Many years ago, maybe ten, I bought an applique pattern for an amaryllis. After I opened it I quickly realized it was going to be a bit harder than I thought for a beginner appliquer. At that point in my quilting career I should have stuck with patterns with five or fewer pieces.
I chose the pattern in the first place because the amaryllis flower is so regal and beautiful. They are quite easy to grow, but tricky to get to bloom again after the first year. My mom grows a lot of them, so the quilt was to be for her. The quilt pattern is regal, too. It is large, finishing at about 30" tall. But, over the years I pretty much resigned to the fact I wasn't really going to do this pattern. I really prefer straight lines of pieced patterns instead.
Then, sometime in the past year we had a speaker at our quilt guild who designs applique patterns. I thought applique is not for me, I should just go home. She talked about her design process and how she uses fusible web and sewing machine in her pieces instead of turning under the raw edge of fabric by hand for each piece of the pattern to sew it down.
I was sold. Debra Gable's method saved me, I didn't need to feel guilty about the amaryllis anymore, because I knew I could finish it. Debra has a whole line of patterns depicting cities in the form of postage stamps. Very cool. I bought the one of Baltimore. Maybe I'll finish that one, too. But in the mean time, I'm about more than halfway done with the flower, and am very excited with my progress.
2 years ago