Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Learning a Better Way to Applique


I was not satisfied with my leaves yesterday, using fusible interfacing. The leaves were small and by the time I turned them right-side out, they had stretched and all were somewhat miss shapen. Live and learn. The method worked just fine for the larger bird and the pineapple.

This time I redid the leaves and red flowers using a heat resistant plastic template, with starch swiped over the seam allowance of the fabric, and pressed the seam allowance over the template. The result is much better, and neater with only one burned thumb. Also, you only need one template for all the leaves.

Why do we resist trying new things? I've wasted more time RESISTING, than actually TRYING this method that works wonderfully! Yep Mom, you were right - I can hear you now. 8-))

By the way, acrylic nail tips work well for this process! Your fingertips are close to that iron.

The photo shows 13 leaves done, with 6 more ready to prepare. This took me about 45 minutes ??? to make that bunch of leaves and flowers.

On the right is my pile of discarded leaves. Also, on the RIGHT, there are two yucky red flowers made the same fusible interfacing way - didn't like them either, so I remade them (left) with better results. It's still fiddly getting into the 'V' neatly.

I'll bet you 'real' applique'ers are laughing at my amateurishness. 8-)))

14 comments:

StitchinByTheLake said...

I have a friend who absolutely swears by the starch method and won't do applique any other way. It takes a while to get ready to stitch but the result is perfect and her stuff is gorgeous. I've done it several times but it depends on what I'm working on. Leaves definitely do better that way. Some things, like most stems, are just as easy to do with needle turn and other things I baste. I don't think you are amateurish at all - you're doing a great job! blessings, marlene

Vicki W said...

So to do good applique I'm going to have to get acrylic nails? Hmmmm, applique may not be in my future! LOL!

GARI said...

I am doing more and more applique, first with fusable web and second with interfacing. I, too, have resisted this technique as it just seems "too fiddlity." But I may have to try it as I am thinking of doing more small items. Thanks for the encouragement.

*karendianne. said...

Hi! It's me! I'm here! I'll try to update you later on where I've been.

I'm happy to hear about this method. What is the name of the stuff (heat resistant) you use? With the MS I don't get out to places that carry these things so I'd like a name. That way I might find it on the Web and order it?

Quilter Kathy said...

I wish I liked to do this kind of thing because I love the look of the quilts.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Nah, who would laugh??? Not anyone I know. We've all come to a point where our method doesn't make us happy and we have stretched for another. Isn't it great to learn from each other.

Susan said...

No laughing here, Elaine, but then I'm not an experienced appliquer either. I'm struggling, trying a lot of different methods, and it seems like what works for one kind of shape doesn't work for another. Maybe I'll have to learn all the techniques so I can "customize" what I do where. But sometimes I want to give up and just do felted wool appliques -- so much easier! Hang in there ... your done-over pieces look mighty fine to me.

The Calico Quilter said...

Not a peep out of me - whatever works, works. But I think I'll stay with freezer paper applique. I like hand applique and it's kind of relaxing basting the fabric around the shapes. My mom just shakes her head at all the work I do to get to the point of starting to actually applique. But she can do needle turning, and I'm hopeless at it. And I'm in awe of people who can do nice machine applique. Mine looks terrible.

Vicky said...

There are so many ways to applique, so we have a lot of options. Whatever works best for you is the best method! I've tried them all, but I keep going back to plain old needlturn.

YankeeQuilter said...

What ever works for you is best. Most of the time I do needle turn but I've been known to try just about every applique technique offered!

AnnieO said...

Having another technique in your "toolbox" cannot ever be a bad thing! I'm so far not much an appliquer but I sure love the look and know it takes practice to get really good at it, no matter the method. Mine I would call primitive! Yours looks much better than that :)

Rose Marie said...

For years, I've been using a glue stick and it has worked for me. It is a bit tedious, but it worked. Since I started making hexagons, I thought about making a bunch of paper leaf templates and just basting the fabric to the templates. It works well, too .... again tedious but I can sit and watch TV and baste a bunch of leaves. It doesn't hurt to try something different now and then. Your quilt will be gorgeous!

Lori in South Dakota said...

You are a better woman than I am just for TRYING to applique!! Makes my blood pressure rise just to think about it!

The Quilting Pirate said...

This is how we learn, trial and error. I just retaught myself by taking a applique class with Mimi Dietrich and I'm soo glad I did. Learned much easier methods to enjoy hand applique! Yours are looking good!