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Thread: applique question

  1. #1
    Senior Member Denise's Avatar
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    Hi everyone, I'm a self taught quilter also. I was wondering do you need to put your background material in a hoop, before attaching your applique? Or can you just use some spray adhesive to hold it in place? I would really love to learn how to do applique (the right way). I live in a very tiny community and there are no quilt quilds or classes that i could take. I read alot about quilting and buy many, many magazines. I would greatly appreciated if anyone can give me any info. on this subject. Thanks Denise.

  2. #2

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    Hi, Denise I have done several types of applique and would love to help you. You did not say if you are doing it by hand or machine. You also mentioned an adhesive, what kind? (spray or fusable) Get back to me and I'll help you if I can.

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    Sorry , I miss the spray adhesive part of your message. If you are doing hand applique I would not use spray it will only make the sewing more difficult.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Denise's Avatar
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    Hi Ruth sorry for not explaining myself more. I'm interested in doing hand applique. I did a little practise piece with some fusible and didn't like the feel of it after was done. So now i'd like to try the spray adhesive, the kind I have is 505 temporary fabric adhesive. I've been reading as much as i can about different ways to do applique. My main question is do i do the hand applique with or without a hoop? I thought that using the spray adhesive would help hold the pattern as i hand sew it into place on my background material. I want to do the needle turn method. It would probably be much better to just hand baste my pattern onto the background then to use the adhesive right? :D Denise.

  5. #5
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    Denise, here's a link for the technique I use for applique. It's really very easy and a good way to get comfortable with it. If you want to use something to temporarily anhere the applique piece, a simple glue stick is a good choice.

    http://www.cddesigns.com/FreezerPaper/How-Applique.htm

  6. #6
    Norah's Avatar
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    I use a hoop. It is the only thing that makes it managable for me.
    Also, you might try freezer paper for your applique. Cut it to the size you want your finished piece to be, being careful to trace it flipped over (if you want your pattern facing right, trace it facing left, as the paper will be fused to the back of the piece you are appliqueing). Iron it to the back of the fabric being appliqued. Cut out the design, leaving 1/4 inch around the outside edge to turn under. You can glue stick the cut out piece in place on the background fabric if you want, but not around the edge. I pin or baste it. Then, use you needle to turn the edges under as you applique. Just before you close up an area, pull that section of freezer paper out from between the fabrics. You will get a crisp edge, a precise size, and still get the softness of not having an extra layer in there. Good luck.

  7. #7

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    Basting with thread would be a good way to go, I only use the spray if I'm sewing with the machine. I do not hand applique in a hoop, I find it too much to hang on to. I do cut my background about 2 inches larger than the finished block should be, then cut to size after I have everything sewn on. The other thing I find very helpful is to starch my background really crisp before I start to work on it. Let me know if you need more help.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Denise's Avatar
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    Oh thank you ladies for the great tips, i will definitely will try them out. I am actually going to get into trying some applique today. Have a great day all, Denise.

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    Best of luck, Denise. Let us know how it goes.

  10. #10
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    It occurred to me that hoops people refer to for applique might be the quilting hoop. I use a 6" embroidery hoop to applique so that I can reach across it with the thumb and forefinger of my support hand so that I can control the turned under edge better. This is, of course, after I baste the pieces in place. Is this the kind of hoop people are talking about?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Denise's Avatar
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    Hi Norah, this is what i was wondering also. If we used a huge quilting hoop wouldn't it make it hard to hold and do the small stitches around the pattern. For an example what if I wanted to do a giant dahlia. From what i understand you first have to make the dahlia and then applique it to a larger piece of material. I'm going by what i read about the different projects i want to do. But for now i'm starting small, I'd like to do a large rose approx. 20 inches in diameter. I hope I can do it. Denise.

  12. #12
    Norah's Avatar
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    You can do it, and you'll learn something from every project. I have a Hawaiian design about 24" square that I am practicing applique with. The design is basted on, and I am using the 6" hoop to applique with. My stitches have improved dramatically already. One silly little thing I did was change the angle of my needle when stitching. I tended to try to catch the stitch at a right angle, but when I changed to holding my needle in the direction the next stitch was going, that is, at a parallel to the design, my stitches became practically invisible. Using the same color thread as the fabric being appliqued helped as well. I want to try a king size Hawiian next.

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    Boy I had a message here and it disappeared. :evil:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Misty56
    Boy I had a message here and it disappeared. :evil:
    I just wanted to say take your quilt out of your hoop when you finish quilting for the day or night because it will stretch your quilt just a little if you keep it in the hoop. I learned this from watching Alex Anderson.
    Misty

  15. #15
    Norah's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice. I have had that happen, but did not realize what caused it. I really like Alex Anderson, too.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Denise's Avatar
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    thanks Misty56 for the tip, I like Alex also. I used to watch her all the time. But for some reason i don't get her on my channels anymore, sure miss her show. Denise.

  17. #17
    Norah's Avatar
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    I understand that Alex Anderson's show was cancelled, which just breaks my heart. She is the only reason I wanted a dish for television. She has a great website though.

    http://www.alexandersonquilts.com/main.php

  18. #18
    Suz
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    Ladies,
    Forget about the hoop. If you are right handed, you will need your thumb and nail to hold the applique edge once it has been stroked into shape. I think the hoop would make this impossible and awkward.

