Saturday, June 12, 2010

More About the Dreaded "A" Word

For accurate placement on the background fabric, I cut my background fabric a half inch larger all the way around.  For example, these blocks finish at 12 inches, so a 12 and a half inch square is cut.  I cut mine at 13 and a half because the appliqué does draw it up a bit.  So after it's done, I can cut it down to an accurate 12 and a half inch square.

I iron it in half, turn it, and iron another crease so I have a four squares ironed into my fabric.  Then, I iron creases from corner to corner.  This gives me a guide for placement of the appliqué pieces.

You may have noticed that all my leaves aren't perfectly symmetrical and they're all different fabrics.  I like the organic look -- no two leaves are ever the same in real life either.  And I'm relieved from having to make 12 exactly perfectly matching leaves.

I traced the design from the pattern onto baking parchment.  I line it up with the ironed-in creases, then place my pieces with tweezers.  I have these nifty little appliqué pins to hold them in place while I stitch.  They're nice because they're so tiny, the thread doesn't catch them when I'm sewing.

I use a small needle and thread that matches the appliqué, not the background.  I bury the knot under the appliqué, then do a blind stitch catching the fold of the appliqué.

To make the stems, I have this cool little pen.  It has a "magic" potion in it (don't know what it is but I really hope it's not something that will make my quilt rot in 20 years).

I cut the bias strip -- the finished piece was a little larger than a quarter inch, so I cut them at 3/4 of an inch.

Then I put my ruler down, leaving a scant quarter inch and "marked" it with the pen.  The liquid makes it easy to fold, then press with a hot iron.  I turned it and did the other side.

This pen is also useful for turning edges on labels, or anything else.  The wet line turns really easily. And I can make bias strips any size -- I'm not limited to the sizes the strip-makers make.

Next:  Those *&#@;$!!! little circles.


Anonymous said...

Never seen a pen that does that! Clever.

Anne Marie - Toronto said...

Nice! BTW, the YLI silk thread is fabulous for applique. It's so fine and slips through the fabric like butta!! I used to like needleturn applique. Crazy, yes? Well not the little teeny circles, but all the rest.