knit stitch bias applique quilt

by Dorie on October 29, 2014

knit stitch quilt

Helloooo. I’ve got actual things to say about this project I just finished up. ACTUAL THINGS.

I tried something new here—bias applique. I don’t think I had any idea what it was until I saw Debbie’s beautiful quilts when I started going to guild a couple years ago. I mean, I guess I knew that bias applique was how you could make a flower stem, but I didn’t think about it as a method for design. Applique, and particularly bias applique, just hadn’t been been something I’d seen much in my sewing circles. And by sewing circles, I mean the instagram feeds I follow.

Since then, bias applique has lingered on my list of things to try one day. One day…

knit stitch quilt texture

… like now-ish 2014! I think it’s so completely awesome that the Modern Quilt Guild has a bias applique challenge category for QuiltCon! I’m going to go ahead and say that most modern quilters have not done bias applique. How many even had it on the radar? I don’t know, but more people do now. And more people will be trying to learn this new quilt technique, and watching each others’ efforts. That is super. It’s a challenge that is actually challenging!

bias applique quilt close up

This project! This project is all about quilting loving knitting, or people who love to quilt and also love to knit. Or about how if you give a knitter a long piece of tape and ask her to make a quilt, she might knit you a quilt instead. The knit stitch itself is such an interesting shape—it overlaps and it hooks under. It looks like nothing, but can make a fabric. Lynn and I had a conversation recently about the relationship of quilting and knitting. There is so much there. Both knitting and quilting are about construction, but they look at fabric, pattern, and shape differently. Looking at those places is bound to yield some interesting cross-inspiration. Lets do more of it!

This knit stitch, with its curves and interlocking lines, seemed like a good, simple-enough, yet interesting, place to learn bias applique. I need a more process-y post with the details, but the overall idea is, I did learn it. It may have been infuriating at times, but it was interesting at every step of the way.

quilt helper

The base color is Kona celestial. Each bias strip is applied right to the base. I “knit” the strips by weaving them in and out with my hands. I thought about getting giant knitting needles, or pvc pipes, and I tried arm knitting, but really all that wasn’t necessary.

quilt back texture

The blue part of the quilt, behind the loops, is free motion quilted using a ziggy stockinette-like stitch. That’s some knitspiration from Lynn – that along with not being a chicken in my quilting choices! I had thought about just wiggly straight line quilting over the whole thing because I was intimidated about maneuvering in all those spaces. Plus, how long would that take? So glad I told myself to buck up and quilt it right. I love the texture of the result.


erin October 30, 2014 at 6:40 am

dorie, i love this! i love that you had the idea and just went for it. the result is stunning! good call on the quilting – it makes the whole thing come together. well done, friend!

Dorie October 30, 2014 at 8:18 am

Thank you, Erin!

Lindsey October 30, 2014 at 11:36 am

I really love this quilt! I was wondering if you could share more about how you sewed on the bias tape. I saw that you referenced Esch House Quilts and she shares how to do a bias tape flower pillow, where she bastes the bias tape then appliques it and then rips out the basting stitches. Is this also how you did it? I think this would be a fun technique to spice up the back of a quilt!

Dorie November 2, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Yes! I think I’ll get a how-to post up next week.

Lynn October 30, 2014 at 12:07 pm

This quilt is AWESOME in so many ways! I love it and can’t wait to see your next knit inspired project.

Dorie November 2, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Thank you Lynn!

diane beavers November 3, 2014 at 9:27 am

Incredible! I’ve never dreamed of bias applique quilting such as you did. The back w/the ziggy stockinette-like stitch is stunning. Thanks for sharing your tried/true technique

tracy November 13, 2014 at 9:43 am

Love this. Great idea and tremendous application! Great work!

Jessica November 13, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Wow, this quilt is awesome! Fabulous job!

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