Sunday, January 20, 2008

Another Try At Appliqué And Questions

I've finished three more Butterfly Garden blocks today. The first two had small stitcheries in them. I used the blue colorway of my focus fabric in the four-patches. There are several four-patches in the quilt and I think I am going to make them all with these same fabrics. I just can't make every block different. I guess I'm not that "scrappy" of a quilter.
I did another appliqué block. This is one of the butterflies. Meet Ms. Boxy Puffy. I used fabric glue to hold down the seams. This made it difficult to keep the wings round. Therefore she is has square and triangle points. She is also puffy because I wasn't holding the fabric correctly and the pieces don't all lie flat. This block may not make the cut into the final quilt.
So now I have some questions for appliquérs. First: is there anything wrong with leaving the freezer paper in place behind the pieces. I may have a quilt that crinkles, but this quilt is going to hang on my wall anyway. As for quilting it I will probably only stitch in the ditch so the appliqué and stitcheries don't get covered. If leaving the freezer paper in isn't a good idea, then what is the best way to prep the pieces before stitching them down so you can keep the curves? I admit I didn't iron these pieces down as I thought gluing would work OK, but I was wrong.

Another question is about thread preferences. I have a spool of off-white YLI silk thread. I like how easily it glides through the fabric. But I have the hardest time tying a knot in it. Is there some secret way to make knots in the thread? Is silk thread the best thread for appliqué? Is it OK to use other threads? Is it possible to buy a sample set of silk thread so I don't have a buy a new spool for every color fabric I want to use?

Libby asked me if I was watching the football game. Of course, I am. I am a laptop user and it's never far away from me. In fact, DH took a photo of me writing this post. This is his view of my quilting/stitchery/appliqué nest during sports events. You can see my thread box, a page of directions, my small tool holder, my drink and a bowl of candy hearts on the sofa table. When I'm stitching my laptop sits in the small table on my left side. In my house if you don't stay sitting during an important game DH and DS will run you down. They are pacers so I stay put and play with fabrics and thread.

Well, the Patriots won their game. Woohoo!!!! Phoenix here we come! Now it's time to watch the Packers beat the Giants.

18 comments:

Meredith said...

I do not leave freezer paper in my appliqué but it is your quilt. I use 60 weight cotton thread when doing appliqué. I do have silk thread and have used it in appliqué. I did not want to spend the $$ to buy all of the thread in silk. My personal preference is for cotton thread and cotton fabric. As for a knotting thread I wrap (silk included) it three times around the shaft of the needle then it become a knot that holds. There are tons of ways to appliqué and everyone has a preference. Did you try needle turn? Did you try freezer paper on top? Did you try making a template with heat resistant Mylar then using spray starch? I change techniques depending on what I think will work best for the quilt. Sorry for the long post I love appliqué and want you to enjoy it.

Paula said...

I love your embroidered blocks. Really pretty ~ Happy football watching!

CONNIE W said...

I use silk thread for applique because I like the way the stitches don't hardly show. I use the wrap around the needle like meredith described (like making a French knot in embroidery) to knot the thread. I use freezer paper technique usually. To remove it I very carefully make a slit in the fabric behind the applique, then use a hemostat (tool used in surgery to clamp veins, which I bought in a quilt shop because it's a common method used by quilters) to remove the freezer paper. Even if the stitches perforated the paper, it will pull away. The product Thread Heaven can be applied to the thread to reduce knotting and static electricity, just rub the threaded needle thread across it. It comes in a very small blue plastic container, like a little box. Before taking applique stitches I finger press the seam allowance around the freezer paper on the piece I'm going to stitch. I hope this helps but feel free to email me if you have any questions. There are also other methods and I sometimes use them too but this is my most commonly used choice.

Libby said...

Well, it was a good game . . . although I didn't care for the outcome *s*
I don't leave my freezer paper in - I have a hard enough time managing the fabrics, needle and thread. I use YLI quilting thread - but that will make most real appliquers *gasp* it works for me and that's best advice just try every method and as many threads and needles you can find until you find the combo that is just right for you. It takes a while, but when you hit the right combo you will be a very happy girl!

Jodie said...

I am no expert when it comes to applique but I have heard some people completely applique the piece in place with the freezer paper inside, then they cut a small slit in the background fabrci and whip the freezer paper out that way.
You are making some progress, well done.
Jodie

Susan said...

My best advice is to find a teacher whose applique you like and then take a class from her. Or him. There are a lot of ways of doing appliqué, but the easiest way is to have someone show you.

I never use silk thread when I'm appliquéing cotton. I often use machine embroidery weight Mettler - that's the one with the green print - 60 wt., I think.

