How to Create Your Best Appliqué with Kathy Doughty

Posted by Karla Menaugh on Aug 15th 2019

Kathy Doughty, self-taught quilter, author, fabric designer, and owner of Material Obsession in Sydney, Australia, is known for creating quilts with incredible fabric combinations.

Folk Art Heart is a quilt with a lot to explore. Here we find hearts, a mermaid, a hand, and a cowboy, as well as kissing birds.

In her new book, Organic Appliqué, Kathy invites you into her process of choosing fabrics with the most impact, and gives you the framework for making design decisions that will allow you to create quilts that reflect your own personal sense of style.

The book's lessons are drawn from Kathy's years of teaching classes in all aspects of making quilts. She encourages beginners to jump in and start to hone their skills. Taking time to learn the techniques, she says, can help you focus on your own creativity.

Over Grown is a Court House Steps-style quilt alive with appliqué vines and florals.

“Technique, or how we do it, can sometimes control our outcome as we focus only on the how and not the why. With the simple techniques outlined in this book, more focus can be given to making personal choices that define the voice,” Kathy says.

Let the fabric do the work in Spring Pots. These flowers all have smooth lines, creating shapes that are somewhat repetitive, but the fabric makes each one unique.

“Over the years I picked up a few tips. Probably the most important was from Suzanne Cody who said, ‘Appliqué is all about the preparation.’ Always in a hurry, preparation slowed me down until I realized that it was actually part of the creative process. A little time in preparation meant better results.”

Boro Collage combines traditional appliqué with the Boro technique, where patches are sewn to clothing with repetitive stitches similar to Sashiko or Kantha style.

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