Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Appliqué Prepping- Part 1

I have been wanting to try some hand appliqué for a while. My thought is to have something that I can have in my hands at night while watching TV.

Because you see, if I am using my computer I get too engrossed in what I’m doing and lose track of what’s happening around me…. i.e. I don’t talk to my husband.

But if my hands are empty, I am likely going to fall asleep😴😴

Doing some sort of hand work seems to fix both problems. I can be engaged but still accomplish something!!

To this end, I bought this pattern at the International Quilt Festival several years ago.

 ….and it has languished on my shelf since then.

Quite simply, I was NOT looking forward to making all of the templates for each of these pieces.

First, let me say that I do NOT do Needle-turn applique!!

So making templates and having the pieces already turned under and ready to sew is essential!!

Over the years, I have tried several methods of preparing the fabrics, each with its good and bad points, but this time I wanted to try something new.

Two years ago, at the International Quilt Festival, I found “Quilters Select Print and Piece Fuse Lite” from Alex Anderson

Each fiber-based sheet has a lightweight fusible on the back side. Using these sheets, you can draw on the backside of the fabric and then cut out those pieces to use as your template.

According to the instructions, this “paper” is water, soluble, and half of the threads will wash out. The other half stays underneath the appliqué, giving it a little more puffiness

Intriguing, right?

I selected one of the 12 designs… (the one with the least number of points), and traced all of the elements onto a sheet of Alex‘s paper 

Next, I cut them out carefully on the lines I had drawn….

After picking an appropriate fabric…… (By “appropriate, I mean NOT a BATIK. I don’t like using BATIKS for hand applique because they are woven tighter and sometimes it is hard to get the needle through!!)…… I laid out each of the petals, being sure to leave enough space to cut them out…..

Now it was time to iron them in place…..

I found that I had to hold the iron down for several seconds before the pieces would actually stick to the fabric.

Once the shapes were fused, I cut them out trying to leave a scant quarter of an inch around each one.

The instructions say to use a glue stick to secure the fabric edges to the pattern, but I really don’t like working with glue sticks. I am wondering if I can use magic sizing to crease the edges….more about this in tomorrow’s post.

Unfortunately, as I wetted the edges down with magic sizing, it started breaking down the template fabric so it was impossible to get a crisp edge.

OKAY….let’s try glue!!

I did three petals, using the glue to stick down the edges and this was the result…..

I was not able to get a good crease on the fabric, especially around the clipped curves and there were WAY too many “pointies” sticking out.

Those will NOT work for me!!

Have you used this paper and did I do something wrong??

Come back tomorrow and we will explore my second attempt…..this time using Freezer paper!!

In this blog, I post DAILY stories about creativity, techniques, tools of the trade, and lots more about the wonderful art of quilting. If you are enjoying these posts, please subscribe to be notified of each new blog as it becomes available.

2 thoughts on “Appliqué Prepping- Part 1

  1. This is very interesting. If you did do needle turn, you wouldn’t need all the papers, glue sticks, and other products “they” want to sell you. All you need is your design traced on the fabric, fabric pieces roughly cut to shape, needle and thread. Batiks are wonderful for applique because they are tightly woven and give a nice crisp edge when you press the seam allowance under with your fingernail. They don’t ravel when you cut into the curves to get a smooth edge. You need to use a fine Sharp needle and fine thread if you have it. Give it another chance after you explore and post about your other methods.

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