Applique Blog

Hawaiian Quilting, 2 Fabric Applique, Lessons and so much more!

CBS Sunday Mornings and Sunshine

Here Come the Sun

How many of you watch CBS Sunday Morning?


Sea Turtles and Dolphins

Sea Turtles and DolphinsThis month I thought it would be fun to share the story of how Sea Turtles and Dolphins came to be. This has proved to be the perfect collaboration between Nancy and Janice.

Nancy and Janice collaborate in different ways

Time is Valuable

Do More with what you have

Crowning Glory Applique Quilt Border and Runner PatternQuilts come together when you have inspiration, tools, materials, and time. The perfect blending of these four ingredients result in complete satisfaction. But, what happens when you find you have inspiration, tools and materials - but no time? Frustration, that is what happens. So, here are our tips for squeezing moments of productivity from your already too busy day.
  1. Whether you use a pillow case, a zip-close plastic bag, a shoe box or a pizza box...keep everything you need for a project in one bag or box. (Yes, even the special notions, thread and tools you need.) Having everything together in one place means that when you are ready to work on that project no time is wasted hunting for anything


That Little Voice

Self-doubt and dealing with it

Flower in Kauai

Have you ever feel less than satisfied with a quilt you made or something you have created? I am finding that there is a little voice that has been telling me it isn't good enough and at times it is stronger than others. It seems this little voice shows up after I have been very productive and thought I was happy with my work. The self doubt can be a motivator to some and not to others. How many times have you made something and that little voice said it isn't good enough so you did not finish the project? I think we are our own worst enemies! READ MORE >

Needleturn Applique lessons at home

Dragonflies in Flight 2 fabric applique quilt pattern

We all lead busy lives. It is difficult to carve out time to take a quilting class, even when you have a good teacher in your area. Taking a class has its own challenges...being able to see what the teacher is doing, and then remembering what you learned days, weeks, or even years later. What's the solution? A DVD, of course. If your goal is to learn needleturn applique, or to improve your techniques we recommend our DVD: 2 Fabric Applique Quilts with Nancy Lee Chong. Why a DVD? It can be played over and over again while you practice your techniques; READ MORE >

Under the Sea

Under the Sea Border and Runner Pattern

For any of you who love spending time near the ocean this quilt is for you. When walking along the beach you have probably encountered a couple of these creatures. Living in the Pacific Northwest for more than half of my life and loving to spend time at the ocean it only seemed fitting that we have a pattern that incorporated some of these creatures. We already have


Sweet Peas for Grandma

Sweet Peas for Grandma Hawaiian Wall Quilt PatternHawaiian quilters have long been known to make special quilts. I wanted to create a Hawaiian Wall quilt with a special meaning. Sweet Peas for Grandma was designed with my Grandma Myrt in mind. She always grew sweet peas in her garden in Minnesota.


Hawaiian Snowflake

Drum Roll Please

Nancy has designed a spectacular new Hawaiian Bed Quilt Pattern for us. This is Hawaiian Snowflake or Haukea (pronounced How-kay-a).

Hawaiian Snowflake Bed Quilt


Applique: Points

Woodland Lei Hawaiian Wall Quilt Pattern

We find it is often the outside points that are the most off-putting to people considering an applique pattern. Far too often we watch someone put back a pattern with a comment like, "Too many points!" It makes us sad to think that someone would not choose their favorite pattern, just because they don't feel they can applique the points. So, we want to show you our technique for outside points, and hope that you will never again turn away from a pattern you really like, just because of the points.

Two Secrets for Sharp Points:

Design your Personal Hawaiian Quilt

Continue the Tradition

Lilikoi Hawaiian Wall Quilt Pattern

Hawaiian quilters have long been known to make special quilts for each of their children and grandchildren, choosing a design motif and colors that had personal meaning to the person who would receive the quilt. Until commercial patterns became available in the 1970's and 1980's quilters either designed their own quilts, or were given a pattern from a close friend or relative. No two quilts were identical, to honor the spirit of the quilter and the person receiving the quilt.

