William Morris in Applique


I showed the new book I got yesterday and it intrigues me – applique designs from wall paper designs plus.  I read it off and on yesterday and looked at the photos a lot!  This applique appears to be so much more elegant and of course Victorian than what I normally do.  One reason for looking through the book so much is because I was not able to get much sewing done yesterday – which brings up the topic of rotary cutting safety!

Yes I did it – a nice  cut to a fingertip!  It took me almost an hour to get it to stop bleeding enough to bandage it up – I was almost ready to go get some stitches – it would have only taken 2 or 3 but which would be worse, stitches (and the ER bill) or letting it heal by itself without.  It is good to use a nice sharp blade when cutting – but make sure you hold that ruler steady and fingers out of the way.  I will make sure to keep the cut clean and change the bandage morning and night with first aide cream also.  It is healing nicely already – those blades are sharp – even took off part of the fingernail – cut right through it – I had to cut the whole fingernail off!  I have at least 15 years of rotary cutting experience and yes even after all those years we cut ourselves.


Now the needle pull adhesive circles that I bought for the fingertips that I showed yesterday -  I don’t know if I can get used to – but I have found that they work good on the corners of the underside of the rulers!  I thought I better get that done so they don’t slide.

Back to William Morris – I do tend to get off subject I know.  The book that I showed yesterday.  The applique in this book is suggested to use fusible’s and machine button hole stitch.  Not my preferred method of appliqué which is needle turn.


Do I have readers out here in blogland that love William Morris in Applique?  How do you do yours – what type of fabric do you like to use to get the 1800’s look to it?  Where do you find your fabric for it?  Do you do your work by machine or hand?  I know me –I will do it by hand – I think I will get a package of the softest fusible I can find and do a small practice piece of buttonhole and (by not having a fusible all the way up the edge) one by needle turn.  To do needle turn and fusible one would need to still have a seam allowance to turn under.  You might ask why have the fusible – it would be taking the place of the glue basting method that I normally do – just something to try out and see how it goes.  Also all the patterns in the book are printed in the reverse because fusible is what is expected to use.

Michelle Hill the author of the book does the patterns with fusible and machine button hole stitch.  I’m not sure if she uses other stitches by machine or by hand as some of the photos shown look more like hand work to me – the way this work is done there is certain some dimension to the work.


this one looks like machine work to me.


Now this one here looks more like embroidery to me – you? is this by hand or machine – I’m not sure, she does include by hand embroidery stitches in the back of the book – maybe she has done a combination of work.


So many ideas and methods for so many quilts we quilters just can never get it all done can we!  Sometimes we need to try something we normally do not do to learn something new and have a new challenge.  We might find a new favorite way of doing things.

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18 comments… add one
  • Flo Aug 22, 2012

    ouch! that can happen so fast!!
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  • Dara Aug 22, 2012

    I’ve done that one! Some years ago I was taking a class with Sharyn Craig. I was so nervous about her looking over my work that I accidentally took the rotary cutter over my index finger. The blade was so sharp that I didn’t even realize that I had sliced my finger open until the ladies in my quilt group started fretting over all the blood! The upside is that the cuts tend to heal pretty well because they are usually surgically sharp cuts. To this day I haven’t had another accident because of that owie! HA HA

  • Doreen Aug 22, 2012

    Your descriptions of the mishap gave me chills!! Have been there…and it happens so quickly! That almost looks like a perle cotton in some of the buttonhole stitching and, yes, some looks like machine work. I really love the “SewLine” glue pen/stick for securing pieces. She certainly achieves awesome dimension in her applique, though! Wish we could see the actual quilts!!! Take care of yourself…..hugs, D
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  • Teri Dingler Aug 22, 2012

    Haven’t cut myself yet! Ouch! Hope it doesn’t hurt too much!
    Now on to the embroidery looking photo – I would be interested in knowing the type of thread they used – the thread looks like a thicker thread than a regular embroidery thread – I am embroidering some of Natalie Lymer’s patterns (another Australian quilter/pattern creator) and mine is regular DMC thread and is nowhere near as thick as those – for the pattern you are looking at mine would not work and look as good and “victorian” I don’t think – love the snippets you have shown!

  • anina Aug 22, 2012

    I once cut the tip of my finger almost completely off and drove myself to the emergency room, where they glued it back. Seriously. Fingers have a LOT of blood supply and therefore heal very easily and quickly.
    Still “ouch” though!
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  • Pip Aug 22, 2012

    youch, I’ve only sliced my finger once and lucky for me it was a just a tiny slice, didn’t even bleed, a warning to all of us to take care when cutting every time we cut.
    Michelle Hill also has a blog – http://williammorrisandmichele.blogspot.com.au/ she doesn’t post a lot. I know people that have made her patterns, some have used their machine (blanket stitch or buttonhole) and some have done it by hand using blanket stitch, Michelle has her own line of fabrics which she uses for her work, but also look at William Morris style of prints (Barbara Brackman has done a few ranges) and I think Jason Yenter (In the Beginning fabrics) also has a couple of ranges that would work as well.

