>Mum’s been madly sewing flowers onto the background this week so I’ve got a pile of emails from her I thought I’d summarise here for you. Although Mum’s sewing machine has been “chinese water torture” to work with a lot of the week, it looks like she’s prevailed in the end. The photos below show you the progress on the ‘Fantasy Garden’ quilt and I’ve added some dos and don’ts from what we’ve learned/relearned about appliqué in the process.
Do a practice piece first – this makes sure problems are identified early and happen (mostly) on the practice piece rather than your best work. This is especially handy for: *getting corners and tight curves right as these can be tricky this allow you to get the idea of how to do these before you do the final ones; *testing threads and decorative stitches; *trying and refining new techniques; and*getting the stitch widths, lengths and combinations right.
- rethreading the machine,
- adjusting the tension,
- different brands or types of threads,
- adding some interfacing or stabilizer (e.g. freezer paper) to reinforce the fabric or make it easier to slide across the machine.
Don’t use the cheap fabric for the background – fabric with a low thread count is too thin, pulls through, doesn’t sit flat and generally doesn’t look nice. If you have to use this type of fabric, add some iron-on interfacing (med-heavy weight) to the back of the panel to reinforce it – freezer paper just isn’t sturdy enough for this.
Don’t place the sewing lines for the appliqué pieces where seams cross on the background (as occurs in the purple B flowers on this design shown in the photo).
If working with a large background piece (this one is about 1.2m x 1.5m), try making the background in two (or multiple) sections, applique-ing all the pieces on (except those that cross the centre seam), then add the final seam and remaining appliqués. This should make the movement of the pieces easier “so your not drowning in fabric as you try & navigate the curves”.
That’s it from me for today – I’ve got some experimenting with cutting curves and bias tape to do 😉