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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
Your moth is quite simply stunning.
Your moth is so beautiful that I will call it a butterfly; it is absolutely stunning!
Beautiful moth. Your fabric choices are wonderful and the applique looks so nice.
I agree with you wholeheartedly! What a beautiful butterfly!
Oh that is so wonderful!!!
I love how your moth came out.
Your moth is awesome. the color placement is outstanding. Lara’s applique method is most intriguing and I am anxious to try it. Everyone sounds so excited about it.