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Thread: Wavy Applique

  1. #1
    JLD
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    So here is a mock up of the pattern that I am trying to use. I did this without heat and bond - but I plan on using it. I am just trying to see if I can make this work before I buy the material. If I use the heat and bond will it make it so that it isn't wavy? Any other suggestions are appreciated. - Oh and my block is now not square - should I just make it larger than I want and cut it down?
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  2. #2
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Beautiful Butterfly :D:D:D

    I would starch the background fabric pretty stiff, or use a stabilizer on the back. You can find wash away or tear away stabilizers, but I prefer to starch. I may still add some stabilizer behind where the body and antennae are sewn, as this is still just one layer of fabric.

    Also, When going around the curves, stop with your needle down every few stitches, lift the presser foot, turn the fabric, if you try and keep going without doing this, you will get more puckers. It may take longer, but remember, it is still faster than sewing it by hand.

    Fusible web will help a little with the puckers, but the main thing is to stop and reposition the fabric often.

  3. #3
    JLD
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    Okay. Thanks for the advice. I was wondering do you use the spray starch?

  4. #4
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Yes, I do. I spray the dry fabric pretty heavy, and let it dry before ironing. The stiffer the fabric, the less puckering I find on my applique work.

  5. #5
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I do start out with larger background pieces, too. They do tend to shrink a little, and then I square them up when I am done with all of the applique work. You will find that after starching, there will not be near as much distortion to the block :wink:

    If you decide to use a tear away stabilizer, you may want to tighten up your stitches, and shorten your stitch lengths, so when tearing it away, it won't distort your stitches.

  6. #6
    JLD
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    Hey thanks for all your help. I am feeling a little better about this now. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks again.

  7. #7
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I second everything Amma said. Starch, starch and some more starch. It really seems to help with applique.

  8. #8
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I don't startch, I use tear away stabilizer when doing a satin stitch like that.

  9. #9
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic
    I don't startch, I use tear away stabilizer when doing a satin stitch like that.
    For machine applique, I use tear away stabilizer and paper backed fusible web (Wonder Under). In a pinch, you can use copy paper, but that can dull your needle and it's noisy! I put the needle on the very edge of the piece I'm appliqueing and stitch onto that piece. So for the butterfly, put the needle in the white area next to the pink butterfly and satin stitch on top of the pink butterfly.

    I would definitely cut the squares bigger to start with and then cut to size after doing the applique because they seem to always shrink.

    You should be able to steam some of the puckers out and you should be able to quilt some out also.

    I don't starch much of anything, however, I may begin to because I've read a lot of posts on various topics here and see that lots of people use starch.

    You learn something new here every day! :D

  10. #10
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    if everything is cotton, try steaming it with your iron a bit too.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    For something like that, I starch the background fabric very heavily before cutting. This is how I do it (fast and easy).

    Mix a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo laundry starch and water. (Sta-Flo is sold in a blue quart bottle in the laundry section of most grocery stores.) Lay the fabric out on my kitchen island and "paint" the starch onto the fabric using a large wall painting brush. I saturate the fabric, then toss it in the dryer. Finally, I iron it with steam. This leaves the background fabric about as stiff as cardstock and very stable; there is no need to use a stabilizer under it.

    I also starch the applique fabric, although not as heavily.

    I prefer using the very tiny, short applique pins to secure the applique to the background. You need at least 3 pins to prevent shifting, but these can be an inch or so away from the edge.

    Starching the background fabric heavily prevents "tunneling" of the satin stitch and eliminates the need for a stabilizer underneath. I normally don't use spray starch because I have a lot of trouble controllling over-spray, plus I tend to have my iron too hot and have both gunked up my iron and scorched the spray starch. None of that happens when I use the Sta-Flo method above.

  12. #12
    Lisa T's Avatar
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    I do a lot of machine applique, and I think the biggest thing that helps with the puckering is a stabilizer. I am super-cheap so I use magazine pages. They tear off fairly easily and you are recycling, too! Amma is right about making the stitches nice and close, too. Usually my magazine pages will fall off without me even having to pull on them.

    I always cut my squares bigger and then trim them. It has saved me many times!

    I have not used starch, but it does sound like a good idea.

    Also, if I am laying a large applique on the quilt top, I will put some quilt basting spray on the back of the applique rather than pinning it. It is repositionable, but keeps it flat and stationary.

  13. #13
    Lisa T's Avatar
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    Another thing- your butterflies look like some in a quilt I made about 4 years ago for my niece. Are they from a book called "Happy Quilts"? It's an older book I got at a thrift store. They are going to be cute!!

    Here is a link to the thread with pics of my quilt.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-16959-1.htm

  14. #14
    Jerrie's Avatar
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    sometime it could be the tention when you applique too tight

  15. #15
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    I use church bulletins when I machine applique. It's heavier that regular paper, but not as heavy as construction. I volunteer in our church office so our Pastor lets me have the extra unprinted ones.

  16. #16
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    I make my blocks larger and then cut down to size.