    Use very fine thread (Mettler with green label) or silk. Use a very sharp slender needle. Use the tiny white-headed applique pins and push the point to the back side while the head of the pin rests right against the applique piece. This will help keep from catching your thread. I find that the glue often gums up my needle.

    To avoid tangles in your thread: The first end from the spool is the end that goes through the eye of the needle, the last end is the knotting end. Also, there is a thread conditioner in a tiny blue box called "
    Thread Heaven". It is well worth the investment and lasts forever.

    To start, your thread should be at the very edge of applique piece coming from the underside (start along a straight edge, if possible), your first stitch should be parallel to where it came through the edge. Your only forward stitch is on the bottom side of the base. Catch only a few threads of your applique piece. Take very small stitches. The back of your project should like like "chicken scratching". Also, take 4-5 stitches and then slide the needle a little along the thread. This will help avoid thread weak areas from your thimble. Honestly, I don't wear one while appliquing.

    When you come to an inside point (or cleft as in a heart), take three slightly longer stitches (1-1/6" - 1/8") as there is no fabric to turn under. One stitch should be slightly to the left, one in the center and slightly to the right.

    I know my message is long, but since my quilting preference is applique and have been at it for a long time, I felt to pass on some of my suggestions to newer appliquers.

    I can also offer to show how to make perfect circles, if anyone is interested.

    Hope this helps. Blessings, Suz

  19. #19
    Boo
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    Suz, the whole purpose of this forum is sharing and teaching. Your post is most welcome and well written. We are grateful for tips and suggestions. I also do applique, although not a passion, and do not use a hoop either. I personally can't figure how someone could manipulate fabric in a hoop, but I know that some folks use that method successfully.

    I look forward to hearing about circles. I still struggle with outside curves and how to smooth out the excess in the turn under. Points and inside curves do not seem to be a problem.

    Welcome to the forum, Suz. You will soon discover many lovely people post here and we are quickly becoming a family of caring and sharing quilters. :D

  20. #20
    Norah's Avatar
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    I'll give it a try. The reason for the smaller hoop is so I can reach my work with my thumb and finger, but I'm trying to get better at applique and you are the professor. I would also be interested in the circles. Thank you very mych, and I'll let you know how it goes.

  21. #21
    Suz
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    Norah,

    You will need a template (freezer paper, Templar or washer); can of spray sizing, paint brush, iron, and quilting thread.

    I have taken several applique courses from Karen Kay Buckley, so the circle method is from her. I have nylon or teflon thin white washers in many sizes, however a stack of three layers of freezer papar will work as well or you can use Templar (which works with heat).

    Draw and cut out your circles. If you use Templar use an emery board to smooth the edges. Using your template, draw the circle on the back side of your fabric. If you are using the freezerpaper method, press the template to the back. Cut the circle out with a 1/4" seam allowance. Stitch a basting stitch, round as you would for a yo-yo. While holding onto the thread tail, draw it up tightly around the template, dab it with sizing, still holding the tail, hit it with the iron. If you have any points, just repeat the process. Once your circle is dry, gently remove the template and redraw. Ready to stitch.

    If you wish, you can stuff slightly for a raised circle.

    For my smallest circle, I used a paperpunch to size my template. They were perfect. And I also use this method to make leaves and other shapes. The tips of leaves are perfect. I find this method much faster and more precise than needle turn.

    Let me know if this is not clear. Suzanne

  22. #22
    Suz
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    Boo,
    Thank you for your kind words. Reflecting, I seem too wordy so please excuse.
    Look at the response to Norah regarding the circles and leaves. If you are having trouble with outside curves, your seam allowance may be too wide. Trim it down a bit. Also, carefully slash toward into the seam allowance (like in dressmaking). Not too deep here. This will allow the edge to relax the fabric to make the curve.
    One of the methods Karen Kay Buckley taught us was to draw the desired shape with a pigma pen. Yes, a pigma pen, onto the right side of the fabric and then turn on this line. Stroke and stroke until the edge lays flat.
    Let me know ho this works.
    Suzanne

  23. #23
    Suz
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    Ladies,
    One more thing and then I'll shut up.
    I have an old pillow that is like a pincushion. I use it as my third hand. I pin my background fabric a little distance from where I am working and then I can tug against it as I stitch. You can rest your hands/arms and it will also bring your work closer to your face. -- You will be surprized how much this little item helps.
    Warning!!! You will lose pins and needles in it, so do not use again to sit upon.
    I promise, I am done. Blessings. Suzanne

  24. #24
    Boo
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    Suz, the seam allowance being too much makes sense to me. I have never tried cutting as I do with sharp inside curves. Thank you so much for the tips. As I will be takling a queen size quilt of applique, all tips and suggestions are welcome.

  25. #25
    Norah's Avatar
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    Suz,
    The circle instructions are clear and I will try it as soon as I get off line. And the pillow, how big is yours? Don't worry about being wordy. I understand what you are describing without any difficulty, I think. I will know when I try it. You are my new mentor. :thumbup: Thank you and God Bless.

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