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Monday, May 14, 2012

Applique Affairs

 I am having applique issues and I want answers NOW. I was going to not have an extra post but I don't want to wait until tomorrow for answers. (as I should get an hour to sew tonight.) (And mostly because I am so impatient.)

 I've never done much hand applique. I really don't like machine applique much. I've tried doing satin stitch by machine, just leaving the raw edge and doing basic thread painting. I really am HORRIBLE at thread painting, and I really like the look of traditional applique. So I've been trying a few experiments. At first, they worked out ok. Let me explain what I've tried, and then maybe some of you can give me some pointers...

First I wanted to try paper piecing applique. The paper pieces website says that it is possible, so why not?

I treated curves just like in paper piecing..the same way as you would a yo-yo.
Other than that, I think this method might be similar to freezer paper applique.
You are just basting instead of using an iron and starch to baste it. 

I wasn't real sure how to do deep valleys. I didn't understand how cutting so deep would hold up in the long run; but I consulted Carries blog and her deep valleys tutorial (RIGHT HERE) and I think I did ok for the first time ever doing applique. Here are some finished curves and deep valley close-ups. These were all done using the paper piecing applique method:

Next, I received some of this free to try out:

I figured it would be nice to paper piece using it, and then I wouldn't have to rip out the paper. It was even an added bonus to use water soluble thread to baste. It did ok, but it had a tendency to not hold a perfect shape as well as heavy cardstock. You can see that on this mushroom top. I can fix the little extra points when I applique it down I think:

But then I got to a flower with really deep valleys and it looks awful. And it is fraying every where. I don't know what to do other than just start over, do raw edge and maybe button hole stitch.

Some other applique thoughts....
My wonderful friend Patty over at Granma's Charms knew I was attempting some applique and she sent me a package of this. She said that her customers highly recommend it. (You can shop at Patty's online store Right HERE)

This stuff is printable, and it's got a sticky adhesive so you can just draw your design, then stick it right down to your fabric. Great...but then I ran into another problem. Once I had the shape all ready, I couldn't figure out how you would know where to tuck in at. So....

I noticed on Carrie's post that I referred to above, that you have to draw your pattern on the front so that you can see where to needle turn. Ok, I can handle that. But...what about after you glue your applique shape down with Roxanne's? I mean, then you can't stuff your fabric down under there for needle turn. Perhaps you can only use this glue for freezer paper or paper piecing applique?

I am so confused! I think that maybe I should just save money for this:

I've read lots of reviews about it. But it sure won't help me now.

So, how do you applique? Do you glue down or pin in place?
Has anyone used EPP for applique?
How do YOU do deep valleys, especially when it keeps fraying?

In the mean time I am going to lay my whiny boy down for a nap and wait for you all to help out your hillbilly friend!

Oh, I am certainly linking this up with Marcia's minutes for Me as this is my only ME minutes for sewing that I've had time for this month. You can link up too! 


Janet said...

I just do needle turn applique. Cut out the shape with a 1/8 inch seam. Start on the straightest edge. Turn under as you go. Clip as you go if necessary. Use thin thread. Remember that Mother Nature does not make every berry or mushroom exactly alike. Variations in your shape are okay.

Linda said...

I know what you are going through. I had tried every method and hated them all. Then I discovered the "back-basting method". I am now in love with my applique. Check it out.
Hope this helps.

beaquilter said...

how adventurous!
I applique two different ways, I first learned to needle applique with the ricky tims stable stuff and really love it! I glue it with a glue stick to the back of the fabric,(just the shape- not the edges) then when it's dry, pin it to the background and I sit with needle and thread and carefully needleturn around while stitching to the background, and I love that I just soak the block when done and don't have to do anything else.
Now I also do machine applique, but I only like to do button hole stitches around,and I used heat n bond for that and trace on the paper, cut roughly around, iron to the back of fabric, then cut on the line and peel away the paper and iron again to the background, then button hole stitch all the way around, I like to then have the setting on my machine to needle DOWN so after it's done with a few stitches and it's on the outside of the shape, the needle is down and I raise my presser foot and turn slightly and continue. I actually did a few blocks today. :-)

Fiona said...

Well... I think the letters you showed at the top look great.... I learnt last year and started with starch and ironing around a freezer paper shape and that helped a lot... now I do as Janet does above, snip as I go and tiny teeny stitches especially in the curves... valleys and mountains... I do use the glue but only tiny dots to stabilise it and I use the short pins when it is thin like the lettering so you can tuck it under... so many ways... you will find out what suits you...

elliek said...

Good luck! I do the small dots of glue away from the edge just to ho;d the fabric in place and then pin cos I can! Small stitches every 2 mm or so ( close together) and clip as you go. It is very addictive and I'm sure will be soothing when you get the hang of it ( I still get a stiff shoulder while sewing)

Snoodles said...

I love your letters you showed - I think they look awesome! The only applique that I have done so far is the slap-it-down-with-glue-stick-to-hold-it-and-buttonhole-stitch-it-before-it-runs-away kind! LOL

Carrie P. said...

Well done on your letters. They look great! I really don't use the glue much just because I feel like I should wash the block when finished which is one more thing I don't want to do. But use Elliek advise.
Can I give you one piece of advise? On your first photo of the letter, I would cut away just a little bit more fabric around the curves. The less fabric you have on curves the easier it is to turn under.
That basting technique looks a little hard for a beginner. I think I would have gotten frustrated with basting around that form. "N"
Try needle turn and cut the outside turning edge to 3/16". Like I said before the less fabric you cut down to the easier it is to turn.
Keep trying until you find a technique you like.

quilter000 said...

I like the templar that is cut to your shape and thren ironed down with a little bit of starch. My other one was freezer paper basting. Good luck when you find the right one you will know it. Patty in Oh io