I've been wanting to improve my applique for years now. This spring when I was no longer working, I sat down with some Hawaiian applique and did four pillow sized and one tulip pattern in a 40 inch wall hanging. Then I decided to go for it, and I'm making all the Fleur de lis from the Baltimore album blooks. I thought some might be more than my abilities can handle but by the time I finish with 30 or so of them, I should have improved my skills! So here I am, almost halfway done, except I have big plans for setting them together. I think my skills have improved. So far I am happy with all of them. I have an unorthodox way of cutting them. I make the 1/8th pattern and fold my red into 8ths and draw around my pattern. Then I cut them out, all the layers at the same time, Hawaiian style. This works great, but I haven't got to the intricate ones yet. With them I may have to make a full freezer paper pattern. I fold my white squares in 8ths, press and then open the red and lay it on top, matching the pressing lines, baste, and then needle turn. I have to baste because I hate working on work with pins stuck in it. Also, I took these in the car on the way to California and it is much simpler to have basted them when you are working in cars and hotel rooms. It's an extra step, but the design never shifts, and it is working perfectly.
Of course our dear Roady, Rhoady, or Roadster, as I call him ,sat on them the second I started laying them out. He was my daughter's cat, found as a stray when she was in college. He was hiding under cars covered in oil, out in the apartment parking lot, hence his name. I've had him now for years. Someone declawed him, and although I probably would never do that, my leather and wicker furniture is all the better for it.