Tuesday, February 24, 2009

LET'S TALK APPLIQUE......and short update!

There are many different ways to applique. I thought I would talk about a few.
1. NEEDLE TURN where you actually turn under the fabric 1/4" with your needle as you stitch the applique into place.
2.FUSIBLE APPLIQUE is the use of a iron-on material that you fuse (iron) to the applique piece, and then fuse(iron) that to a background, then stitch down with a hand stitched button hole, or machine button hole stitch, or a satin stitch. I like Wonder Under, or Steam-a Seam II.

3. FREEZER PAPER APPLIQUE TYPE ONE where you adhere(iron) the turned edges of the fabric to the slick side of freezer paper. (Paper can be found in your grocery store by the ziplock bags, or you can get it from the butcher.) After the fabric edges are ironed to the paper, you hand stitch the piece to a background..or you can machine stitch with a small zig-zag to a background. I know a lot of people who use this method, I always burn my fingers, so I like the next type......

4. FREEZER PAPER APPLIQUE TYPE TWO where you glue with a fabric glue stick the turned edges of the fabric to the slick side of the freezer paper and then hand stitch or machine zig-zag the piece to a background. I like to use an invisible thread for the zig-zag. You need to use a very small zig-zag, I use a 1.5 width and a 1.5 length. Stitch very close to the edge but make sure you catch the applique.
Using the invisible thread makes it look like hand applique.
This is part of a border that I am currently working on!!!! (more later!)
This is also part of that project!
This is another quilt project I am currently working on!!!!(more later!)
I really like this method of applique, I have tried every kind of applique and this one works for me. I wanted to make more perfect circles and this method was one where I was finally able to achieve those circles. If you like applique, you need to try enough methods to find one you like! I made a quilt with 4- 6 different blocks using different methods of applique for each. I hated everyone, until this one. I have always LOVED quilts with applique, the more the happier I am, but I didn't ever like doing most of the techniques. The type of applique does depend on what the project will be used for. If I am doing a quilt that will be on my bed and used a long time, I want applique that will last through the years. I personally like the fusible method for smaller projects and quick projects, but I use the freezer paper type two for any other. I like the freezer type two because I can make VERY small pieces and they don't have any of those little "pokey outy points" I can manipulate the edges until they are smooth.
UPDATE: On the glue stick method...(sorry, this was so intense, I am surprised anybody understood it)
After you zig-zag the piece to the background you carefully trim away the background fabric from the back leaving the slick side of the paper exposed. Because you used a very small zig-zag, it is now perforated. I use the eye end of a large needle, make a small slit in the paper, run the eye of the needle around the stitching to help loosen the paper a bit, and carefully tear away the paper from the stitching. This also helps to alleviate the bulk of so many layers, so you do it with every layer of paper.
You can see the green swirl on the red in the photo above? I cut away the backing, tore out the paper for the red, and then sewed the green swirl on the red....then, trimmed the backing from the green (which now was the red) and took the paper out for the swirl. Samething for the little yellow diamond on the blue flower.
You can applique many layers on top of each other this way and not have too much bulk.....OR you can use the applique method called, RAW EDGE applique where you just sew a 1/4" seam around a shape of fabric onto a background and leave the edge raw...so when you wash it, it frays and looks cool.