How to whip stitch wool applique with Maggie Bonanomi

If you haven’t tried wool appliqué, you’re in for a treat. Wool is tactile, cozy, dimensional, easy to sew, it doesn’t fray, and it’s deeply rooted in the history of textiles. It’s fuzzy-wuzzy fun!

But exactly how do you sew with wool? While there are a bunch of ways to work with wool, if you ask Maggie Bonanomi, you’ll find her method is completely suited to the title of her new book: Pure & Simple. She uses ONE kind of thread in just ONE color. For everything! No fusing, no fussing.

Maggie’s wool-appliqué designs are made with wools, linens, and homespuns—all fabrics that instantly warm and charm—and her hand-sewn appliqués couldn’t be easier to stitch. Maggie uses just ONE type and color of thread to sew all of her welcoming designs, and her go-to stitch is a whipstitch. Basic and beautiful.

We recently caught up with Maggie and she showed us how easy her wool appliqué is to sew—even stitching those skinny stems! Take a look at her pure-and-simple approach:


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Seriously, has appliqué ever been easier?

Best of all, in Pure & Simple, Maggie welcomes not-so-straight stitches, less-than-perfect appliqués, and your own whimsical touches.

Whip up sweet little veggies to ring in spring (or to remind you of spring during winter months):

Early Radish and Sweet Peas wool applique
Early Radish and Sweet Peas

Stitch a patchwork-style pinkeep to warm up small spaces:

May Basket wool applique
May Basket

Create an ornamental topiary that stays evergreen:

Potted Topiary wool applique
Potted Topiary

Or sew a pure-and-simple statement that inspires everyone to smile:

Life is Good wool applique pillow
Life is Good

See more Pure & Simple projects here.

Do you use a whipstitch when you appliqué with wool, or do you typically use a different stitch? Share your answer in the comments!


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