  17. #17
    Super Member moreland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLD
    So here is a mock up of the pattern that I am trying to use. I did this without heat and bond - but I plan on using it. I am just trying to see if I can make this work before I buy the material. If I use the heat and bond will it make it so that it isn't wavy? Any other suggestions are appreciated. - Oh and my block is now not square - should I just make it larger than I want and cut it down?
    Put a piece of tracing paper or tear-away under your fabric before you begin machine stitching, then tear it away. Our resident specialist reminded us of this "trick" at our meeting this month!

  18. #18

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    Jill you need to use a stabilizer under your fabric. You can use anything from a commerical stabilizer to tissue paper. This will help the pucking in your design. I have taught several classes in machine applique and have found that tissuer paper, double it and carefully remove it from the stitching. Also do a practice piece using several different stitches available on your machine. Mark the practice piece with the stitch lines that you like to use this as future guideline to you. I usually use a blanket stitch and have had great results with it. You can shorten or lengthen the stitch as desired. Hope this helps.

  19. #19
    Super Member thequilteddove's Avatar
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    I tried this last night... WORKS FABULOUSLY. Best ever!

    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    For something like that, I starch the background fabric very heavily before cutting. This is how I do it (fast and easy).

    Mix a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo laundry starch and water. (Sta-Flo is sold in a blue quart bottle in the laundry section of most grocery stores.) Lay the fabric out on my kitchen island and "paint" the starch onto the fabric using a large wall painting brush. I saturate the fabric, then toss it in the dryer. Finally, I iron it with steam. This leaves the background fabric about as stiff as cardstock and very stable; there is no need to use a stabilizer under it.

    I also starch the applique fabric, although not as heavily.

    I prefer using the very tiny, short applique pins to secure the applique to the background. You need at least 3 pins to prevent shifting, but these can be an inch or so away from the edge.

    Starching the background fabric heavily prevents "tunneling" of the satin stitch and eliminates the need for a stabilizer underneath. I normally don't use spray starch because I have a lot of trouble controllling over-spray, plus I tend to have my iron too hot and have both gunked up my iron and scorched the spray starch. None of that happens when I use the Sta-Flo method above.

  20. #20
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLD
    So here is a mock up of the pattern that I am trying to use. I did this without heat and bond - but I plan on using it. I am just trying to see if I can make this work before I buy the material. If I use the heat and bond will it make it so that it isn't wavy? Any other suggestions are appreciated. - Oh and my block is now not square - should I just make it larger than I want and cut it down?
    If you use heat and bond (or other fusible) cut out the center so you only have about 1/4 - 1/2 inch around the edges. It will keep it from getting too stiff. Also, it looks like you need to use a stabilizer under the stitching. you can use embroidery stabilizer, or I sometimes use freezer paper, or bakers parchment if the design is larger. Freezeer paper can be "fused" to the back and then removed. Parchment you'll have to pin to the background. I think that will help your stitching tremendously!

  21. #21
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    I remember my Grandmother cutting the square larger than needed.
    She then sewed that to a larger piece of feed sacks, and locked it in
    an embroidery hoop. Then she could sew it by hand as she got to it,
    and her sewing was lovely. I do this sometimes when I have fussy
    little pieces to put on a lap quilt. The "sacrifice" pieces can be used
    several times.

  22. #22
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thequilteddove
    I tried this last night... WORKS FABULOUSLY. Best ever!

    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    For something like that, I starch the background fabric very heavily before cutting. This is how I do it (fast and easy).

    Mix a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo laundry starch and water. (Sta-Flo is sold in a blue quart bottle in the laundry section of most grocery stores.) Lay the fabric out on my kitchen island and "paint" the starch onto the fabric using a large wall painting brush. I saturate the fabric, then toss it in the dryer. Finally, I iron it with steam. This leaves the background fabric about as stiff as cardstock and very stable; there is no need to use a stabilizer under it.

    I also starch the applique fabric, although not as heavily.

    I prefer using the very tiny, short applique pins to secure the applique to the background. You need at least 3 pins to prevent shifting, but these can be an inch or so away from the edge.

    Starching the background fabric heavily prevents "tunneling" of the satin stitch and eliminates the need for a stabilizer underneath. I normally don't use spray starch because I have a lot of trouble controllling over-spray, plus I tend to have my iron too hot and have both gunked up my iron and scorched the spray starch. None of that happens when I use the Sta-Flo method above.
    So glad it worked for you!

  23. #23
    Super Member Quilt4u's Avatar
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    Your stiches might be a litte to tight. Ask me how I know?

  24. #24

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    I agree with the starching of the fabrics, but I will add an idea for keeping the butterfly from shifting while doing the applique. I use the temporary spray glue for the butterfly parts. You don't need much, and you can reposition it if needed. HINT - I use an old cardboard box to spray it onto the wrong side of the pieces of the butterfly. The box keeps the spray glue from going all over the table or work surface.

  25. #25
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Yankee
    I agree with the starching of the fabrics, but I will add an idea for keeping the butterfly from shifting while doing the applique. I use the temporary spray glue for the butterfly parts. You don't need much, and you can reposition it if needed. HINT - I use an old cardboard box to spray it onto the wrong side of the pieces of the butterfly. The box keeps the spray glue from going all over the table or work surface.
    If you use steam a seam 2, it's also repositionable before pressing.

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