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Thread: help with applique

  1. #1
    Senior Member fabrichore's Avatar
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    Hello all, I want to applique on kitchen towels, but the back of the towel will have only stiching, can I use a dryer sheet to put on back side of towel and do I need to cut away or could I leave on.

  2. #2
    Super Member shequilts's Avatar
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    I'd certainly cut it away. Kitchen towels see a lot of laundry time, and you'd just end up with a "frill" on the backside.
    Karen

  3. #3
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    Why don't you get some tear-away stabilizer? It will help you do a good job and then you can rip it off.

  4. #4
    Senior Member fabrichore's Avatar
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    I am attempting to not spend money and I read on a how to guide that I could use the dryer sheet and then cut away or leave on...so that is why I was questioning on wether to leave on, (couldn't hurt and it would smell nice) LOL

  5. #5
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    What I do for applique is heavily starch the background for stability; then I don't need to use a stabilizer underneath. Haven't tried it on towels, but I think it would be worth a try (and inexpensive).

    Here's my method. Mix a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo liquid laundry starch and water. "Paint" the solution on with a large wall-painting brush until the fabric is saturated. Toss in dryer. Iron with steam.

    Other types of starch could be substituted as long as it makes for a very heavy starching.

  6. #6
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Any time you have to "cut away" stabilizer on the back of a towel you risk cutting the loops or material. Be very careful. That's why I'd use a tear away.

  7. #7
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace
    Any time you have to "cut away" stabilizer on the back of a towel you risk cutting the loops or material. Be very careful. That's why I'd use a tear away.
    I agree with this statement. Also, dryer sheets lose their stability after a while. I am afraid you will have a mess. I would suggest trying your method out on a scrap of similar fabric first. I do a lot of towel embroidering and always use tear away. And if you are using terry towels you should have wash away stabilizer on top to keep the stitches from sinking into the terry. My suggestion with machine embroidery is never to try to shortcut unless you don't care how the finished product looks in the end.

  8. #8
    Senior Member fabrichore's Avatar
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    Thank you all, I am using flour sack towels, I don't know if that makes a difference then terry, I will see about getting some tear away stabilzer though, I definitely do not want a mess...

    Another question if you don't mind, when I was attempting to machine applique I used the zig zag stitch and when I cam e to a corner (teddy bear applique) it started to get messy so I stopped and tore out before going further, so then I started hand stitching and it does not look good to me, because I used a web fusing and did not cut out pattern before on fusing so it would only fuse the edges, it is stiff, but too bad can work with, but I would really like to do the zig zag stitch but not sure what I am doing wrong when lifting foot and turning and stitching...any suggestions on what the best way is too do machine or hand....new at appliqueing, well actually still new period...

  9. #9
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fabrichore
    Thank you all, I am using flour sack towels, I don't know if that makes a difference then terry, I will see about getting some tear away stabilzer though, I definitely do not want a mess...

    Another question if you don't mind, when I was attempting to machine applique I used the zig zag stitch and when I cam e to a corner (teddy bear applique) it started to get messy so I stopped and tore out before going further, so then I started hand stitching and it does not look good to me, because I used a web fusing and did not cut out pattern before on fusing so it would only fuse the edges, it is stiff, but too bad can work with, but I would really like to do the zig zag stitch but not sure what I am doing wrong when lifting foot and turning and stitching...any suggestions on what the best way is too do machine or hand....new at appliqueing, well actually still new period...
    When zigzagging around an applique, make sure your zigzag is fairly close together and not too wide, then when getting to a corner, stop with needle down, and pivot, then resume stitching; you should get a nice result that way. also when using fusible web, draw your design on the paper backing, cut it out about 1/4" outside your lines, then fuse it to your applique fabric, let cool for a couple minutes, then cut it out on the line, remove the paper backing and fuse to your project. Any other questions feel free to PM me.

  10. #10
    Senior Member fabrichore's Avatar
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    thank you Grann... :lol:

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    Where did you purchase your towels? I know this has nothing to do with the subject, just curious...lol

  12. #12
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisainmo
    Where did you purchase your towels? I know this has nothing to do with the subject, just curious...lol
    I got some from Dollar Tree, not a very good quality tho. I usually get them from Marshalls, TJ Maxx or anywhere that has a good bargain. I have also bought yardage and made my own. My family doesn't like the terry ones so I usually get the waffle weave. Just make sure you wash them first to get that sizing out. The embroidery machine doesn't like the sizing.

