Friday, February 15, 2013

Turned-Edge Appliqué for the Faint of Heart

Last week I was encouraged to 'splain my technique for turned-edge appliqué.   I know there are others who do something similar to this, but this is the method I have worked out -- it's fairly quick, it's easy, and I enjoy doing it.

And best of all -- I love the results.

First I made a pattern from my drawing.  I reversed it in my computer and printed it full size.  I traced it onto freezer paper with a Sharpie, keeping the various elements together -- face, teeth, spikes, etc.  I keep a key with all the individual pieces numbered in colored pencil or marker; when there are lots of little pieces, it's easy to confuse them.  Hmmmm.... is that a tooth?  ...or a spike?  ...maybe a finger...?

I gathered my tools -- two pairs of scissors, one for fabric and one for paper, the magic pen, and some water-soluble glue.  The glue and pen are available at my LQS.   The paper scissors I stole from my kid.

Then  I start cutting.  I have learned to cut only a few bits at a time -- partly because of the confusion factor, but mostly because I find myself making changes as I build the image in fabric.

I iron the pieces to the wrong side of the fabric -- remember, the freezer paper was traced from a reverse image.

Then I get out the magic pen and "mark" along the edges that I'm going to turn.  I use a hot iron to turn the edges.  The magic pen wets the fabric and makes it easy to get really sharp edges.  I clip the inside curves so they lie flat and I cut out the bulk in the outside curves to make it easier when I quilt.

As I trace the pattern onto the freezer paper, I  look at the individual pieces to see which I want on top and which would look best underneath.  I use dots to mark the underneath seam allowances so I don't accidentally turn them under.

I dip a pin in the glue (it comes with a really nifty cap that squirts tiny dots, but it's not so nifty when it clogs and I have to spend time unclogging it, so I just use the pin) and wipe tiny amounts onto the seam allowance.  Then I literally glue the image together.

I use the cut out portion of the freezer paper as a guide to make sure that the pieces are glued together at the proper angles.

Sometimes I use tracing paper to trace an image that I can reverse to make sure that all my pieces are fitting together the way I originally drew them.

Using the reverse image and ironing the freezer paper to the wrong side allows me to see exactly what parts of the fabric I'm using and I can make changes if I desire.

I use the full size pattern to build the image with glue as I go.  I have learned to be careful to avoid getting glue on the freezer paper, and I remove it as soon as the pieces are in place.

Of course, all this begs the question: why bother?  Some say it makes the quilt more durable -- but this is meant to hang on a wall, so durability isn't really an issue.  Especially since I like to cover the whole thing with thread.   I am an art quilter and I have no qualms about slapping down some fused fabric and calling it a day. And I'm certainly not judgmental about others who fuse -- except when they don't use really sharp scissors to cut their fusibles and there are little tiny threads sticking out everywhere.  But that's another issue.

I am putting this dragon on top of a pieced background and I have found that sometimes fusing on top of piecing leaves lumps and bumps where I don't want lumps and bumps.  Also, I do this because I like the dimension I get with layering fabric.  It seems that the finished piece is more 3D.  I will be quilting this in layers for even more depth.  And it's way quicker than needle-turn appliqué.

I'm linking up again this week with Nina Marie at Off the Wall Fridays.


Ann Babillis said...

Thanks for sharing your technique. I have one question. How do you successfully remove the freezer paper on the smaller pieces without mangling up the turned under edges. This seems to be a challenge for me.

Beth said...

Can't wait to see the finished project!!! Glad to see that you have the creative fire again!

Beth said...

Can't wait to see the finished project!!! Glad to see that you have the creative fire again!

Judy Ferguson said...

This is really a lot of work, but it is very effective. I am a lazy fuzer.

Lisa said...

Gorgeous! I love what you have done and can't wait to see the end result. I just love turned under appliqué. The look is so wonderful.

Anonymous said...

At what point are you removing the freezer paper.. I'm not quite sure from reading this through.

Robbie said...

Always interesting to see some new tips on old ways! THANKS!!

Lynne said...

Wow! It seems a bit complex Aut your results are obviously worth it!

Karen S said...

Anonymous! I am removing the freezer paper as I go. I sometimes use a pair of tweezers, if the pieces are really tiny. I find that using the "magic pen" really makes the creases stay in the fabric and, as long as I am gentle, the paper comes out without a lot of fuss.