  • Penny Aug 22, 2012

    Hi Karen, those cuts are painfull, hope it heals quickly. A women I know has cmpleted a few of the William Morris Quilts. She does hers by hand using a stem stitch with fusible. Personally, it looks too chunky, blanket stich is neater and my elegant. I will try to remember to ask her what thread she has used. Will write soon, more sickness and have been busy finishing FMQ (first time) quilting a quilt for our small local quilt show this weekend. Busy today helping set-up.

  • Marie Aug 22, 2012

    Oh dear! I hope you heal quickly and that you are back to stitching in no time.
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  • Karen L. Aug 22, 2012

    Yep, me too. I am a member of the “Rotary Cutter Finger Slicing Club”. Did the side of the tip of my left pointer finger and part of the nail too. It hurt like heck and bled like heck too. But eventually it stopped and healed over. I am much more aware of my hands when cutting now. I have been tempted to buy one of those Fons and Porter gloves but seems like it would be a bit clunky.
    I may have to look into this book. I like the fusible then buttonhole stitching idea. It would be a nice carry along project for me. It is all a bit too Victorian for my usual taste but this is so gorgeous that I think I could be very happy with one of these designs. I still have a bit of a pile of Morris fabrics that I bought at MaryJo’s a number of years ago back when they were so popular. Had no plans for them; just really liked the designs and colors at the time.

  • Nedra Aug 22, 2012

    It hurts just to think about you being cut with a rotary cutter. So glad it wasn’t worse. I’ve heard of people using super glue to help keep wounds closed.
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  • Becky Aug 22, 2012

    Uh, the dreaded rotary cutter mishap. Took twice for me to actually close the thing! As to William Morris and Appliqué? Two of my favorites. So I’m off to order the book! YEAH!

  • Debra Aug 22, 2012

    Oh Karen, ouchy that just made may skin crawl. Hope your okay now. That will be sore for a while.
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  • Cathi Aug 22, 2012

    I hope your finger heals quickly and that you’re able to stitch again soon. Your accident made me think twice before using my rotary cutter today — and put the no-slip things on the ruler.
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  • Vivian Aug 22, 2012

    I’ve heard of putting sand paper dots or something on rulers but I always forget to do that. Sound like you found a good use for those dots.
    Vivian recently posted…I did it.My Profile

  • Alison Aug 23, 2012

    Just checked my rotary cutter scar – 18 years old now and I still shudder!

    I did a weekend course with Michele Hill earlier this year. She does a mixture of fusible applique, machine blanket stitch, hand embellishing and beading. Her work is exquisite and so much more beautiful than photos can do justice to. She is a warm, caring lady with a great sense of humour, one of the kindest and most generous tutors I have ever met. She gives her award winning quilts to charities of her choice to raffle for fundraising – how selfless is that! She will be at Houston this year – meet her if you can, she will be genuinely interested in whatever you have to say.

  • Lauren aka Giddy99 Aug 23, 2012

    oh, dear! I’m new to using a rotary cutter, and I cut myself within the first two weeks. A nick, really, more like a paper cut – but it HURT for days! I’m uber-careful now, and I think I’ll be wearing real shoes (instead of flip-flops) in the future, too. EGAD.

  • Judi Aug 23, 2012

    For cuts like that I’ve found the best thing to be super glue – or krazy glue or whatever you have like that. It makes a seal and is smooth, and you don’t have to worry about infection or re-bandaging. I got a bad cut on my head many years ago, went to the medical clinic, and that’s what they used. The doctor told me it’s the best method for those things. Now I use it all the time – even when I just have cracked fingers that are sore. The super glue will keep it from cracking any further, and allows it to heal quickly. Just paint it on and then don’t touch it while it is drying and it will dry perfectly smooth. Oh, and don’t try to pick it off. It will wear off when it’s ready, and by then you will be all healed up 😉
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  • Miriam Aug 23, 2012

    Sorry to hear about your finger! Ouch!!! I rarely use my rotary cutter because I have a fear of cutting my fingers! I hope your finger continues to heal quickly.
    I love Michele Hill’s work!!! I have her books, but I haven’t tried any of her projects yet. Michel has also design her own range of fabrics based on William Morris designs. I believe most of her work is done by machine. Michele’s quilts are stunning!
    I am looking forward to watching your progress.
    Take care
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