Hummingbird Applique Block

Hummingbird Applique - from a pattern from Susan Brittingham

I finally finished my homework!  It’s only 3 or 4 years overdue.  This little hummingbird is pattern from the (soon to be extinct) class Upside-down Applique by Susan Brittingham.  I never got around to doing it when I was actually taking the class, but a recent round robin project involving flowers and hummingbirds was the right chance to finally make this block.  I was able to use a hand-painted sky background that I made years ago as well.  I did wonder whether hummingbirds came out that early, and then I saw one just the other day feeding on my honeysuckle plant early in the morning.  Good timing!

Upside-down applique is a great technique to use with sheers and whenever you want a quick machine applique but don’t want the weight of a fusible changing the hand of the fabric.  It’s a pretty easy technique.  Trace the design on stabilizer, make a note of what order to put the pieces down and pin the stabilizer to the back of the fabric.  Place a piece of fabric large enough to cover the element you’re appliqueing on the top of the fabric, turn the whole thing over, and stitch on the lines from the back through the stabilizer, the background and the piece you’re stitching down.  Turn it over and trim the appliqued fabric as close as you can to the stitching line.  Then go over the edges with a small zig-zag stitch.  Repeat until all the elements of your applique are sewn down.   Other than changing out the thread colors a lot, this is a really quick technique.  I finished this little bird in just over an hour.

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