Monday, May 19, 2014

Appliqué to Background

Appliqué can be applied several ways.  It can be sewed on by hand (needle turned), and within that category there are tricks using freezer paper, starch or glue.  The fabric can be fused or glued to the background and the edges sewn down with the machine.  Satin stitch done with a tight zigzag is common and looks lovely when done well.  There are many special stitches on machines today that can be used. 

TIP:  Experiment with the fancy stitches on your machine.  They work best with stabilizer under the fabric.

My favorite method is to use a fusible material, iron the appliqué to the background, and sew it down with a machine blanket stitch.  I trace all my appliqué pieces onto Soft Fuse IN REVERSE.  It stays soft.  It has paper on only one side, and that paper stays on until you want to take it off.  It is easy to pull off when you are ready.



First the designs are drawn IN REVERSE on the paper side of the fusible material.   If you are using fusible with two paper sides, read the directions for which side to use.


TIP:  I often squeeze all the designs that will be made from the same fabric together about ¼-½ inch apart so there is little waste, and iron the whole bunch to one piece of fabric without cutting the fusible apart first.  You don’t have to worry about grain on the appliqué.

TIP:  Did you get that?  The designs must be drawn on the paper of the fusible IN REVERSE of how you want them on the quilt.  A new habit to develop! 

Now I sit down with an audio book in the player and carefully cut out all the pieces.  Watching TV is OK too.  I like to get all of the cutting done first to get it out of the way.  What I really want to do is sew and I don’t care to stop in between to cut.


TIP:  I find it helpful to put all the cut appliqué for one background shape into an envelope, label it and put it, the original tracing paper drawings, and the background piece into a folder...one folder for each background shape and its appliqués.  Everything is labeled of course.  It is nice to be able to find it all together when I am ready to work on that part.


Finally, I tear the paper off, lay the appliqué in its predetermined spot and iron it to the background according to the directions of the fusible material.

TIP:  Is it hard to get the paper off before ironing to the fabric?  Use a pin to lightly score the paper in the center of the appliqué piece.  The paper will pop up and is easily grabbed.


TIP:  Use a heat resistant ironing sheet over the appliqué.  It will protect your iron from any AWOL fusible goo.

MAJOR BIG TIP:  reverse (design) + wrong (side fabric) = RIGHT.  Two negatives make a positive! In this case two wrongs make right.  

Why am I do adamant about reversing the design on fusible?  I made a whole quilt backwards one time.  That's why!

1 comment:

  1. Great tips! On my applique patterns I include a reverse design also. Thanks for sharing at Linky Tuesday! Freemotion by the River

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