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Thread: Applique fur?

  1. #1
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    I sort of got an idea for a project when my applique skills are better. I got the idea after watching "My Neighbour Totoro". Right now, the idea in my head is to make a wallhanging of the Totoro...don't have any pictures to show you what a Totoro looks like...the best way I can describe it is its a big furry thing that's like a cross between a rabbit, a cat, and an owl and smiles like a Cheshire cat. Very cute.

    Anyways, instead of doing him in regular cotton I was thinking I could do him in fur. Then I wouldn't have to try and applique the jaggedness of his fur. But then again...appliqueing fur sounds kind of hard. Fur is thick and probably not the easiest fabric to sew. If I were to do this Totoro how would I go about doing it (where I can keep the most amount of sanity)?

  2. #2
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    I haven't ever tried to sew fur, but my sister makes teddy bears. I remember her saying that the most tedious part of it is after she finishes sewing, she has to pick the fur out of the seams so it "fluffs" out & sort of hides the seams. I don't see why you couldn't do the same if you appliqued the fur. You could use the technique of sewing the applique piece to a piece of interfacing, then you cut a slit in the interfacing & turn it right side out. "Fluff" the edges & sew it in place. Does this make sense?

  3. #3
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    Maybe simply top stitch it onto the background fabric possibly using pins to hold the fur out of the line of stitching and once the pins are removed, the fur would fluff up to cover the machine sttiching. The concept sounds very interesting and I don't think it would be that difficult. You could use a glue stick, even just to hold the piece in place long enough for you to use a stright stitch on your machine to secure it permanently. I'd love to see photos as you go along if possible.

  4. #4
    Senior Member redrummy's Avatar
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    I made a lap quilt out of the fake fur for my DIL. it is fairly easy to sew with, just expect a lot of fuzzies in your machine if you machine sew, or if you hand sew, make sure you are in the material enough, it will pull out easy. I think what you are planning will look great.
    Deb :mrgreen:

  5. #5
    bj
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    Super Member bj's Avatar
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    If the fur seems too hard to work with, you might try making it out of chenile.

  6. #6
    Super Member jbsstrawberry's Avatar
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    I've worked with fur, not for quilting or applique, but for lots of other projects. The secret to sanity is when you cut, just cut the back, not the actual fur, otherwise you'll have shorter fur at the seams. (snip fabric back instead of taking long cuts through the fur and back with scissors) You'll spend A LOT less time picking fur from the seams if you take a second to "brush"the fur towards center of the piece before you pin it, and then sew it. Hope this was helpful, and understandable :)

  7. #7
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
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    I am so glad someone else has asked this question. I've been saving some fur to use to make some hedgehog blocks for an exchange I'm in. I haven't gotten as far as attempting to sew with the fur yet. I have been a bit tentative. These tips are very helpful and remind me that I will need to get started on that project soon, as the block exchange is due in June.


  8. #8
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    I didn't think of this until now, but this might be more difficult than I thought. Well...the Totoro has brown fur and a white underbelly with brown upside down "V" marks. Which means if I do this there's going to be two or three layers of fur to applique. That might be a little tricky.

    Here's a link to a picture of the Totoro (along with a smaller one and a white one...the one I'm talking about is the biggest one with the white one on its head). Maybe that'll help.

    http://www.student.oulu.fi/~markkumu/komero/totoro.jpg

  9. #9
    Super Member jbsstrawberry's Avatar
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    Well, Maybe you could use the fur on the dkr brown part, and fleece on the belly part. And you don't have to make the complete brown part of the body, just underlap it where the fleece part would be. That way he would have a furry body and a fuzzy belly, and you only have to applique one layer of each.

  10. #10
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbsstrawberry
    Well, Maybe you could use the fur on the dkr brown part, and fleece on the belly part. And you don't have to make the complete brown part of the body, just underlap it where the fleece part would be. That way he would have a furry body and a fuzzy belly, and you only have to applique one layer of each.
    Its not a bad idea, but I think it'd look even better if the Totoro was all fur (except for the eyes and whiskers and that sort of thing, of course...haven't decided what I'm gonna do about that). That's just my preference.

    Hey, I just thought of something. There was an article in a quilting magazine where they appliqued these turtles out of batik fabric, but they cut out little shapes out of the backs of the turtles so that the fabric underneath would show through. Maybe for the belly I could cut out the V shapes and then the brown fur underneath would show through and fluff it out a little bit so it looked like the belly and the V's were one piece. Think that might work? Certainly sounds easier to sew than the body, the belly, and the V marks layered together.

