QUILT INFO

The quilt shown in the header is from a pattern by Ginger Cookie Company caled "Basket of Sunflowers".

Friday, June 27, 2014

Test Results of Three Applique Methods

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.  
Karen

28 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your findings.

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  2. All very interesting processes. Each block came out beautiful so you did them all right.

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  3. Thanx for the tips. I love to applique. I will be doing a bunch for our quilt guild's raffle quilt next month. I am thinking of June Taylor's wash away. I will be machine stitching, small zig-zag, free motion...for me it's faster.
    Again thanx, and I will take your advise on the You-Tube free videos!
    D.G. L

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  4. Wow, that's a lot of information. I have 2 pair of Karen Kay Buckley scissors, and love them!

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  5. Hi Karen, I'm impressed with your reviews of the different techniques. I've tried applique but have never gotten comfortable with it-even though I love hand quilting.
    Enjoy your weekend.
    Noreen

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  6. I love doing experiments. There are so many ways to accomplish the same end results. I have been tempted by the KKB scissors, but they are spendy.

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  7. Sticking with my favorite method (back basting) but loving the scissors! Thanks.

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  8. Thank you for your reviews. Interesting products to consider. I think You Tube videos with techniques are interesting.

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  9. You are thorough, my dear! If I ever, in this lifetime, decide to attempt applique, I'll know who can tell me all of the best products and techniques. : )

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  10. Very interesting. I've been thinking of getting some of those scissors, are they different sizes?

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  11. I want to learn appliqué ... And now I know where to go when that day comes.

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  12. I have the wash away and have used it, works nicely but a bit heavier, so i prefer using that on machine appliqué.

    Debbie

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  13. Thanks, for the review on these appliqué techniques. There seems to be lots of different ways to get to the same results.

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  14. Thank you for all the information! And thank you for testing out all the applique options! I have a big applique project in my future and may try some of these ideas. I have heard of those scissors. I think all of your blocks turned out beautifully!!

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  15. Next week I planned to start on my first "real" applique (a table runner), so this post was extremely useful, thank you. I had already been shown the freezer paper method, so that was what I was planning to use and what you have written has just confirmed it for me. Wish me luck.

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  16. Great review Karen. You should get Karen Buckley's little curved edge scissors with the red handles. A must have for applique.

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  17. I like the scissors too and use the freezer paper and starch applique method whether I hand or machine stitch. I was curious about these wash away products, so thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on them.

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  18. Thanks for the tips! I will probably stick with my old grocery store freezer paper as I don't like all the prep work with the starch method. Love my little green Karen K Buckley scissors. Have you tried her new super thin pins? They look fabulous for piecing projects! Expensive but I just had to get some! Really appreciate your input, Karen!

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  19. Very interesting Sharon, I agree with you about the glue. I find it just a little too messy for me.
    I used to use templar for my shapes when I did the starch method but found it difficult to get smooth edges when I cut out the shapes and it can become a little expensive if you do as much appliqué as I do.

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  20. Great and informative post, Karen!! It was a lot of work for you and I for one, appreciated this info!! ALL of the blocks look great!!
    P

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  21. Thanks so much for doing this, Karen -- it's really helpful for someone like me who struggles with all but the simplest appliqué. I'm so impressed that your blocks all look amazing, regardless of which product yoyo used.

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  22. So much to think about. Thanks for sharing some new methods.

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  23. This was so interesting. I didn't even know about some of these products. That heavy duty freezer paper looks interesting to me. Thanks for sharing your observations.

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  24. Great information! When I run out of my heavy freezer paper, I've had good luck ironing a couple layers together.

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  25. thanks for sharing those techniques. I think I will stick with what I like doing for my applique.
    I have some of those serrated scissors and I love them.

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  26. A very informative and interesting post, Karen. I have a pair of those small Karen Buckley scissors and really love them too. I have (still am actually) experimented with various techniques for my applique... I am happy with my backbasting method I use for hand applique but would like a straight forward way to do invisible machine applique. I like the sound of washaway as opposed to the freezer paper, and what I have done so far I much prefer using Invisafil/Wonderfil rather than mono/poly as it is a lot softer. I also love the Sewline glue pens, they aren't quite as messy, I think but can get a little pricey if you are using them lots. Thanks again for a great post.... your blocks all look great, regardless of the method!

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  27. I've used the spray starch/freezer paper method for my appliqué. It was the first method I learned and has worked well for me. I use the iron on adhesive for my "cheater" appliqué, but only use it for smaller wall quilts because of its lack of durability. My blanket edge stitching helps anchor it, but the edges fray when washed...although I kinda like that look too. :-D. I'll be waiting to see what else you've learned. There's got to be "the perfect" method. I will say that your appliqué is outstanding no matter how you do it!

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  28. thanks for sharing all your research!
    i too love Karens scissors.

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