Crafted Applique – Cecropia Utopia

Crafted Applique

A faithful and super talented reader of my blog, Lara Buccella, contacted me recently to ask if I would like to review her new book Crafted Applique.  Lara has been super dear to me, so I might have said yes just because of that…but it turns out that her book is about a process that I am very passionate about: Raw Edge Applique.  So I knew that I needed to see it.

Crafted Applique

Lara has a great new spin on the process for creating the applique pieces that you’ll just have to get the book to check out.  (A little mystery is a good thing right?!) But I have tested out the process myself and I am here to tell that it does indeed work quite well.  I am happy to have a new technique in my arsenal.

Her book, along with describing her technique, has a few patterns available as well.  And I immediately fell in love with one titled Cecropia Utopia: a moth.  Lara makes hers very true to nature in color choice, but I used a little poetic license and stepped outside the box.

Crafted Applique

I chose a warm palette of browns, yellows and cream, with a pop of pink.  My main fabric is a fabulous Anna Maria Horner fabric from her recent line Fibs and Fables.  Because I used such a busy fabric for the background, I ended up leaving out some of Lara’s tiny details to the moth, preferring instead to let the fabric do some of the work for me.

Crafted Applique

I worked hard cutting out each piece and its mirror image for the moth.  As you can see, the pieces are fairly intricate.  This is definitely not a project that can be done with needle turn applique.  Raw edge applique is required.  And Lara’s technique keeps the edges perfectly crisp through the process.  There was absolutely no fraying on the fabrics.

Crafted Applique

And then the stitching…. it’s a bit of work to do the required detailed stitching on a piece like this.  I never tackle the easy things. lol  I’m showing you a quite detailed shot of my stitching here, so be kind.  My biggest tip: Use an open toe applique foot.  Absolutely necessary in my opinion. I also really love using a rayon thread for the top when doing applique work like this; the sheen is lovely.

Crafted Applique

I chose to use a single neutral color for the entire project, but I’ve also done projects where I’ve switched out the color for each different fabric.  I wanted to see my stitching, so I didn’t try to blend it in.

Crafted Applique

The last portion I did was the antennae. And they are quite pronounced in the pattern.  So I chose to hand embroider these with a pearl cotton thread.  I kind of love the contrast between the stitching on the moth and the bulkier stitching of the antennae.  It creates more interest in the piece.

Crafted Applique

I think the pattern is pretty spectacular.  And I adore how my fabric choices worked.  At some point I stopped following the pattern and just went with my instincts on color and fabric placement.  I like that this pattern lets you have that freedom.

Visit here to purchase Lara’s book or find more information.

57 thoughts on “Crafted Applique – Cecropia Utopia”

  1. Oh I definitely let out a Whoop! and a Wahoo! when I saw your post Angela! This is my favorite project in the book and I love your moth even more than I love mine! You know I’m going to have to make one as fun as this now! I especially love your fabric choices. They do actually accomplish some of your work for you – always a plus.
    You are super dear to me too and your opinion means so much to me Angela! I’m just so happy that you like my Crafted Applique technique! I’m really looking forward to seeing what you are working on in your own applique adventures!

  2. I love the detail of your moth, and especially those big wonderful antennae to contrast the delicate nature of the rest of the work. Did this make a pillow-size applique? I’d love to make one for my daughter’s new apartment.

  3. I am amazed at the close-up details showing the stitching and clean lines of the applique. What a beautiful project and so well done!

  4. Your moth is truly amazing. I am not a huge applique fan, but this book makes me want to give it another try. I did a little applique baby quilt last week and sent it off…simple little whale but cute. I am also doing the Splendid Sampler and there are a lot of applique blocks.I am going to have to give this book a look.

  5. Wow your moth is absolutely gorgeous and your photos are so clear! Thanks for sharing your project – really spectacular fabric choices! This book is going on my must have list!

  6. I love your moth!! The colors and fabrics are just lovely in it, and I am going to have to get the book because I’m so curious about her frayless applique technique!! 🙂 Hugs, H

  7. Love your moth. In fact I have loved all the projects that I have seen, so far. It looks like a good book to have and use.

  8. I love your fanciful version of the moth and the way you used the fabric design for the details. This technique looks amazing with the amount of detail you can get.

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