Quitting Hand Appliqué

Lately I have been craving some appliqué. No, that’s not some French cuisine. I’m so much of a crafty nerd that I’m literally craving a method of sewing fabric on top of other fabric. Don’t worry, I’m fully aware of how this sounds, but it’s the truth. I’m not quite sure exactly when I learned appliqué but I do know that my grandma taught me. Maybe when I was a teenager? She taught me hand appliqué with a hidden stitch and once I learned it I found myself appliquéing on so many projects. From patching my favorite jeans with a seahorse fabric, to making custom pillows, to sewing patches on winter hats, to making purses and adding designs to quilts and wall hangings.


Over the years I slowly stopped doing hand appliqué. And like most fun things we stop doing I’m not really sure why. I guess it just didn’t fit into my season of life for whatever reason. However, since creating this idea of an interchangeable hat I’ve been using hand appliqué to add the magnets and labels to each of the hats. This fact coupled with the current shorter, colder days has stirred up the urge to get back to one of my favorite things to do.


I’m not short on unfinished projects, so finding something to appliqué was as easy as grabbing the project tote that sits next to my tv. As I opened the tote I smirked slightly at the younger Brooke who took on such a labor intensive, detailed ridden project…somethings never change. That was just a few evenings ago as I write this so there will be plenty of time to dig into this project. It will take me several more hours to cut more fabrics and to also figure out my ‘code’ of notes and organization I created many moons ago for this project.


As I started in on the few pieces that were ready for hand appliqué I could literally feel my stress and tension start to melt away. Something about holding the fabrics, the textures, the way the thread drags through the material, the instant gratification of seeing the soft curved edge of a finished appliqué edge. It all works together to get me to such a state of relaxation and flow. Truly, for me, there are many parts of hand appliqué that have a teachable aspect to them. Almost like the process of appliqué is a different way to practice foundational life perspectives. Imagine that. Another way I'm learning from the sewing I do but I’ll go deeper into these perspectives another time.


I’d love to know, do you have a hobby, side project or something you do for fun that brings you into a state of flow?