Applique and Patchwork and Quilting.


What is Appliqué?  It is the process of applying smaller pieces of other fabrics, on top of the background fabric.

There are basically two ways of doing this. One is needle-turn appliqué.  And the other is Fusible Web Appliqué.

Needle turn appliqué Use Freezer paper to trace the pattern pieces straight off the pattern, onto the papery side of the freezer paper, you can also write the pattern piece number or the freezer paper so you know exactly which piece it is.  If you have trouble seeing through the freezer paper to see the lines on the pattern, then one idea is to tape your pattern right side up onto a window, and place your freezer paper paper side up on top and begin tracing.  Then it can be temporary "glued" to the right side of the fabric by ironing on the paper side, and cut around leaving a  1/4" allowance all the way around. All of our own pattern pieces are numbered so that you can tell which piece will be placed down first, and may be overlapped by others of a larger number.  Iron your background fabric. Use your pattern to show you where to place the pattern pieces, and lightly mark on the fabric. Each piece is tacked or pinned down one at a time down onto the background fabric, then the edges (seam allowances) are tucked under and sewn to the background with blind hemming stitches. Some people leave the freezer paper on until this stage is complete.  As it is easy to tuck the edges under up to the edge of the paper. Once in place the freezer paper can just be peeled off. Sometimes, small snips in the turnunder allowance are required to help the edges turn under.  And on points, the tips of the points may need to be trimmed back to allow the next side to fold under neatly.  There is a picture below to illustrate this.  Where more than one piece is appliquéd, one piece may be partially overlaid by another piece, on the bottom piece the edge that will be covered is just left, there is no need to turn its edges under as it will not show.


Fusible Web appliqué has pieces that are "Glued"down onto the fabric using fusible webbing and then sewn down later either by machine, or by hand, using blanket or button-hole stitch.  Fusible webbing is sold by the metre, it is very fine and backed by paper.  When it is heated with an iron from the paper side.  It will dissolve the webbing and it will glue the webbing to the wrong side of the fabric pattern piece.  Later the paper is removed, and the webbing backed piece of fabric can then be turned over and ironed once more, re-heating  the glue and adhering the piece to the background fabric. To use this method.   Use the webbing to trace off your pattern pieces. The main thing to remember is to first reverse your pattern. You can do this by simply turning your pattern over and tracing the pieces off from the back, (If you cant see through the paper, one idea is to tape it to a window right side down, so that the light from the other side can show up the lines easier for you) Place your fusible webbing, paper side up on top and begin by tracing off the pieces, numbering them as you go so you can tell which is which.

 All of our patterns have easily numbered pieces so that you can tell which pieces are placed down first, and thus can be underneath later pieces. With patterns that have been designed for fusible webbing technique, it already has the lines marked in with a dotted line, which show you which pieces will be overlapped. 

Like X-ray vision the finer dotted lines on the pattern show where the extended pieces lay underneath the top pieces. Trace these lines onto your freezer paper.  Cut out roughly, and iron onto the wrong side of your appliqué fabric.  Trim your fabric and paper back to the line at the same time. Press your background fabric for the front of the wall-hanging.  Hint: Use your pattern to show you where to place the pattern pieces, and lightly mark on the fabric (You can use the window once again, place the pattern on the window front side up this time, and then the background fabric, front side up on top, simply trace through marking the positioning of the major pieces).  Remove paper backing and iron your pieces in place on your background fabric.  Take care to over lap where necessary, as indicated with the pattern pieces numbering.  Once you have ironed your pieces in place.  You can start with the appliqué.  Feel free to applique using a tight satin stitch on your sewing machine, or use the graphic below for instruction in Button-hole applique, which is a hand sewing technique.  When stitching by hand, use 2 strands of embroidery cotton. 



What is Patchwork?  It is when more than one piece of fabric is sewn (or "patched") together to make a whole piece of cloth. Like traditional dress-making it is when two pieces of fabric are laid down right sides facing, and a seam is then sewn down the edges to be joined. Then  it is opened out again and pressed.  I use patchwork to add borders around  my appliquéd fronts.  Or patchwork several pieces together to form the background for additional applique.


What is Quilting?.  Quilting is the process of stitching through a sandwich of 3 layers.  The front, wadding or pellon, and the backing or lining. 

Your completed front then has to be ironed.  Lay down the lining, which should be larger than the front all the way round, then the wadding (same size as lining), and finally the front, centred in the middle.  To keep it all in place and stop it shifting around, you can either use Quilt Basting Spray between each of the layers, or safety pins evenly spaced through all layers, or tacking.  For tacking, use a thread in a non matching colour, then it is easier to see and pull out when you are finished.  Run long running stitches through all the 3 layers, in a grid pattern, roughly 5 inches apart.  You are then ready to begin quilting.  Use special matching quilting cotton or other strong cotton.  Either use the machine or small equal hand stitches.  You have to stitch around each of the pattern pieces, I like to then quilt the background as well.  You can do as little or as much as you like. It is wise though to not leave any area bigger than 6 inches bare of quilting.   I enjoy doing a special stippling stitch in the background on alot of my wall hangings.  It makes the background flatten, and allows the picture to really stand out.  Stippling is merely random squiggly lines, as shown below.

The quilting process, may pull in the piece you are working on, so with heavy quilting it can end up smaller than it was to start with.  That is why we leave the extra allowance on the wadding and backing.  It can be trimmed once the quilting is complete.


To view our Applique, Patchwork and Quilting Designs Click on the picture below.