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Preparing the Back Porch Pillowtop with WonderFil Threads

My quilted top

After stitching one direction with the blue variegated Fruitti thread and the other direction with the teal variegated Fruitti thread, my 2” grid of quilting is all finished. Now I just need to prepare my fusible applique hexagons and decide where to place them!

Pillow top with quilting lines completed
Pillow top with quilting lines completed

 

 

Preparing the fusible applique hexagons

To make your hexagons, trace the following template onto the dull side of a square of fusible web, making sure to leave at least ¼” between each of the shapes. Loosely cut each shape out, just outside the drawn lines. Place these fusible web shapes onto the BACK side of the cotton fabrics you’ve chosen and then iron. Once the fabric has cooled, cut along the drawn lines and then peel off the backing paper. To see pictures of this process, check out my blog post from last month.

Hexagon fusible applique template. Trace onto paper side of fusible web.
Hexagon fusible applique template. Trace onto paper side of fusible web.

 

 

Deciding upon a design

Once all of your fusible applique shapes have been made, now comes the fun part of deciding where to place them. I went through a few different designs before I came up with the one I was most happy with. Here are samples of different designs that you could use:

Placement version #1 - scattered randomly across pillow top
Placement version #1 – scattered randomly across pillow top

 

 

Placement version #2 - most of hexagons lined up in one corner of pillow top.
Placement version #2 – most of hexagons lined up in one corner of pillow top.

 

 

Placement version #3 - hexagons lined up along left side of pillow top.
Placement version #3 – hexagons lined up along left side of pillow top.

 

 

My fusible applique design finalist

Most of the time when I am designing, I like to rearrange things quite a bit before I decide what design I like the best. Taking pictures of each version helps with this process. It works well for fusible applique as well as for rearranging blocks in a pieced top. The size of the photo helps too, as the quilt image is smaller and sometimes design flaws will pop out at you better in the photo than when you are looking at the actual quilt.

Sometimes looking at a design for a few days helps too. I especially like to do this when I’m quilting quilts for other people. If a quilting design doesn’t come to me as soon as I see the quilt, I’ll often drape the quilt top over the bed of my quilting machine so that I can look at it for a few days – eventually a quilting design will start to take shape in my mind and I’m off to the races.

If you can’t decide what design you want to use for your back porch pillow, leave your fusible applique hexagons placed on the pillow top for tonight, and tomorrow I’ll reveal the design I chose – you may decide that you like it, or you may decide to do your own. That’s one of the great things about fusible applique – it is VERY versatile!

When designing your own quilted top, playing with fabric and threads has never been so much fun…

I have been designing and publishing quilt patterns for the last 16 years under the business name Fairfield Road Designs. My patterns range from fusible applique and piecing to felted wool applique and punchneedle. You can see all of patterns on my website www.fairfieldroaddesigns.com.

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