I have a lovely quilty crafty neighbour whose children are all grown and who has the most wonderful wall of neatly folded fabric I have ever seen. I love to pop over and share books and inspiration and advice. My quilty neighbour recently lent me a pile of felt applique and stitching books.

Three of the books were by Sue Spargo. Sue is an inspirational and prolific teacher and author and maker. Her work is many layered, dense, tactile and colourful with a folk art feel to it. Sue uses wool quite a lot in her work – wool felt and wool threads for applique and embroidery. Her motifs are simple bird and flower shapes but with many layers of colour and stitching they become this amazing tapestry of colour and texture. One of the books in my pile of loaned books is her latest book is Contemporary Folk (you can see more here). This book – interestingly – is written in both French and English. And the templates are printed in the book at 100% size ready to photocopy.

More woolly things I love:



great tute for this cute quilt using raw edge circle applique.


Sew Liberated: 20 Stylish Projects for the Modern Sewist by Meg McElwee. Interweave Press (January 1, 2010).

Meg from Sew Liberated (another old fave blog of mine), is a montessori teacher, and has an interesting viewpoint when it comes to making. She has a love of experimentation and pushing boundaries, trying out old techniques in new ways – and she has brought these ideas into her book. Sew liberated is primarily about applique, but not the perfectionist applique you might know from antique quilts. Instead she takes applique in directions that are perfect for the young and the modern sewist. Showing some quick and easy methods that you can apply to clothing, bed linen and accessories to brighten up your life.

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Oh oh, clever duck Christie shares her first tutorial and it’s a goodun’. Link to tutorial.


I would like to welcome Kayte Terry from the blog This is Love Forever – she has a new book out ‘Applique your way’ from Chronicle books and is on a blog tour, today she is going to discuss how to applique for the Holidays!

Appliqué Your Way By Kayte Terry. Chronicle Books; Spi edition (September 30, 2009).

Hi everyone! I am so excited to be on Whip-up today to talk about my new book Appliqué Your Wayfrom Chronicle, and give you some ideas for how to use applique to decorate your home for the holidays.

Applique is the perfect way to spruce up your holiday decor because you are often just embellishing simple items that you already have around the house. And, many projects from my book can be adapted for holiday time just by changing the colors or motifs.


These woodland creature ornaments made by contributor Patty Sechi (aka my mom) are perfect for the tree and are sure to become a holiday heirloom for years to come. My mom adapted these ornaments from ones that she made when I was a kid and we still cherish them each year! They take only a few hours to make and can be customized in any color combinations you like. If you don’t have a tree, what about hanging ornaments from a window or a branch suspended from the ceiling? Or, what about making these ornaments as gift tie-ons?


How cute is this banner by contributor Caitlin of Nice-etc? You can change the letters to spell out “Joy” or “Merry and Bright” or “HoHoHo”. Perfect for hanging on the wall or a mantel place. You could also simply sew cut-out felt letters onto stockings and tree skirts!


The holidays bring lots and lots of houseguests. This appliqué tea towel from contributor Kristen of Cakehouse Designs is made by cutting out motifs from vintage linens and sewing them onto solid cottons. This could function as a perfectly festive hand towel as is or consider using vintage Christmas linens for a more traditional look. This pattern can also be adapted to make lots and lots of pretty holiday table linens like napkins, runners and tablecloths.


Speaking of the holiday table, these doily trivets are a fancy but functional way to protect that table from hot dishes. The colors can be customized to match your holiday style or you could even change the pattern slightly so that the shapes look more like snowflakes!

What are you your decorating plans for the holidays?

Thanks so much for letting me share some holiday decorating ideas on Whipup! For more about me, you can visit my blog at The full blog tour itinerary is posted at the Chronicle site.