Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Many Ways of Applique

 I thought I would talk about hand applique as I am working on a project at the moment.  There are many different ways to do applique and at the end of the day you have to find out what works best for you.  I have tried needle turn applique after drawing your shape onto fabric.  I have tried "painting" the seam allowance with liquid starch and ironing it under.  The method I love the best involves good old Freezer Paper which you buy from your grocery store.  (Great for English paper piecing too as your paper does not shift around after ironing it on).
 I make a template out of  plastic template material.  This is sturdy to use to draw your shape onto the freezer paper.  I am making a little basket quilt from a quick drawing of a basket that I did.  My friends know how much I love baskets (and tins!!).  A half basket traced onto a folded double piece of freezer paper gives you a symmetrical shape if symmetry is what you are after.  It also halves the cutting time.  Once the shape is cut out, I iron the freezer paper to the right side of the fabric.  Then I cut the shape out roughly leaving more than a quarter inch seam allowance.  This I trim down when I am doing the actual applique.  The next step is to baste the shape to the background material.  It stops any shifting and makes the whole process easier.  Then just go ahead and applique as you would for all the other methods.
 Here are a few of the basket blocks that I have made thus far.
I wanted to show some of the tools I use which really make a big difference to the process.  Firstly, a sharp pair of scissors is a must for clipping the seams.  Next, a block of beeswax is wonderful to run your thread through so that you don't get those annoying knots while in the process of sewing.  A wooden toothpick with a sharp point is wonderful for turning the fabric under the freezer paper.  It "bites"the fabric way better than the sewing needle.  Some finger protection is useful too.  I am trying out adhesive thimbles at the moment.  They feel better than clunky hard thimbles.
If you have not tried freezer paper applique I hope I have piqued your interest.
Until next time, bye!

1 comment:

  1. I am drooling over this quilt. So cute!