Friday, January 11, 2013

Is It OK to Mix Hand and Machine Applique on the Same Quilt?

The creating of my cancer quilt is very important to me.  I have had many journeys in my life as has everyone.  But all the others seems to pale beside my breast cancer journey.  The fear and uncertainty and the disfigurement has had a great impact on my life, but also making me savor each moment of each day.
I don't believe a day has passed since my deciding to create my cancer quilt that I have not mulled over some aspect of the quilt on any given day.
One of the decisions that I feel to be the most crucial will be the method or methods of applique I choose to execute the design.  I have dated my self with earlier posts as I will now.  A beginning quilter in the early '80 I found that the accepted methods were hand applique and hand quilting and most machine work to accomplish either of the above was for decorative purposes only.
In the late '80 I was awarded 2 separate Folk Art Apprenticeships through the National Endowment for the Arts and the Kansas Historical Society for the preservation of quiltmaking.  During those two years I studied under Master Folk Artist, Helen Ericson, aka Mrs Danner's Quilts.  Naturally, my learning was based in the perfection of skills in hand applique, hand quilting and precision piecing. But times has changed.  The wide acceptance of machine skills, a product of very talented quilters, to create a beautiful finished product makes machine work as accepted as hand work in lots of circumstances.

For several years now I have had an inner struggle with this hand or machine applique issue.  So a few years ago I created this small wall piece to see what the results would be to put both hand and machine applique on the same piece.

The center is done by machine, the silk ribbon vine and even though the leaves are raw edged, the blanket stitch is turned in reverse.  The grapes are ultra suede and are stitched with invisible thread with the blind hem stitch, the glass seed beads are applied by hand, but that is the only element that is not applied by machine.  On the other hand, the outside border is completely hand done.  Same fabrics, same thread and silk ribbon.
What do you think, is it ok to mix hand and machine applique in the same quilt?


  1. I've been reading all your blogs, Sherry. Everything has been so informative, interesting, and well written. It's easy to look forward to the next posting.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. Your words inspire me to continue to bring the best content I can create.