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Thoughts on Hand Applique + Progress of Para Para Quilt


If you missed my previous post on Para Para, you can find it here.  I’m back at it and hoping to finish by the week’s end.  Fingers crossed.  I’m always behind on my plans, but as you can see from above I’m pretty close to having a finished quilt top.  What you don’t see in this picture, is that stool at the bottom that I’m teetering haphazardly on trying to get a flat lay picture from way too high.  Ha!  My design walls just can’t seem to hold this one.

Thanks for showing up here today, let’s get to it.


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The block above is called Sweet Spot.  The idea is it forms a sort of chain around the Trees of Paradise and behind the Light of Mine blocks.  There are 8 Sweet Spots in Para Para.  I use hand applique in the pattern, but mention that it’s perfectly acceptable to machine applique it if that’s your thing.  If you were with me during the I am Enough quilt along, you know my hand applique method for circles.  It’s pretty foolproof and involves a cereal box and aluminum foil.  I’ll be making video tutorials for this quilt pattern, but if you’ve never seen this method, here is a video from when we did the scallops using the same method in I am Enough.

Favorite Supplies For Hand Applique

  • Clover thimble – Best thimble I’ve ever used
  • Milliner’s needle – I use these needles because of their tiny eye, it works well with the Microquilter thread.  However, if you aren’t a fan of the length of this needle, try regular applique needles.  They are perfect for those short needle lovers and they also work well with the Microquilter.
  • Microquilter thread in silver – Use white if appliqueing white fabric, black if using black fabric, but use silver for every color in between.  This is 100 weight thread and it’s THIN!  That makes it particularly great for applique, machine or hand.
  • Snips – These are my favorite snips from Havel’s.  If you purchase from them be sure to use my coupon code SOUTHERNCHARM7 and get $7 off any order over $25.




I ended up finishing these Sweet Spot blocks all in one evening.  Took me about three hours while I binge watched Dirty John.  Woof!  That show!  You are just screaming at that woman, but she just doesn’t hear you.  I love that she end up sharing her story with the world though, I think it could make us all a little more cautious.

My blocks need pressing, but they’ll do.

I wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts on quilting on top of applique.  I would think not to.  I’ve done it before and kinda felt that it took away from my hand work, but then again it looked pretty.  So I ask, do you quilt over hand applique or no?



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  • You will learn:  About sewing machines, how to work a sewing machine, a list of basic supplies, quilters terminology, all basic quilting skills, how to read a quilt pattern, how to make each of the blocks in the sampler quilt, how to cut backing and batting fabric, how to wall baste your quilt, how to meander quilt and how to machine bind a quilt
  • Sampler blocks will include skills such as: half square triangles, square in a square blocks, hourglass blocks, flying geese, snowball blocks, log cabins, half rectangle triangles and turning blocks on point.
  • There are 24 lessons in this class
  • 3 hours worth of video tutorials including video tutorials for every step of the way for the Evening Walk quilt
  • Class is set up to come to you by email.  Once you purchase, you’ll receive a downloadable PDF where you will click and sign yourself up to the email subscription.  Be sure to double opt in to get the classes started (check your spam folder if you don’t receive anything immediately).
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I just need to finish out my corners now.  This is 3/5 sections finished.  Almost done!  I’m thinking the corners will also round out my color palette.  I’ll admit to being a big squeamish when I first put it on the wall, but the pinks and greens should come together soon.  I’m excited about this one!

For those asking, I will have some kits available when I release the pattern.  Maybe it will be our next quilt along.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Have a safe and happy rest of your week!


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  1. I will quilt over applique only if the piece appliqued is so large that I really don’t have a choice or if the applique NEEDS the quilting to finish it off perfectly. I will always quilt over fused, raw-edge applique, because we all know that fusible isn’t forever and the fabric needs the quilting to make sure it stays on quilt. On applique like that on Sweet Spot, I would not quilt over the applique…quilt in the ditch to define it even more, yes…maybe with an echo or two, depending on what I was quilting in the rest of the block. Since I quilt for others, I have been asked to do an E2E on a beautifully hand-appliqued quilt top…I refused, told the customer that the quilt needed custom quilting and my hand-guided E2E would not do the quilt justice. I don’t know where she got it quilted, but I don’t want my name, as a quilter, to be on something that looks like crap (in my opinion).

  2. I would love to make the Para Para quilt in a quilt along. This is such a beautiful quilt. As to the quilting over appliquéd circles I quilt the inside of the circle in a spiral shape and it turns out pretty well!

  3. I frequently quilt on my appliqué. It’s an easy way to add details to the quilt. I like to echo inside the appliqué or add veins to leaves. It adds definition to the piece and makes it a bit stronger.

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