a Sunbonnet Sue design crossed my path. By this time my brain had forgotten the agony of the bad stitching on that heart. How hard could this design be to applique, I asked myself. Well, that Sunbonnet Sue never became a finished block. My hand applique stitches were just as horrible as they were on that first heart.

Meantime, I took a class on a miniature Grandmother's Flower Garden wall hanging taught by Pauline Speaks in Stone Mountain, Georgia. I could do a credible whip stitch to put those 1" pieces together. Yea! That project became a finished top... but is yet to be quilted all these years later. It's just another UFO (Unfinished Object) languishing in a box with a lot of other UFO's. BTW, I'm the queen of UFO's in my quilt guild. They even gave me a crown. I do have an excuse though. Really.


Watch for Part 2, next week.