  11. #11
    Super Member jbsstrawberry's Avatar
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    Good idea :)

  12. #12
    Super Member MissTreated's Avatar
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    Fur can surely be a challenge. Are you using a fake fur, or a real fur? In either case, be sure to cut the fur from the back, preferably with a scalpel, using a mirror image of your pattern, so when you turn it over to the right side, it's the way you intend it to be.

    When you sew it, secure it well with pins. As you sew around it (with a machine, I assume) use a smaller zig-zag, sweeping the fur away to the side as you stitch. The fur will cover the stitches with a little coaxing after you are finished.

    The worst part of the whole procedure is getting fur up your nose!

    M

  13. #13
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    The little guy is sooo cute! I hope you decide to do him, its going to be really adorable :-)

  14. #14
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissTreated
    Fur can surely be a challenge. Are you using a fake fur, or a real fur? In either case, be sure to cut the fur from the back, preferably with a scalpel, using a mirror image of your pattern, so when you turn it over to the right side, it's the way you intend it to be.

    When you sew it, secure it well with pins. As you sew around it (with a machine, I assume) use a smaller zig-zag, sweeping the fur away to the side as you stitch. The fur will cover the stitches with a little coaxing after you are finished.

    The worst part of the whole procedure is getting fur up your nose!

    M
    Fake fur. I didn't think there was anyplace the average person could get the real stuff (besides going into the woods and hunting for the animals myself).

    Smaller how? Width wise or length wise (or both)? I assume you mean width...

    Oh my God! I totally forgot about getting fur up my nose! I took a sewing class in the 10th grade and after we learned the basics and took time to think what we wanted to make we went to Hancock Fabrics to buy the materials. I saw this blue fur and thought of this top the drummer of my favorite band wore for a music video. So I bought half a yard of the stuff and tried to re-create it. There was fur EVERYWHERE and I ended up snorting the stuff. It was awful...

  15. #15
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vicki reno
    The little guy is sooo cute! I hope you decide to do him, its going to be really adorable :-)
    You think he's cute now you should see him animated. Extra cute!

    I think I'll do him once my applique skills are up to par (along with that giantic wall hanging of the sea map from The Wind Waker). I'm not quite sure what I'll do with him. Either have him on a solid background (like in the montouge of him and the kids against the orange backdrop in the credits) or something related to nature (since he's a forest spirit). Probably will add the little Totoro with him, but it might be hard finding a dark blue fur for the medium sized one (I know Hancock's has blue fur, but I think it might be too bright). I'm not sure what to do with his eyes, whiskers, claws, etc.

  16. #16
    Super Member MissTreated's Avatar
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    I'm talkin' like 2-2.5 wide and about the same in length. It really doesn't take much to keep it attached.

    M

  17. #17
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    Would like to see a picture when you are finished. Never heard of a Totoro.

  18. #18
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    I love to see your projects/dreams. You are so crative. I think what I come up with might be a tad bit dull compared to your dreams. Keep it up :!: :D I see a future in design somewhere down the road.

  19. #19
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilterj
    Would like to see a picture when you are finished. Never heard of a Totoro.
    Maybe because he's from a Japanese animated movie. Ever hear of Hayao Miyazaki? He's the one who created the Totoro...he is simply amazing. Besides most of the animation and the music, he pretty much does all the work in his movies...storyboards, script, some animation, directing, etc...he does what it takes an entire team of people to do. And rarely do you ever see a movie which has something you've never seen before...well, each of his movies has about a dozen things you've never seen before. They are inspiring, creative, and they're just fun to watch. I'm thinking when I get around to this Totoro I might do the castle from Howl's Moving Castle.

    It probably will be a while before I do Totoro. My applique skills aren't exactly the greatest and the closest place I know that sells the fur I need is at Hancock's and it will probably be a while before I go there.

  20. #20
    Super Member Pam Pollock's Avatar
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    Here is an idea. If you were going to enlarge it enough it wouldn't be a big issue to cut out all the different shapes of fur for each seperate color. Break it down into different shapes for different colors ie:shades of browns, whites & markings on his belly as seperate pieces. I'm not suggesting that you put a layer of fur over a layer of fur, but instead for example, on the white tummy you could cut the whole shape of the tummy out of white & then mark on the back side of the tummy where the 7 spots need to be & then cut the white spots out to make room for the brown ones you'll put in there instead. You could applique them all onto a background piece that has the drawing transferred onto it. Start basting on pieces like a puzzle & then just watch it grow. Sounds like a fun project & hope you share your results with us!

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