Tips: Applique in a Valley

Needleturn applique in a valleyOne common shape that sometimes presents a challenge to appliquers is the reverse point (aka: valley, or inside corner). We thought it would help if you could see these areas with x-ray vision, of sorts. Nancy stitched these samples using silk organza (quite a different challenge!) so you could see what the turn-under allowance looks like.
Where to clip?

Using our Tulip Vases pattern, let's look to see where to clip the fabric. In this sample, to the left, three inside corners are highlighted:


Celtic Knotwork Applique

Galway Applique Quilt Borders and Runners Pattern

Have you ever worked with 1/4" bias tape?

You can make your Galway quilt in the usual method of Celtic Knotwork using the Clover 1/4" (6 mm) Bias Tape Maker.


I want a Smaller, No a Larger Quilt

We are frequently asked if a wall-hanging pattern can be enlarged for a bed quilt. Or, if a bed quilt pattern can be reduced to make a wall-hanging. Here are our thoughts and suggestions.
In general, we design quilt patterns to be a specific size. We fill the available space with motifs and elements that are proportioned to that size. For a large quilt we can fill the space with more flowers, leaves or whatever the design elements are to create a pleasing arrangement that is typically more intricate than a smaller design. It is generally best to choose a pattern that you like from the patterns available in that size range. We believe you will be happier with the outcome.
If you want to make a small quilt larger: first consider these things:

Hawaiian Quilt Patterns

Machine Applique and Hawaiian Quilt Patterns

Can I fuse and machine applique a Hawaiian quilt?

If you are making a block, then yes, you can fuse and machine stitch. Machine applique can be an appropriate technique for decorating a tote bag, for example. (Be sure to remove the turn-under allowance that is built into our Hawaiian quilt patterns.)
In our opinion, if you are making a larger quilt it is:


Machine Applique

To begin, let's list the reasons we like to applique by hand:

  • Portable, around the house or around the world.
  • Relaxing, even therapeutic.
  • Can engage in conversation with friends and family while quietly stitching, anywhere.
  • Can keep stitching when the power goes out.
  • Prefer the look and feel.
Now let's list the reasons for machine applique:

Hawaiian Quilt Bounty

Hawaiian Block Quilt Patterns

Tropical Fruit and Nut Hawaiian Block Quilt PatternsWhen we give thanks at this time of year we always celebrate the bounty of the fall harvest. Although, the fruits and nuts in this Hawaiian pohopoho-style quilt are likely to bloom and present their bounty at varying times of the year.


Fast Beginner Hawaiian Wall Quilt


Cyclamen Hawaiian Wall Quilt Pattern

This is a plant most of you have seen, but may not know its name. It is a favorite house plant in colder climates for its colorful blooms, and is a garden plant in warmer climates. READ MORE >

Fast and Fun

Penguin Family 2 Fabric Applique Quilt Pattern

Penguin Family 2 Fabric Applique Quilt PatternEveryone loves penguins. They are so amazing and so cute! Can you believe that Janice designed this quilt without having watched the movie "March of the Penguins"? She did watch the movie while she was appliqueing it, though. So here is her first hint:

Needleturn Applique Tips

Those pesky inside curves!

Candlelight 2 Fabric Applique Quilt PatternOur most popular holiday 2 Fabric Applique Quilt pattern is the "Candlelight" pattern. Measuring 36" across by 24" high, it fits beautifully over a fireplace.
We think there are some of you who would love to make this quilt, but may be daunted by so many inside curves. Here is how we recommend handling inside curves.

Reader Question

Hibiscus 2 Fabric Applique Quilt Pattern

Are 2 Fabric Applique quilts reverse applique?

This seems to be a question that is asked often. Everyone has their own interpretation of this so I thought I would share ours:

There really is no such thing as reverse applique for you, the quiltmaker. You are always cutting on the cutting line of the top fabric, turning under the raw edge and stitching the top fabric to a background fabric. All applique is done exactly this way.




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