My Stitch Along August week 3
So last week I chose a design and that was my red and black one. Using GIMP, I cropped it down to just a section. Then I enlarged that section to page size so I could print it out to the scale I wanted to make my challenge piece. If you missed how I did that, check back to my last stitch along post.
This is my design printed. I'm yet to determine which way I like it, portrait or landscape or where the red section will end up, left, right, top or bottom. I will figure that out as I go.
First I need to decide on a creation plan. I will keep this pretty simple by appliqueing most of the sections.
Usually, I do applique using fusible webbing and raw edge, but this week I thought I'd go back to an older style of applique which I have not done in a long time. I figure it would be a good time to compare my current techniques with my older style to see why I changed and what's improved. This older method will be great for those who like to work with machine applique yet do not care for raw edges. It also works for hand applique where you need to turn under the edges.
This method uses freezer paper. I cut off a piece large enough to cover the printout and taped it over the design ready to draw it on. Much the same as I would with fusible webbing but for this I do not need to include overlay extensions for any part that will go under another.
Once my design is drawn on the freezer paper, I label the sections with the fabric color I want to use. In this case, it is mostly black, but I do have one red piece. The background sections on the freezer paper are not needed and will be discarded and you will notice I didn't draw on the stitching or couching lines. They are not needed on this freezer template either.
Next I need to cut out all those templates. As I cut them out, I place them on the original printout so I don't lose track of them. Normally I would label them with a number and write the same number on the printout so I can identify them easily, but this is such a small project, I really didn't need to do that today.
That photo is rather interesting and could be used as another design to create a new quilt.... hmmm that leads me to a whole new area of thought. I'd better write that down in my journal of notes for a later date!
The wonderful thing with freezer paper is that it has one sticky side, not to touch, but when you press it to fabric, it sticks. If you look at it, you will notice one side is shiny and one side is dull. It's the shiny side that will stick to your fabric as you can see in the next photo where I've pressed all the templates to the wrong side of the fabric.
Notice I left enough room between the templates as I will need to include the seam allowance for each piece.
Now time to cut out all those sections. I left a slightly smaller than 1/4" seam allowance around the pieces.
As I work, I position all the templates with fabric attached, right side up on my background using the printout as a guide. This is just so I know I haven't missed anything and it looks right, kind of auditioning the pieces. I do realize at this point that I forgot to reverse the design when I traced it on the freezer paper. No big deal, my design will just be reversed and how do you know I didn't plan that from the beginning? Maybe I'll like it this way better! I'm going to add a note to the end of my post about a slightly alternative method I could use if I had not wanted a reversed project.
Time to fold over all those seam allowances. I will not fold over any edges that will be covered by another section nor on the edge of the project where they will be included in the binding or border if I decide to add one. Several of the smaller pieces will have all edges turned under like the piece in the next photo.
I use a glue stick (must be water soluble so it isn't permanent) to glue around the edges of the freezer paper template, but only the edges that will have the seam allowance turned under.
Then I use my thumb to press the fabric smoothly over the freezer paper to the back. The glue holds it in place. No need to iron it here. In fact, you do not want to iron as it only hardens the glue making it difficult to remove the paper later.
There are a couple of bonus points about the glue - one: being water soluble if you accidentally get some on your fingers and then onto the right side of your applique section, water will easily remove it; and two: the glue acts as a fray check. It will prevent your small pieces fraying out before you get them stitched thus you can really cut down those seam allowance which will make turning curves easier.
Here is how my section looks from the front with all the seams turned under.
You can see how nice and smooth those edges and points are. The most tricky piece of my design is the black section that lays on top of the red. It will cover the inside edges of the red section so that section will only need its outer edges turned under.
The black section, however, needs every edge turned under. On the curves, I start folding in the center and I do not press the entire seam allowance down, but rather use my fingernail just to press about 1/16" in place. I work my way around the curve on both sides of that starting point and once the curve is formed, then push down the entire seam allowance. This spreads the bulk of the seam out creating a nice smooth curve.
The points use a different method. For points, I first fold over the end, then the two sides. You will notice there will be too much fabric on the sides near the point so this will need to be trimmed back so it doesn't stick out.
Concave curves and concave points need to be clipped. The more clips the better and they should not go all the way to the freezer paper. I could have and should have clipped it more than I did.
Here is how it looks completed with all edges turned under.
With that being the last section to complete, all my seam allowances are now folded under and I'm ready to start appliqueing them in place, but that will be next week's job. I'll just position them on the background and pin them in place.
Alternative Method if I did not want my project reversed:
To change this process so I did not make a project in reverse and still use all my templates, I would press the freezer paper to the right side of the fabric before cutting it out. After each piece is cut out, instead of using glue to turn the seam allowance under, I would remove the freezer paper and position it in place on the wrong side of the fabric, shiny side up. A dot of glue here would hold it from moving. I can then use my iron to fold over the seam allowance to stick to the shiny side (which is exposed) of the freezer paper. One thing about this method is, it is quite tricky to deal with small pieces. You definitely need a stiletto to work with especially around curves otherwise you end up burning your fingers on the iron - trust me, I know!