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Thread: Question about cutting away background behind applique

  1. #1
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    Question Question about cutting away background behind applique

    I'm about to start doing needle turn applique for the first time, on a piece I'm designing myself. It's an underwater Caribbean scene. I've never done any kind of applique. I've been reading up on it, but I have a question for the experts. My background is pieced. I've been reading that after the applique is sewn on, you should cut away the background behind it and then remove the freezer paper. I'm wondering whether there are any concerns about cutting away a pieced background, since I will be cutting away some of the places where the seams overlap and lock each other in. Here's what the background looks like:
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Jenel Looney
    Assistant to Susan Mallery
    New York Times bestselling author

  2. #2
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    wow, that's awesome! i've never cut away my background.
    Nancy in western NY

  3. #3
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    Oh, so that's optional? That would make it easier! How do you get the freezer paper out, then? (If you use freezer paper.)
    Jenel Looney
    Assistant to Susan Mallery
    New York Times bestselling author

  4. #4
    Super Member Chicca's Avatar
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    I starch the edges around the freezer paper, iron it down until dry and stiff....then remove the freezer paper. I hope this helps.
    Brenda

  5. #5
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    For needle turn applique, press the freezer paper to the RIGHT side of the fabric and trace around the shape. Then remove the paper from the front and applique the piece to the background using your marked lines. This way there's no need to remove the paper later and no cutting anything away.

    I generally only cut away material if the top layer is a lighter fabric and the bottom layer fabric is showing through. You can also cut it away if there are a lot of layers and you'll be hand quilting it. Otherwise I just leave it alone.

  6. #6
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    I should add you don't really need the freezer paper at all, though it's very helpful when using a dark fabric not to have to use a light box. You can also cut plastic templates if these are shapes you'll make a lot or a quilt you expect to make again.

  7. #7
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    If you are using freezer paper, you can stitch most of it down and then loosen the edge underneath that is stuck to the paper with a stiletto and slip out the freezer paper before stitching down the last little section. If the shapes are fairly simple, you could use a light inner-facing and stitch it around the edge on the right side of the appliqué shape. You cut a little slit in the inner-facing and turn the appliqué right side out. This only works on simple shapes because deep V's don't turn well.
    You can also use needle turn appliqué that is done without any paper behind it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    If the background was pieced by machine, I would cut away the background under the appliqué. I hand quilt, and it's a lot easier to quilt through one layer, and machine piecing is secure enough that I'm confident cutting it. If the background was pieced by hand, I don't cut the background.

    Janet

  9. #9
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Your background piece is very beautiful. Just a word of warning, since you say you've never done any applique before, that you may find it more difficult to hand applique through the background with so many seams. It's much easier when the background is a solid piece, or at least when the seams are few and far between.

  10. #10
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Beautiful background bargello!

    Another way is to use a fusible product that you put on the wrong side of your fabric, which in essence becomes your template/guide to do the needle turn to.

    ... and I'm hoping some others have answers about this ... what fusible to you use?
    Can you tell me more how it is done?

    I am not an applique person and when I read about it on here, I just kind of 1/2 paid attention thinking that was never going to be in my future. And yes, eat my words ... I am now wanting to do the Sulky BOM.

    I hope someone can give me some answers, and guidelines ... and another option for JenelTX
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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