Monday, April 20, 2009

Cutwork Applique - Step 2

These steps follow the basic ones I learned in Elly Sienkiewicz's book Baltimore Beauties & Beyond. And yes, I had to dig the book out and refresh my memory. Step one is to make the freezer paper pattern (see this post). Next, cut your background squares. I cut these at 9 inches to give me wiggle room for squaring them up to 8-1/2" after appliqueing.

Then cut the same size square from your applique fabric. This batik is a recent acquisition, proving that it is important to purchase fabric when it catches your eye, even if you have no immediate plans for it. This one goes nicely with the batik the row owner is using for sashing. Elly's book is open to the page instructing me to press diagonal lines into the fabric square.

The lines help perfectly center the freezer paper pattern on the square - just line up the diagonal creases in the paper with those on the fabric. The waxy side is placed face down on the right side of the fabric. The iron creates a temporary bond between the two. If the freezer paper isn't adhering as firmly as you'd like, try using a hard surface covered with aluminum foil under it. I've covered an extra shelf with foil and it works well.

If you've never tried it, you may doubt that the edge of freezer paper would be thick enough or firm enough to use as a tracing guide but it is. Use any kind of marking pencil that shows up. If you're feeling really confident, you may even mark around the freezer paper with a permanent fine line pen like a Pigma Micron pen. I'm not that brave...or confident that I will be able to turn under the edge of the applique consistently enough to hide the line.

The freezer paper leaves no residue when you pull it away to reveal your markings. Sometimes a single pencil color will not show up everywhere on your fabric. If you look closely at the upper left, you can see that I marked that inner oval with regular pencil.

Now that your pattern is transferred to your fabric, layer it onto the background square and use small safety pins to hold the two together. One at each corner and one in the center inserted from the back is all you need. I know that too is hard to believe, but in this method, you use three sequin pins around the immediate area you are appliqueing, moving them as you stitch, and it's all you need for this kind of applique. Yeah! No basting!

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