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Thread: Will this work? (strange new-to-me idea)

  1. #1
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    Will this work? (strange new-to-me idea)

    I want to create two side-by-side applique'd wall hangings of an underwater scene. I've never done applique before, so it will be a fun challenge. For the underwater background, I found a great fat quarter bundle of Caribbean blue batiks, going from dark to light. What I'd like to do is cut the fat quarters into different width strips, put right sides together, sew together in a wavy line, and then cut away the additional fabric beyond the 1/4-inch seam allowance. Is there any reason this will not work? Are there any special tricks for pressing a curved seam?
    Jenel Looney
    Assistant to Susan Mallery
    New York Times bestselling author

  2. #2
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    why not try a small sample with scraps to see if you get the result you are looking for?
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  3. #3
    MTS
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    It won't open to lie flat as you'd have a concave sewn to a concave curve, and a convex to a convex.

    Ask me how I know this.
    And after I did it I just sat there and laughed at myself.
    It was one of those "moments."

    You need to cut them with wide seam allowances overlapping, RIGHT sides up on both pieces (I know they're batiks but it has to be the final UP side).

    Then you can put RIGHT sides together and sew them after you've cut the curves.

    As long as it's a nice gentle curve, you won't need a template.
    Just work slowly as sew the strips together, don't get ahead of yourself, keep making sure the convex and concave are mostly lining up, and you should be able to press the strip set flat.

    Also, cut the strips wide enough so you have room for the curves on both sides.
    I work in pairs, then sew the pairs together, then quads together, etc.

    You won't need pins or a special foot.

    You can square the whole thing up when you're done.
    Last edited by MTS; 10-06-2012 at 05:34 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    Thanks. Yes, I've been thinking the same thing, that I need to play with scraps. I just thought I'd also tap into the expertise here on the board.

    Love your avatar, Debra! Really interesting shapes and colors.
    Jenel Looney
    Assistant to Susan Mallery
    New York Times bestselling author

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    Here is a technique I learned but did not practice.
    Lay two pieces of fabric that you want to have a curved seam face up and overlap them by about an inch or so. Using your rotary cutter free hand cut the curve in the overlapped fabric. Flip the fabric so the right sides are facing each other. You will have a very mismatched curves. Start stitching them together by lining the edged of the mismatched curves. You may need to work slowly in the beginning. Press well. This technique was explained in one of Rayna Gilman's books. That woman is a genius.

  6. #6
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    When you do the overlap if you have excess on both pieces ... you can match the two pairs and save on the off cuts and waste.

    For me I'd start with the FQs as is and lay on top of each other. both facing up. Then take the top left and bottom right as a pair to sew ... and the top right and bottom left as another pair. Then move onwards to another FQ set. And then eventually match up sets that are sewn already for a second wave and a new set of colours mixed/

    Tedious ... but it can be very effective!
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  7. #7
    MTS
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    Here's a Round Robin I participated in back in 2003(?).

    I did the outer ombre wavy border.

    I made strata of over 20+ fabrics; my strips were thin because of the effect I wanted and the length of the space I had to do it.
    I cross cut the strata into the widths I need for the border, and then attached those to the navy using the method I mentioned upthread.

    I do remember it was a &#*@! to match up those miter corners.

    But since you're going straight across, it will be a much cleaner process.


    Not one pin was used during the whole process. ;-)

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  8. #8
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Beautiful and oh so effective, MTS!
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    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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  9. #9
    MTS
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE View Post
    Beautiful and oh so effective, MTS!
    Thanks. In hindsight I probably should have curved the inner side as well but I was petrified of ruining the piece.
    Doesn't matter anyway because the person who came after me screwed the whole aesthetic up - just slapped on a horrible border.
    Yeah, I know, kumbaya and all that.
    Too bad.

    But you can see how a straight piano keys border, while still (would that be whilst?) having the ombre effect, would have been kinda boring.

    It was incredibly easy to do once I got going.

    @Jenel -
    I think it's has a great idea of curving your underwater backgrounds.

    Here's a quick tutorial - there are plenty more. Using "free form" gets you more than "freestyle" in your Google search.
    http://www.sewn.net.au/TipsTools/Tut...edPiecing.aspx
    Last edited by MTS; 10-06-2012 at 06:43 AM.

  10. #10
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    I think I would go with applique. Since they are batiks and they fray very little, I would draw a curvy line on a narrow stip of wonder under. I would iron it to the back of one section and then cut the wavy line. I would peel off the paper and lay it over the next colour and fuse it in place. I would either do a straight stitch about 1/8 of an inch inside the wave to secure it or a fancy stitch if it wouldn't interfer with what I wanted to put over top it. Are you other shapes going to be fused applique or needle turn? The line of fusible would not be any bulkier than two 1/4 inch seam line to me but if you were worried you could use mistyfuse for a softer feel.
    You could just stitch down the background strip without fusible. If I did it that way, I would stitch down the line I wanted and then carefully trim close to the stitching line with my duck billed applique scissors. I look forward to seeing what your underwater scenes look like.

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