Book Review: The Modern Applique Workbook

I was pretty excited to review The Modern Applique Workbook by Jennifer Dick, since my experience with applique is pretty much limited to fusing and raw edge applique. The book is 135 pages long plus pull-out patterns in the back of the book.


The main methods used in this book are freezer paper applique to turn the edges, which the author prefers over a needle turned edge, and zigzag stitching with invisible polyester thread.

Trees, pg. 93

Although I was excited at the mention that scraps are great for applique, since as quilters pretty much all we do is create scraps, the later statement that applique fabric must be pre-washed quelled that excitement a bit. I'm a firm anti-pre-washer (mostly due to laziness), and washing scraps is not going to happen. It certainly makes more sense to use scraps if someone has already pre-washed all their fabric, though.

Fall, pg. 111

The beginning of the book starts out with an introduction, lists of tools needed and reasons for pre-washing fabrics. I was surprised when I got to the actual freezer paper tutorial; although I had a vague idea of how to applique with freezer paper, I didn't realize that the shape was sewn on with the paper still in (which is later removed from the back)!

Geese, pg. 107

Besides using the aforementioned invisible zigzag stitch, the author also gives many examples of other ways to use both straight and decorative machine stitches to applique the pieces down.

Even before making it to the Projects section of the book, I was in love with the Mod quilt pattern that was featured on the inside cover. I felt that it was perhaps a better example of a "modern" pattern than the pattern chosen for the cover of the book.

Mod Quilt, pg. 70

I also was drawn to some of the simpler, more organic shapes such as "Flame,""Birds," "Trees," "Geese," "Fall," and "Fish." I would definitely make these patterns and love the graceful curves shown in them.

Birds, pg. 81

A few patterns I was not as crazy about--the aforementioned cover pattern "Star Bright," which is just a bit busy for me, "Kisses," which I feel could easily be made with regular piecing, "Baskets," which reminds me of my most disliked traditional pattern, and "Cascade," which is made of simple circles and frankly, shows a lot of mistakes in both stitching and quilting in the picture.

Cascade, pg.101

Overall I think the technique described is one I would definitely go back to time and again, and there are more than enough projects I love in this book to make me want to own it.

One lucky PMQG member will win The Modern Applique Workbook at our meeting this Thursday!

Thanks to C&T Publishing and Stash Books for the chance to review and give away a copy of this book.