Hi all.  
Tonight we are having another tutorial, this one courtesy of Deborah C from SA who has a blog called A Pilgrim’s Quilts.  At the end of this post you will see some links to a Mystery Quilt that Deborah posted earlier in January.  You should certainly check it out.

A few people said they would like to know more about applique and how to do it and Deborah kindly volunteered to write a tutorial for us.  I have been waiting till the holidays were more or less behind most of us as I figured this was something lots of you would find useful.  This might even come in handy for the Aussie Laundry Bag Challenge.

I am sure you will still get lots of use out of it.  With applique it is so easy to add a touch of Aussie to just about anything and we know how much those touches are appreciated.  Now over to Deborah

These instructions are designed for beginners. The applique will be the mirror image of the template – so if you want you kangaroo to face right – you need to trace the kangaroo that faces left.

You will need

 A4 piece of 2 sided iron on  applique film. (This looks like a very fine fibrous web with paper on one side.)  Fabric and threads.

Printing the template 

1. Click the picture and copy it.

2. Paste the picture in to a document file. eg WORD
3. Turn the paper orientation in the document file to landscape.
4. Minimize the margins.
5. Now you can alter the size of the images – by changing the size of the picture on the page.
6. Print

I have been using the templates so that 2 kangaroos fill an A4 page. These kangaroos are 6 1/4″ long and 4 1/4″ high (approx)  

Making the applique

On a firm surface lay down your printout and add the fusible web, on top, with the paper side up.
Trace the kangaroos onto the web paper. 

DO NOT cut out yet

Iron the web to the wrong side of the fabric you are using for the kangaroo. 

Cut around the shapes well outside the lines. Clip into the corners. Now carefully cut out the kangaroo. 

Peel off paper. 

Turn the kangaroo over and place onto the backing fabric.  Check position . 

 (To protect your iron – cover the applique with a piece of baking paper – while ironing). Iron the kangaroo onto the fabric. Remove the baking paper. (save for next time)

Test sample

Please don’t skip this.  I still to this regularly.

Iron a small piece of the off cuts from the applique onto some scrap fabric.

Use this to check the tension, and stitch size before starting on the good piece.

Sewing the applique 

The applique needs some stitching around it to ensure that it stays in place. There are many methods for doing this – here I will show 2 machine methods. In these examples I am using a highly contrasting thread – to make the photography easier. You may prefer to match you thread to the applique fabric under normal circumstances.

1. Blanket stitch. This stitch gives a strong edge and is available on most machines. It is less prone to cause unwanted gathering than the Satin stitch option.
2. Satin Stitch. This also gives a strong edge and as it a basically a zigzag – it is even more common than blanket stitch.
1. On the test sample try some different widths and lengths of stitch. The width is how far the stitching goes onto the applique. The length is how far the stitches are apart. On my machine: the blanket stitch need to have the length reduced; where as the zigzag needs to be both narrower and have the length reduced.
2. Check the tension. If the top thread is loopy underneath tighten the top thread. If the bottom thread is coming through to the top loosen the top thread.
3. When appliqueing all the way around a shape I do not reverse to secure the thread at the beginning as it is secured by being stitched over at the end.
4. To go around the gentle curves sew slowly and steer the fabric. To go around a point  stop with the needle in the backing fabric only, lift foot, turn, put foot down again and continue.

To go around a concave shape (eg top of leg) stop with the needle in the applique, lift foot, turn, put foot down again and continue.

5. When you get to where you began either do a few stitches on the spot OR reverse for a few stitches. 

Thanks Deborah!  I am sure lots of people will give Applique a go now.

UPDATE – there is now a tutorial page at the top of the blog and it has the applique instructions and the templates if you are interested.  More templates will be added as I get a chance.

Make sure you check out Deborah’s Mystery Quilt links

Symmetric Mystery Quilt – Strip Piecing

Mystery Spontaneous Quilt Strip Piecing Pt 2

Mystery Quilt Feature Fabrics

Mystery Quilt – Other Fabric Requirements

Here are just a few examples of Applique that might inspire you

Till next time…keep spreading the word and happy stitching.