Thursday, April 14, 2016

More about Pandemonium - How I Organize Applique

A few people have asked me how I work my applique.  I travel with my needlework and thus prefer to use as few pins as possible, especially as I am often at swimming pools or parks with grass lawns.

For this example I am showing a few shots of Pandemonium, designed by Kim McLean.

Her patterns are printed on large sheets of paper.  They are somewhat sheer.  My first step is I number the creatures, or flower pots, trees, etc as needed.  I use a fine-line sharpie to avoid smudging.

I use a piece of freezer paper and trace the shape.  I label it with the same number as on the pattern.  I then decide what color I want it and label the piece with the color.

I've traced a few shapes here, maybe 10-15.  I've found it is good to not repeat the same motions over and over again.  Then they are rough cut out with paper scissors and organized into piles by color.

I pull scraps out of my scrap bin and press them flat with an iron.  I might starch at this point or use Best Press.  

Picking and choosing what bits of the fabric I want showing is my favorite part.  I iron the freezer paper patterns onto the fabric and then let cool.

Using fabric scissor or a rotary cutter, I cut out the applique pieces.  

Since the original pattern is somewhat sheer, I am able to lay down the background piece, place the applique piece, check with the pattern, and then pin down.  I like flower pins because they are long enough that I don't lose them on the ground and they are easy to pull out.  They have a fine shank too.

I usually pin several pieces at once.  

Next I use a 3 mm stitch on my machine and sew through the drawn lines on the freezer paper.  It can take a while.  I then remove the freezer paper, and my pieces are now basted onto the fabric with no pins.  I use a seam ripper and break about every 10 stitches on a piece and do my needleturn applique.  After that it is just a matter of practice for turning corners, knowing when to clip, etc.   I like to repress with an iron and might use Soak's Flatter spray or more starch.  

This was before my sewing room remodel.  I didn't have a good spot to lay out blocks so I would pin them to the walls so I could make sure I was being consistent in my color use from block to block.

My old Brother sewing machine was a great one.  

I actually made the back of the quilt before I started on the front.  Here is Clark demonstrating his love of quilts.  

Many of the blocks were both pieced and appliqued.  A lot of fun!  I like Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Ovals and Perfect Circles tools.  

Choosing fabric was a lot of fun - I used Aboriginal Prints, Kaffe Fassett and Philip Jacobs fabrics, batiks, Liberty, Cotton & Steel, Tula Pink and many more.  I did have a lot of stash but I kept buying more.

Thanks for reading!

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