On December 20th, I posted the first post in this appliqué series. Here is the link to that entry if you missed it: Appliqué is Fun! I’ll Help You Get Started.
So now let’s move to the next step in the appliqué process. Once you have gathered all your supplies, picked you pattern and fabric, it’s time to piece any background that is required and then prepare the appliqué templates.
Some appliqué projects will have you stitching to a plain background to make a block and then piece those into a quilt. On my quilt, High Prairie Blooms, you see that there are appliquéd blocks alternating with pieced blocks.
Then there are projects like my pattern, Fan Dance, where the quilt top is completely pieced and then appliqué is added in the border areas.
No matter which type of project you are doing, these basic appliqué instructions will get you started.
I like to copy my templates from the actual pattern either by tracing them (if they are in a book) or making a copy of the pattern page (if it’s an individual pattern). If you have access to a copier, make a copy of the templates directly on to card stock. This will make the templates sturdier for tracing around. You will also be able to use them many times.
If you are not able to copy right on to card stock, you can glue the paper copy to a piece of card stock (like the photo above) and then cut out the templates on the lines. Always write on the template how many of the shape are needed and what color fabric is to be used, if it’s not already printed on the paper.
Tracing and Preparing for Stitching
Now it’s time to trace the shape onto the fabric. This is where I use the chalk mechanical pencils you can find in the quilt store. Some quilters like to use just the regular chalk pencils that you sharpen with a pencil sharpener. I say, use whatever you are comfortable with. Just make sure you can see the lines to follow for stitching.
Once the shapes have been traced, you need to cut them out. Cut them out using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance for turn under – the more experienced you are, the closer you can get to a 1/8″ seam allowance. However, you do not want your seam allowance too narrow or your fabric can fray when you are stitching.
Now, to prepare the shape for stitching, clip in the seam allowance a couple of threads short of the drawn line. You do not want to go over the drawn line since that will distort the shape of your appliqué piece.
So, now you are ready to stitch! The next blog entry that I will post next week will be all about the appliqué stitch. Join me to learn the stitch and then get ready to make your own appliqué projects!
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