  13. #13
    Senior Member fabrichore's Avatar
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    wally world $5.00 for 5

  14. #14
    Senior Member fabrichore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grann of 6
    Quote Originally Posted by lisainmo
    Where did you purchase your towels? I know this has nothing to do with the subject, just curious...lol
    I got some from Dollar Tree, not a very good quality tho. I usually get them from Marshalls, TJ Maxx or anywhere that has a good bargain. I have also bought yardage and made my own. My family doesn't like the terry ones so I usually get the waffle weave. Just make sure you wash them first to get that sizing out. The embroidery machine doesn't like the sizing.
    I will most defintely wash before I use, I wash everything, but I get a majority of my fabric from flea markets and antique stores...I would love to be able to buy fabric at Joanns or other LQS but funds are tight and I am trying to do what I love but stay within my spending.....and I wish I had an embroidery machine, I have a brother and I just picked up a singer that was originally bought in 1997 from sears just started using that one, still learning, but I also have three other singer machines two in the dome top cases (inherited) and one treadle, I need to get those three looked at thou..

  15. #15
    Super Member nursie76's Avatar
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    In a pinch I have used a coffee filter as a stabilizer. It works like tear away.

  16. #16
    Senior Member fabrichore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nursie76
    In a pinch I have used a coffee filter as a stabilizer. It works like tear away.
    never thought of that, thanks, I do appreciate all the advice I have been getting all you folks are awesome in my book...

    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

  17. #17
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fabrichore
    Quote Originally Posted by grann of 6
    Quote Originally Posted by lisainmo
    Where did you purchase your towels? I know this has nothing to do with the subject, just curious...lol
    I got some from Dollar Tree, not a very good quality tho. I usually get them from Marshalls, TJ Maxx or anywhere that has a good bargain. I have also bought yardage and made my own. My family doesn't like the terry ones so I usually get the waffle weave. Just make sure you wash them first to get that sizing out. The embroidery machine doesn't like the sizing.
    I will most defintely wash before I use, I wash everything, but I get a majority of my fabric from flea markets and antique stores...I would love to be able to buy fabric at Joanns or other LQS but funds are tight and I am trying to do what I love but stay within my spending.....and I wish I had an embroidery machine, I have a brother and I just picked up a singer that was originally bought in 1997 from sears just started using that one, still learning, but I also have three other singer machines two in the dome top cases (inherited) and one treadle, I need to get those three looked at thou..
    Well, good luck with your appliqueing. I started doing applique when my kids were little, over 40 years ago, before there were embroidery machines, stabilizers, and fusible web. I used to trace designs from the kids coloring books and applique them on the fronts of their little outfits. I just used a zigzag stitch, sometimes went over it twice to get the look I wanted. Now I'm lazy, want everything prepared for me.... :roll: :lol: :oops:

  18. #18
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    With flour sack towels, if you heavily starch (heaviest) you shouldn't need a stabilizer underneath; the fabric would be quite stiff and not distort when you sew. Of course, you would need to wash the towels afterwards to get the starch out.

  19. #19
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    With flour sack towels, if you heavily starch (heaviest) you shouldn't need a stabilizer underneath; the fabric would be quite stiff and not distort when you sew. Of course, you would need to wash the towels afterwards to get the starch out.
    But starching takes more time than applying stabilizer. Also the purpose of the stabilizer it to keep the stitches from sinking into the towel or whatever you're embroidering. Once the starch is removed you don't have that nice base for the stitching and it won't hold up as well to continual laundering.

  20. #20
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grann of 6
    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    With flour sack towels, if you heavily starch (heaviest) you shouldn't need a stabilizer underneath; the fabric would be quite stiff and not distort when you sew. Of course, you would need to wash the towels afterwards to get the starch out.
    But starching takes more time than applying stabilizer. Also the purpose of the stabilizer it to keep the stitches from sinking into the towel or whatever you're embroidering. Once the starch is removed you don't have that nice base for the stitching and it won't hold up as well to continual laundering.
    If they are flour sack towels, the sinking problem doesn't apply the way it would to terry cloth towels. I'm thinking a stabilizer on flour sack will make the embroidery unnecessarily stiff. Also, I believe the original poster was looking for an inexpensive stabilizer; can't get much more inexpensive than starch!

    I'm not a machine embroiderer -- have only done applique -- so you may be right. I do think starch is worth a try.

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