In honor of Valentine's Day, here's a picture of one of my favorite heart quilts. One thing I loved about learning to machine appliqué was that I could make any design I wanted. Making Fat-Quarter Folk Dance gave me a chance to indulge my love for those beautiful, fussy feathered hearts found in many antique quilts.
These hearts still took some time, even with machine appliqué. I had to take care in cutting all those curves, first in freezer paper, then in fabric. Then there's gluing all the edges in place and stitching around each curve. But I think it was worth it!
This quilt offered some challenges in preparing and stitching all those inside curves. Here are a few of my tips:
To make working with inside curves a little easier, I usually change the sharp inside corners of the original designs to rounded inside curves. As you can see on these hearts, all the inside curves are rounded scoops rather than sharp points.
If the space inside the curve is small, I have to use smaller-than-usual seam allowances in tight spots.
When you've turned the edge under, the back of the curve will have a vee-shaped piece of fabric covering the center curve and just a thread or two of seam allowance at the clipped points. Put plenty of glue in those spots and use the tip of your finger to firmly roll those threads over to the back of the freezer paper. Be sure to glue under even the smallest threads that may be turned to the back of the piece.
To further stabilize the curve, sew extra stitches at each inside point, especially where you have made the clips in the seam allowance.