I had a bunch of almost fat quarters, left over from a previous project and realized that I could use most of them up with "Just Ducky", a delightful pattern by Cheri Leffler Designs.
The ducks are fused appliques with the raw edges held down by several rows of edge-stitching, which looks rather like a small child outlining a coloring book design. It looks adorable .. but .. I worried about it for two reasons.
1. This quilt was going to be a gift. Raw edge applique, although an intriguing "new" technique, does look unfinished. I would hate for my recipients to think that I was using some slap-dash method.
2. Since this *was* a baby quilt and I haven't done a raw-edge applique design before, I was very concerned that with repeated laundering, the fusible would detach itself, leaving the applique body to "bubble" and that the edge-stitching would come undone. Either scenario would be horribly, horribly embarrassing.
So, I decided to machine applique those cute little ducks in place. I turned under the edge and did a very narrow zig-zag in matching thread along the folded edge.
Furthermore, I changed up the actual ducks I used. Since I was going to be machine zig-zagging the edge in place, I wanted a smoother edge to work on. The ducks in the pattern have delightful tail feathers, but I wanted a simpler design. I found exactly what I wanted at Quiltmaker; the PDF for the duck appliques can be downloaded here.
I'm sure that it took longer to turn under the edges of the applique & zig-zag them down than it would if I had simply fused and edge-stitched the ducks! But, the final result pleases me ... and that makes me happy.
I finished the piecing over 1-1/2 days .... as is typically so, I had a LOT of distractions and interruptions whilst I was piecing, so it wasn't a continuous 1-1/2 days. This really is a very easy pattern to do.
Now that the top is down, I'll need to go get some appropriate backing. I'm thinking of some flannel with ducks on it .. I'm not sure if this is in vogue these days, so I'll have to see what my local stores have in stock.
As for the quilting designs .. preliminarily, I'm thinking of Water Ripple for the patchwork water, some clouds in the sky area and Carla Barrett's "Curly Swirly" in the yellow frame.
Hmmmm .. maybe not for the yellow frame. That yellow frame is 4" wide .. certainly wide enough to do something interesting ... maybe the alternating feathers that I recently did on another quilt.
But first .. gotta go buy that backing fabric & batting!