Applique Thursday 4/5/12

A group I belong to has been discussing what markers to use to mark the background for needleturn applique (Esther's new BOM, button on sidebar).  I realized I had never learned that method.  I recently found another at Kay MacKenzie's blog, All About Applique, called back basting.  She has a tutorial here .  It's a pretty cool method and I've been using it on my Jubilee Album blocks (which I should get back to).  However, the method I used with good success before and I still go back to is one I learned partly from a Sulky Thread instructor at a Road 2 Califonia workshop and mostly at a Zena Thorpe workshop.  Here's how it goes:
First I make an outline of the template of the applique that I am going to construct.  This one is for a 6 1/2" block from the book Better Homes & Garden Easy-Does-It Quilts.  The quilt is called Cosy Comforter and was designed by Peggy Kotek. I numbered the pieces in the order I have to lay them down from the bottom up.  Well, I used letters this time.  I then make reverse copies of my pieces and iron, cut out and have ready to assemble.
 I then take the outline to my ironing board and lay my teflon sheet over it, and turn on my iron to a non steam setting.
I take off the paper from the fused pieces and lay my A pieces in place.

I keep building the applique by added the next piece (B), and so forth.  Nothing is fused yet.

And I keep doing that til the whole applique is formed.  Now is when I fuse the shape by laying the iron on top of the design for about 3-4 seconds.  You just want to lightly fuse it together.

Now you will be able to gently lift it off your teflon sheet and place it on your background. Here is the back of the unit ready to fuse to the background which is now over the outline of your form. This is what I learned from the Sulky instructor.  And works fine except for dark backgrounds where you can't see your pattern.  Enter Zena Thorpe.

Zena had us make 3 copies of the pattern:  one to cut out to use as our outline, one for the reverse pieces and one for reference.  So here I have placed the cut out outline over my 7" square of black.  I then take my unit of applique and lay it in the outlined space, fuse the unit to the background (8-10 seconds, hot iron, no steam), and remove the paper.

Voilá, my block is done.  I have the makings of a new mug rug.

Would love to see your eye candy, applique or otherwise.  I like seeing your projects.  They inspire and motivate me to think about doing new techniques.  You can link your blog post below.  TIA!


  1. Great tutorial Angie! I posted my 'completed' block....that's a shocker!.

  2. I think that back basting is my favourite method! I still fuse on occasion, but enjoy the time spent with needle and thread.

  3. Wonderful tutorial, very very easy to follow and has me thinking. Many thanks. Cheers Glenda

  4. Great tutorial Angie!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks for putting all the methods in one place. I will have to try this.


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