Wednesday, April 01, 2009

How to Use Fusible Web for Applique

I thought this might be an interesting project, it really takes the fuss out of applique work, and is a great way to applique not only on quilts, but on clothing, bags.... I am going to use the pillow I made this week as the lesson. This is an applique project that uses freeform cut shapes, not templates or patterns.

For the pillow I used approximately 20 different fabrics. I cut my fusible web into pieces about 4 x 6 inches (one piece for each fabric) Following the instructions for the fusible web you are using, press the web onto the wrong side of your fabric. I like using Steam a Seam Lite for my fusible, but there are many options available. I recommend using the lightest kind you can find, some of the heavier ones are not good for sewing through.
Cut a piece of background material about 2 inches larger than your finished pillow. I used a 24 inch square and finished with a 22 inch pillow. Fold in half horizontally and vertically to mark the center of your square. From the fabric you want to use in the center, cut a 1" circle. Peel the paper backing off the circle and fuse it to the background. Then cut four small arcs to fit around the circle. I like to round these off as they are rather tricky to stitch around when they are this small. Arrange these around your circle, leaving about a 1/4 inch gap between each piece and the center. Peel the paper off and fuse these down.

Although my example shows several rows of petals cut I would recommend at this point to go to your sewing machine and stitch the fused pieces down. For this project I used orange thread for all the petals and a medium width zigzag with a stitch length of about 18 to the inch, you want an open zigzag, not a satin stitch. If your machine can, turn your presser foot tension down to more easily go around the curves, and pivot at the corners with your needle at the outside of your shape.

Choose 6-7 more fabrics and cut arc pieces that are slightly larger than the first round. Trim the bottom of the arcs to fit around the first layer of arcs, then press this ring down. Continue to add rings of arcs, increasing the size each time, making sure the gab between them remains at about 1/4 inch. Pay attention to the placement of the colors, making sure you have a nice arrangement of color and pattern. Stitching the pieces after you complete each ring helps keep your pieces from loosening up while you turn your piece under the machine.

Have fun and experiment with different shapes for the petals, and different sizes - the fusible web makes it easy and fun to do applique! Next week, I'll take you through finishing your pillow, including putting in a zipper for a nice finish.

1 comment:

Waterrose said...

That's a very cool project and a colorful pillow!