The dimension, texture and colour that develops in wool appliqué make it a pleasure to work with. This month a new book “Wool Applique” the Piece O”Cake Way by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins arrived in my hands.
This book features 12 projects that mix wool with cotton and linen. Becky and Linda are known for their appliqué designs. Their designs feature clean lines and often appear folk like. Many of their designs work well in wool. This book focuses on wool.
The first half of the book is a primer on the how-to’s: basic supplies, properties of felted wool, cotton and linen, preparing to stitch, general appliqué instructions, stitches for appliquéing with felted wool, special techhniques for appliquéing with felted wool, appliqué on cotton and finishing techniques.
The second half provides details for 12 folk art projects. There are pages in an insert at the end of the book that provide full size patterns for the motifs. A beginning appliqué artist could undertake any of these with confidence and one with experience will be be equaly drawn in by the colourful compositions.
A reading of the first half of the book will prepare a stitcher of any skill level to undertake a project. I have been appliquéing for a long time and taught appliqué as well over the years. I feel that if I didn’t know how that I could read the book and be able to begin withtheir techniques. The steps to follow to get started confidently are provided.
One proviso – if you are looking for the steps of needleturn applique then you will need to look further afield.
I picked up a number of tips that broadened my knowledge, for example a thread I didn’t know about, some tips for sewing with vinyl. There is a good definition of felted wool in contrast to wool felt. They are quite different. Felted wool is woven and then subjected to a washing process that helps the barbed ends of the fibers enmesh closely and present a dense fabric. There is a good tip about always using a fusible for wool felting. I personally use a fusible interfacing but Becky and Linda’s method works equally well. Another tip is to cut appliqué on the bias where ever possible to minimize fraying. There is a very good section on preparing templates for either needleturn or fusible appliqué.
So I would give this book a two thumbs up. To get a look at all the range of Piece ‘O Cake designs by Linda Jenkins and Becky Goldsmith check out their website.