Beth said...

My son is SO excited the Patriots won..how I am going to tell him I'm NOT springing for tickets...even tho we can WALK to the stadium!!! rotlf!

Kathie said...

I like to use YLI machine embroidery thread for my applique. I don't like to use silk for that very reason too slippery! Plus I admit to being a purist, cotton on cotton
I also have a collection of mettler thread for hand appliqué. I use the color that blends best with what ever fabric I am trying to appliqué at the time.
I use needle turn applqiue and thats what works for me.
I don't think I would leave the freezer paper in there over time I would worry about it shifting and becoming lumpy in my quilt.

Bobbie BentNeedle said...

I, like some of your other commenters, use whatever method of applique that seems to fit the project at hand. The one I used most with smaller pieces was freezer-paper on the bottom - it was a tree with LOTS of leaves. Pressed the f-p to the backside of fabric, cut the leaves, pressed the seam allowance to the back, then glue-sticked the leaf to the background, using the glue just on the seam allowance. I'd sew to within about 1/2" of the end, and use a pair of tweezers to reach inside and tug the f-p leaf shape out. After that much is sewn, and pressed repeatedly, the last bit of seam allowance was easy to tuck back into place, and I usually would start/end on the spot as far from a curve or point as possible. Your pieces are lovely so far - and the smoothness will come with practice. As Meredith said - sorry for the long post!
GO PATS!

Linda said...

Well here's my 2 cents worth, completely different from the other ladies. I use two layers of freezer paper. Trace my design onto the fp, cut it out and press it onto the wrong side of my fabric. Paint on a small amount of starch that's been watered down a little with a small amount of water. Use my clover mini iron and press the fabric onto the fp, after I've clipped the curves. Let it cool down and when I'm ready to stitch the applique onto the background fabric I remove the freezer paper before I stitch. I baste the applique to the fabric, much easier if you want to adjust a little curve or point.

cher said...

I like that wonky butterfly applique, send it my way if you decide not to use it! and, even though this is a wall hanging/not going to be washed, I think the freezer paper needs to come out. just my input.

Carole said...

If you want to glue the fabric unto you fp, that's okay but you would need to take it out. You would do that by wetting the piece, cutting the back and pulling the paper out. If you want to leave something there, I would suggest that you use a special stabilizer. When you wash it, it breaks apart and acts sort of like poly batting. There is a lady that has a book out on that method. I'll get you the title and author when my friend gets back from CO on Tues. I use silk thread and I love it. Test out various threads to see what you like best and do the same with needles. I use a straw needle size 12. It's always a matter of preference. Now, if you want to do needle turn applique, the book by Robyn Pandolph Stitched with love, comes with a cd that not only has the templates but a video on how to needle applique.

Shelina said...

Your applique is coming along nicely. I think you should use that butterfly block. I have heard that silk thread is the best to use. I'm a cheapskate, so I use whatever I can find in the house that is closest to the right color. There are people who cut a small hole in the back of the applique so they can pull out the paper. Sometimes I pull it out in the last section of the applique. I think I would pull it out whatever method, so that the quilt is washable, etc.

Anne Ida said...

Hi, Paula! I really love your four-patch blocks! Your stitcheries look great! Seeing your progress makes me want to keep on working on mine! :o)

Hmmm... the appliqué? I'm using cotton thread - what I had in my sewing box, and i knot it the way Meridith explains. I'll be doing needleturn for my Butterfly Garden, that is what Leanne taught us in the class she held in Trysil, and I found that is a great way to get the edged and curves even. Draw the sewing line and tuck the seam allowance under as you go along. Hold the pieces in place with some glue, or - I actually use tiny safety pins - not a big fan of glue! She also suggested to start on the heart blocks, to give you a feel of both straigt edges and curves - have you done the hearts?

You'll have a beautiful Butterfly Garden! Have fun with it!

Becky said...

I think that you can cut the freezer paper out from the back of the block after you are finished stitching it down.

Elaine Adair said...

Not enough experience in applique to comment, but I loved the part about having to sit down or get run over! LOL

Good luck, and congrat for trying something new.

nicky said...

Have you tried to iron the freezer paper to the right side, trace around and then peel it off? Then you just need to turn the piece on the draw line. I find this gives me a smooth finish around curves and you can get good points too. As for the YLI silk thread, i bought the basic colours and because it is so fine you can often use colours that don't match exactly. I use a mix of silk and cotton to applique. Hope that helps a little and good luck with the applique- looking forward to seeing what you decide to do.

Solstitches said...

I love your blocks.
I'm no expert at any of the quilting processes so will leave it to others to answer your questions. I'm about to try applique myself soon on a bag I want to make.