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Fast Piece Applique with Rose Hughes

August 2, 2023

Fast Piece Applique with Rose Hughes


I was looking through some of our old magazine issues the other day and I came across this article from quilt artist Rose Hughes, about her Fast Piece Applique technique.  I read through it, and re-watched her ‘how-to’ video, and I think this is a fun technique that you just might want to have a play with.

She uses freezer paper and a really clever technique to put together these amazing quilts with plenty of curves and movement, and then she embellishes them on top to make them really stand out!

Let’s start with the article, and then we’ll talk the Fast Piece Applique technique after that.

Fast Piece Applique with Rose Hughes

“Have you ever looked at a beautiful scene or imagined a fanciful design, and thought to yourself, “there’s no way I could ever sew all those curves!”?

My experimenting with curves began the first time I saw the sinuous lines of the hills along California’s Big Sur coast.

They called my name, and soon I was moving from east coast to west where the coastline’s flowing curves, and the color and texture of the inland hills and trees became a treasured part of my life.

Enjoying hiking, photography and exploring, it was natural that I began using my photos and memories to create my quilts, and after several years I worked out a method I call Fast-Piece Appliqué™ to easily stitch those curves.

Traveling and picture taking took on new meaning and continues opening doors to creating both larger landscapes I travel through and inner landscapes created in my heart.

Today most of my designs use photographs as a starting point, but I am also a big fan of 5 minute word drawings, and I fill my sketchbook with photographs and these fun quick drawings as studies for future quilts.

Landscapes, at first glance, beckon us with their vast expanses of color; then, as we look closer, the details begin to glimmer and draw us in with the interplay between far and near.

Because of this interplay it is easier for me to think of the landscape in layers, and I use my unique, yet simple, Fast-Piece Appliqué™ to transform simplified shapes of colorful… custom fabrics and rich silks in strong colors to catch your eye.

Then I use couching of colorful yarns along with machine quilting to give another layer of dimension to the design that lays the groundwork for the finer details of the hand stitching, and embellishments.

Embellishing is another reason why I developed Fast-Piece Appliqué™. The method makes fast work of quilt top construction, getting me quickly to another part I love, embellishing!

Embellishments are special and add dimension, texture, sparkle, even whimsy to your quilt.

Almost anything goes–beads and buttons added one at a time or on strings by hand or machine, silk ribbon, pearl cottons or decorative threads added by sewing traditional and non-traditional embroidery stitches, bangles, found objects, personal trinkets and treasures, maybe even a bit of paper.

Can you see those doors opening with infinite possibilities?

Right now I’m 20+ plus years into my love affair with ‘fabric-y’ magic. I love stitching and enjoy sharing my stitch friendly method of construction and embellishment magic in my books: Dream Landscapes: Artful Quilts with Fast-Piece Appliqué™ (Martingale 2008), Exploring Embellishments (Martingale 2010) and my latest Design, Create, Quilt (Martingale 2012).

In this latest book you’ll also find simplified basic art lessons amongst all the quilts; simple things that we all can do to ‘artify’ our lives and ‘quiltify’ the world.

Jumping into my quilt life with both feet came in 2003, after 20 years in my corporate life, (where quilting kept me sane). I’ve never looked back, and it is with utter delight that I now get to share everything I find magical about creating with fabric.

Over the years I’ve appeared in books, magazines, CDs, videos, patterns, web ’sites’ and even television. My quilts, traveling almost as much as me, may be found in solo exhibits, quilt festivals and galleries both nationally and internationally.

I love sharing my passion for quilting, the process of creating anew, creating something important to the maker.

I choose to share this joyful experience by providing entertaining and educational lectures and fun-filled workshops. My line-up of workshops cover Fast-Piece Appliqué™ of course, but also ideas and lessons on design, fabric painting, color and all forms of embellishments I use in my quilts.

As I continue to pursue my own ‘fabricy’ art, you can find my quilts in juried exhibits worldwide, but you can always find me closer to home. Just click on the television or computer. You’ll find me sharing my love of the art of quilting through my blog,  and fun snippets of my ‘artified & quiltified’ life on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.”

About the Author: Let your imagination and creativity take flight — Rose Hughes-Quilt Artist and self- proclaimed Flight Coordinator would love to help you on your quilting journey and other creative pursuits. You’re just a click away from enjoying quilts, great quilting technique tutorials, and creative idea generation that will help your quilt-making soar.Visit  


If you’d like to see how Rose does her Fast Fuse Applique method, she has a quick video on You Tube that illustrates this technique. Click the link or image below to watch it.

See Rose’s wonderful Fast-Fuse Applique method in a quick video at

And I found a fun Christmassy project on her blog with a free pattern you can download and try if you’d like to – Check it out at –  

Have a play, and please post photos below with your comments if you do make something with Rose’s Fast Fuse Applique technique.

Enjoy your week!



One response to “Fast Piece Applique with Rose Hughes”

  1. Margaret Sullivan says:

    how clever loved all her work so clever
    all beyond me but how lovely they are colourful bright full of stories I loved them

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