Eye of the Beholder

original applique patterns inspired by the world around us

Majesty for hand

Island Batik fabrics from Meadow Collection and Cookies N Cream, Spring 2015, for Majesty 36" medallion for hand reverse needle-turn applique.

Island Batik fabrics from Meadow Collection and Cookies N Cream, Spring 2015, for Majesty 36" medallion for hand reverse needle-turn applique.

As I work on my patterns I am often struck with impressions, a feeling or a phrase that echoes in my head.  Working on Majesty has been no different.  The fabrics were a serendipitous gift for this new design for Island Batik, as I had originally chosen a different combination.  But God saw things differently, and worked His way.  My top fabric is from the Meadow Collection, and the background fabric is from the Cookies N Cream, Spring Collection 2015.

When I found the "right" size, 36", for this design, I saw four crowns surrounding the center and kept hearing the line from a worship song; "Majesty, Worship His Majesty".  As I worked in the fabrics I was sent, I kept hearing 2 phrases from America, the Beautiful: "Purple Mountains majesty" and "Amber waves of grain".  I love when layers of meaning come forth in an artistic endeavor.

Designer Margaret Willingham tracing Majesty, Medallion IX.

Designer Margaret Willingham tracing Majesty, Medallion IX.

So I began my trace, baste, snip & stitch process for hand reverse, needle-turn applique.

I lay my amber waves of grain background fabric on my pattern with the wrong side facing up.  I traced the design onto the wrong side of my background fabric.

Then I layered my purple mountains majesty top fabric on my background fabric, with both right sides facing up.

the design is basted through top and background with a thick thread in a color that contrasts the top fabric. Top view.

the design is basted through top and background with a thick thread in a color that contrasts the top fabric. Top view.

Time for needle and thread. Using my No. 7 sharps and my thick thread in a color that contrasts my top fabric, I begin to baste on the drawn lines of the design.  I start in the middle and work out.

Once basted, I cut away the top fabric inside my basted shapes, clip my points and curves and begin to sew.  Again, I start in the middle and work my way out.

I love this phase. I never grow tired of seeing the pattern design revealed as it peaks out of the top fabric.  This is when I can really see how the pattern is going to work in the fabric. This is what spurs me on to keep stitching...to see the piece come alive.

I clip every other basting thread in a section I'm working on so I can easily remove my basting thread as I needle-turn under the raw edge.  In this process, the basting line becomes the stitching line.

For the stitching, I use a No. 11 Milliner's needle and thread that disappears on my top. 

Majesty, Medallion IX.  Center needle-turned under, and other sections trimmed.

Majesty, Medallion IX.  Center needle-turned under, and other sections trimmed.

I am not a thread snob, but a quilter on a budget, just like most of us.  I look in my thread drawer and on my thread racks first for the right color.  If I don't have it, then I take my piece to a local store and find a thread that is the right color.

If you find a thread that is close, but not quite right, go with the one that's darker, rather than one that's lighter.  It will disappear better as you sew.