Behold the back of Hopkins.


And on the right, the back of the applique practice piece, just barely underway. Having traced the design onto freezer paper and cut along the lines with an X-acto knife, you iron it onto the back of the fabric. The fabric is supposed to be black to make it look like stained glass, of course, but this is just for practice. You then cut out one of the design openings, shove a bit of cloth into the opening, and sew around the edge. This gives you the effect shown on the left below, where I have actually gotten three pieces into place.

I can see that, in a complicated design, this method will increase the chances of having all the little pieces end up in the right spots. Compare it with ordinary applique, in which the pieces are cut out separately, arranged on the fabric, and sewn down. An example of this is the table runner I made at Thanksgiving, shown on the right.

With traditional applique such as this, you have some flexibility. You can put your pumpkin a bit more to the right and adjust the angle of the leaf. The stained glass look probably calls for a bit more precision.

And it is good for a person to try new things.

I have to admit, though, that I am not really enjoying the sample piece, and I probably will not even finish it. I think I’ve got the concept now, and I will leap right into the large pattern. Probably next Saturday.

My menfolks have the day off today, for Presidents Day. This is a sort of bastardization of Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays, moved to a Monday so lots of people can have three-day weekends. I will be going to work, of course. All the teachers have the day off, so many of them will probably come and shop with us. The guys will stay home, waking up sometime after I leave for work. I can come home and have lunch with them, which will be fun. And then they will greet the Schwann’s man, a nice fellow who comes to our house in a yellow truck every couple of weeks while I am at work, bearing ice cream and frozen pizza. Without him, my boys would have to live on nothing but whole grains, fresh produce, lean meats, and nonfat dairy products, and they would probably wither away to nothing. I like the Schwann’s man because he delivers. He brings frozen fruit for my smoothies and reasonably wholesome junk food for my boys and asks nothing in return except money.