Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Unorthodox applique

">Link The "I don't do applique" method as espoused by Debbie Kratovil!
A U.S.based friend introduced me to this method some five years back,and until the last couple of days I'd completely forgotten about it.
From memory we also decided that Chux nappy liners worked the same way,so if there's any infant grandkids around get mum to wash and save the "widdly" liners for you :-)

so,here's an excerpt from Debbie's method:

I call this the "I-don't-do-applique" applique. And that's because for many years that was my approach to quilting. If it had curves, it its ends had to be turned under, if it couldn't be machine pieced, I wouldn't even give it a view through my see-thru ruler. But then I entered a quilt-block-a-month challenge from G Street Fabrics store. Baskets. You know -- the kind with the curved handles. The kind that had embellishments of curved leaves, rounded hearts, twists and turns and lots of edges that had to be turned under. And here began my own personal transformation. Two days before the deadline to turn in all 12 blocks and with only two blocks finished, my friend Diane shared that she uses thin interfacing to self-face her hearts. Not having that on hand, I looked around my sewing room (which doubles as a laundry room when we run out of clean clothes) and saw a few used dryer sheets laying around. The wheels began to spin and since I always work best under pressure, I grabbed a dryer sheet and so began my method which helped me finish those 10 applique blocks in 48 hours. Here is what I discovered.....
I started with a basket made of three heart shapes. They were curved and I didn't want to needle-turn anything. I traced the shape of each heart onto the wrong side of the fabric, laid the fabric right side down on a dryer sheet and sewed along the line all way around. Then I slit the dryer sheet, reached in and turned the heart right side out. Using a plastic, blunt, corner-turner, I smoothed the seam from the inside. Then I pressed with an iron. Finally, I trimmed the excess dryer sheet to the seam allowance. Since the weight of the dryer sheet is negligible, its presence is not noticeable.
Now I needed to do the basket handles. I laid the template on the wrong side of the handle fabric, traced around the template, then proceeded as above except that this time I just sewed along the two curves, leaving the two small ends of the handle free. I turned the handle right side out (like turning a fabric tube right side out), pressed and trimmed. The edges can remain raw (on the handles' ends) since they will have the basket appliqued on top of them.
I was able to finish the last 10 blocks in two days. (It did help that there were two days of ice-storms and I couldn't leave the house anyway). For embellishment, which was done a few months later, I used the same method to make the many leaves I wanted to surround my yo-yo flowers. I attached each of my handles, baskets, leaves, etc. to the background fabric by hand. But it could have just as easily been accomplished using fine nylon monofilament thread and my sewing machine (with a small zig-zag stitch).

So,go try it on your hearts..............have fun!
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