Do you watch You Tube quilting technique videos? A host of valuable information and like attending a mini class at no charge. I was searching for different applique techniques to create a list of You Tube videos for a Yahoo prim group. I decided to test some of them. I ordered some products recommended on the videos and got busy.
My first try was using Wash Away Applique Sheets put out by C&T Publishing. These were recommended by a friend. Your shapes have to be in reverse because this product has a fusible side that adheres to the back of your piece.
I already had some basket shapes cut out of fabric and marked for needle turn. I cut out the same shape minus the seam allowance from the wash-away sheet and ironed it to the back of my fabric. I stitched one using the sewing machine threaded with Sulky clear poly thread. I used the recommended machine settings and quickly was able to stitch the basket to the background fabric. The only thing I did not do that was recommended is to use unwashed background fabric. Almost all of my stash of fabric has been pre-washed. The idea was to use pre-washed fabric for the applique shapes and non washed background fabric. The shrinkage of the background fabric would pull the edges of the applique shape inward and the nylon thread would be less visible. I did not care for the feel of the nylon thread on the edges of the basket.I forgot to take a picture of that block. Next I decided to try doing a needle turn technique by hand and the same wash-away product. Here is the block I stitched.
The wash-away product gives an edge to turn against. I need more practice with the in side curves but the result was pretty good. This block has been soaked in water and is fairly soft. The product is supposed to soften more as you wash your quilt. It gives the applique the feel of having a very thin batting behind them and not a stuffed trapunto effect. Here is a photo of the back of the block after washing.
I then decided to iron some of the product on the back of two basket blocks. These gave me some additional practice and went well.
The next experiment was to try the product Cut-Rite Heavy Duty Freezer Paper. It is the weight of a file card. If you have trouble seeing your shapes through the product for tracing, you can use a light box. I reversed the pattern shapes before tracing as I was going to iron the freezer paper to the back of the fabric. I then used the spray starch method where you use a little paint brush and spread the starch on the seam allowance. Then use an iron to press the seam allowance over the freezer paper. The paper is removed before stitching. I was expecting a stiff edge that would be harder to hand stitch but was pleasantly surprised how easy it was.
Here is the block I did.
The last two blocks shown above are from the book "Inspired By Tradition" and Kay Mackenzie is the designer.
Next up was a product shown in a You Tube video by Cristy Fincher. She is Sharon Schamber's daughter. She called the product "Sharon's Secret". The first video is here. Here is a picture of the product.
It just looks like an interfacing but Cristy says it washes away. You have to glue the back of your shape to the back of your fabric with a wash-away glue such as Elmer's School Glue. Cristy demonstrates gluing the seam allowances over to the back and then using a zig-zag sewing machine stitch with invisible poly thread. I I did not care for the process. It was hard to get the edges to slide into the proper position if I applied the glue too lightly. I used quite a bit of glue and had it all over my fingers. I did not want to do it with invisible thread but hand stitch instead. The glued edges were too stiff for pleasant hand stitching. I chose block one of Benjamin Biggs to test this method. Here is my block.
Here is the back of the block after about a 45 minute soak in water.
The product is softer but still stiff. The background fabric feels a bit stiff too so I am thinking the glue migrated into it during the soak. Whether it would soften more during a wash, I don't know. I don't know if I will continue using this product.
A couple of the applique technique videos recommended Karen K. Buckley scissors because of the one blade that is serrated. I purchased two sizes and am pleased with them. I ordered them through Amazon at a good price.
I have been doing a lot of applique and have more to share but will do it another day.