I love working with applique – the combination of several different fabrics can give such interesting effects, and when you combine applique with embroidery, the result can be quite exciting.
My only problem with applique is all that heavy, stolid satin stitching that’s usually used to finish off the “join” between the applique, and the background fabric. That heavyweight outline can be OK if you’re working with a simple cartoon image, but if you have something a little more delicate and subtle, the thick border can really destroy the effect you’re looking for
So I’ve been playing around with ways of finishing off that rough applique edge, and recently have come up with what you might call a “natural frame”. It’s an embroidered motif that dodges around the rough edge of the applique, inside and outside, and spreads its pattern around the edge of the appliqueed fabric
Here’s one of the first ones that I did. It’s not perfect, but all the same it’s interesting. The two kinds of green pond weed frame the frog, and in doing so they distract the eye from the rough edge of the applique. They don’t disguise it entirely, but they do makes it look a little more natural
Frog among the pondweed, version 1
And here’s a version stitched by Cherri, where the vivid pattern of the background fabric adds even more drama to the little scene
A more dramatic version
I’m quite pleased with this approach and at the moment am engrossed with ways of applying this technique to other designs. More results will appear in the coming weeks!