The Free Motion Quilting Project: 76. Wild Quilting! Textured Applique

Monday, November 25, 2013

76. Wild Quilting! Textured Applique

It's time to learn one last fun construction technique for Express Your Love. Way back in the spring I set my first version of this quilt aside with the promise that we would come back later and learn a cool technique to finish off her hair.

So today we're going to learn textured applique or WILD Quilting! This form of applique is free form, fun, and the very reverse of nit-picky, perfect turned edge applique. I love to use it for quilts that need more than just plain flat fabric appliqued. When you need the quilt to look alive, like it's so full of texture that it's ready to jump off the wall, this is the technique to use!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

This is just green fabrics rustled, pleated, and twisted in layers over the hair section. I've secured all the fabrics using water soluble thread to hold them firmly in place temporarily. The intention here is to hold everything securely together without worrying if the thread looks ugly or not because it will just wash out later. See what I mean in this video:

After all the fabrics are in place and I'm satisfied with the look, I'll switch to Isacord thread and do a wide satin stitch, exactly like we did with Trapplique, down the channels between each fabric. This will catch the edges of the fabric and hold them securely, but not flatten the texture created by all the folds, pleats, and twists.

The motto here is There is Never Enough Fiber, so feel free to branch out beyond just wrinkled fabric and add yarn, beads, sequins, paint, and maybe the kitchen sink if you feel like! The point here is to create rich layers of texture, so have fun, play, and remember you can always add more fiber!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day


  1. Did you already explain what you did for the body of the Goddess? Is that just a textured fabric? It is such a cool look.

    Very neat video- I haven't tried anything like this before.

  2. Hi Jessim - The body for this version was covered a bit in Trapplique Part 1, but I didn't explain it step-by-step so here's the rundown:

    Layer fabric with Texture Magic and batting and quilt with any design (I used Stippling on a 1/4" scale). Shrink the fabric with steam according to the Texture Magic directions. Mark the shape for the body and cut it out.

    Hand baste the piece in place on your quilt. Stitch it in place along the edges, then use a huge zigzag to seal up all the raw edges of the piece.

    Really the Texture Magic is the key to how I did this body section. It's pretty cool stuff, and the effects change completely depending on how wide your quilting is, what design you use, etc.



  3. Hi Leah,
    Do you use water soluble thread in both the needle and the bobbin?


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