Vintage Machine Applique (you can use a modern machine if you like)
At the moment I am making a wall hanging and quilt to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and have been posting pictures of work in progress on this thread:-
The Patriotic Challenge was started by two Canadian members QuiltE and works4me. They have been doing a grand job of cheering me on, otherwise I think I might have been quite daunted by the scale of the project I have taken on. I have been posting pictures to show that I am busy working on the quilt, without actually showing what it will look like - I want to save that until the end! However, people have wanted to know more about the method I have been using, so here are some pictures I have taken today to explain how it is done.
I have called this Vintage Machine Applique because it is ideal for use with straight stitch machines, but if you to use a modern machine you could zigzag instead of hand sewing over the raw edge. It's just that I am a true vintage girl and have never used anything other than a straight stitch machine.
First you need to prepare a stencil of your design (or a section of it). I use ordinary greaseproof paper as tracing paper to trace the design.
Next, using the sewing machine, make a stencil. I use either ordinary printer paper or brown greaseproof paper (it tends to be stronger than the white). Put a thick needle in the machine, an old blunt one will be fine, and put the tracing on top of the stencil paper and follow the line of the tracing so that you make stencil with the design appearing as a line of perforations on the paper underneath.
The reason I don't use the actual tracing as a stencil is that I do not want to risk transferring pencil onto my work, and secondly, if the stencil has already been perforated once, by the time you remove it from your work it has been perforated twice, and so is easier to remove.
In the pictures I show a stencil with the date 1952, which is going to be in purple on a cream background. The stencil is pinned in position on the purple, which has been laid on top of the cream.
Then it is time to machine sew through all three layers.
The stencil is then torn away, taking care not to pull on the stitching.
Next, the purple is trimmed away about an eighth of an inch outside the stitching line. The raw edge is finished with blanket stitch - I have been using four strands of stranded cotton. It is best to trim as you go so that you do not leave a narrow raw edge exposed for too long before it is sewn over.
This method is very easy. You need no spray starch, freezer paper, iron on backing or anything other than the fabrics you are using and paper. The end result has a real vintage look about it.
If you try this method out, please let me know how you get on!