This week I went into Christmas Workshop mode. For my first project I have some applique pieces to prepare. With this quilt I am trying a freezer paper method of applique. First step: draw pattern onto dull side of the freezer paper.
since I need to make several pomegranates for this quilt I decided to layer the freezer paper and cut through several layers at once.
A pin in the center helped to keep the layers from shifting as I cut.
Repeated the process with the holly leaves.
The next step was to run a line of glue down the middle (on the dull side) and place the freezer paper templates on the wrong side of the fabric. A regular Elmers Glue Stick would work but I had these Tombow adhesive sticks I wanted to try that came with a recent order.
For those who may not be familiar with freezer paper it has a dull side and a shiny side. I think you can see that in this photo.
Now I am ready to cut them out. With this method you have to add a quarter-inch for the seam allowance. I am not going to mark it but just guess as I cut. Having sewn so many scant quarter-inch seams I can pretty much tell what that looks like-and a precise quarter inch is not necessary for this so I will not worry about getting it exact. (It is important that the shiny side is facing up when you glue these to the fabric.)
Once I have my pieces cut out I am ready to move to the ironing board. The shiny side of the freezer paper actually allows the fabric to stick to it when you press it with the iron. I worked slowly around the pomegranate shape, clipping the curves as necessary.
Voila! One pomegranate done, seven more to go.
Now for the holly leaves...The only tricky part was trying to make sure those points on the ends came out nice and sharp.
Fold number two...
A little dab of glue to hold things in place. I should mention, that you only want to place your iron on the little fabric edge otherwise you are melting the waxy, shiny side of the freezer paper onto your iron-not good.
TADA! Not too bad, but room for improvement on those sharp points.
Now on to circle time. My favorite method remains Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Circles. For this quilt I am tracing two differnt sizes onto fabric.
I neglected to use my sandpaper board when I started. It makes it so much easier when tracing as the fabric does not slip. You can spend money for one, but I just went to the hardware store and got a very fine sandpaper that I slip onto a clipboard.
I thought I was being so clever here using my new air erasable Sewline marker-HA! The lines were gone by the time I sat down to cut these out. Note to self: if using this marker do the next step immediately. On the plus side it gave a nice thin line to follow that did not bleed through.
After cutting out all of the circles I ran a basting stitch between the marked line (with my chalk pencil so it did not disappear this time) and the outside edge. Important to leave the tails.
Pulling on the thread tails to draw the circle closed around the Perfect Circle template.
Once I have drawn the circle tight I use a little paintbrush dipped in a starch and water mixture to "paint" the exposed edge. For the starch water I simply use a can of spray starch-give a squirt into a bowl and add about a quarter cup of water. This leaves the fabric still pliable rather than stiff and hard yet allows the piece to hold its shape well after ironing. The applique takes a needle much better this way.
Experience has taught me that those thread tails come in handy when ironing. At times, especially with the smallest circles, they stick to the iron. Making sure to leave the tails sticking out like this solves that problem with no burnt fingers.
A nice stack of circles joins the pomegranate and holly I've already prepared.
What's on your Christmas to-do list this year?
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