Raw-Edge Fusible Appliqué
One of the easiest ways to appliqué is the raw-edge fusibleweb method. Paper-backed fusible web individual pieces are fused to the wrong side of specified fabrics, cut out and then fused together in a motif or individually to a foundation fabric, where they are machine-stitched in place.
CHOOSING APPLIQUÉ FABRICS
Depending on the appliqué, you may want to consider using batiks. Batik is a much tighter weave and, because of the manufacturing process, does not fray. If you are thinking about using regular quilting cottons, be sure to stitch your raw-edge appliqués with blanket/buttonhole stitches instead of a straight stitch.
CUTTING APPLIQUÉ PIECES
1. Fusible appliqué shapes should be reversed for this technique.
2. Trace the appliqué shapes onto the paper side of paper-backed fusible web. Leave at least 1/4" between shapes. Cut out shapes leaving a margin around traced lines. Note: If doing several identical appliqués, trace reversed shapes onto template material to make reusable templates for tracing shapes onto the fusible web. 3. Follow manufacturer’s instructions and fuse shapes to wrong side of fabric as indicated on pattern for color and number to cut.
4. Cut out appliqué shapes on traced lines. Remove paper backing from shapes.
5. Again following fusible web manufacturer’s instructions, arrange and fuse pieces to quilt referring to quilt pattern. Or fuse together shapes on top of an appliqué ironing mat to make an appliqué motif that can then be fused to the quilt.
STITCHING APPLIQUÉ EDGES
Machine-stitch appliqué edges to secure the appliqués in place and help finish the raw edges with matching or invisible thread (Photo 1). Note: To show stitching, all samples have been stitched with contrasting thread.
Invisible thread can be used to stitch appliqués down when using the blanket or straight stitches. Do not use it for the satin stitch. Definitely practice with invisible thread before using it on your quilt; it can sometimes be difficult to work with.
A short, narrow buttonhole or blanket stitch is most commonly used (Photo 2). Your machine manual may also refer to this as an appliqué stitch. Be sure to stitch next to the appliqué edge with the stitch catching the appliqué.
Practice turning inside and outside corners on scrap fabric before stitching appliqué pieces. Learn how your machine stitches so that you can make the pivot points smooth.
1. To stitch outer corners, stitch to the edge of the corner and stop with needle in the fabric at the corner point. Pivot to the next side of the corner and continue to sew (Photo 3). You will get a box on an outside corner.
2. To stitch inner corners, pivot at the inner point with needle in fabric (Photo 4). You will see a Y shape in the corner.
3. You can also use a machine straight stitch. Turn corners in the same manner, stitching to the corners and pivoting with needle in down position (Photo 5).
GENERAL APPLIQUÉ TIPS
1. Use a light- to medium-weight stabilizer behind an appliqué to keep the fabric from puckering during machine stitching (Photo 6).
2. To reduce the stiffness of a finished appliqué, cut out the center of the fusible web shape, leaving 1/4"–1/2" inside the pattern line. This gives a border of adhesive to fuse to the background and leaves the center soft and easy to quilt.
3. If an appliqué fabric is so light colored or thin that the background fabric shows through, fuse a lightweight interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric. You can also fuse a piece of the appliqué fabric to a matching piece, wrong sides together, and then apply the fusible web with a drawn pattern to one side.