Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Fusible Applique and The Blanket Stitch

I was making my mug rugs and I thought, maybe you would like to see how I did that so I put this little guide together. Let me know if you find it useful.

I like to use fusible webbing, Steam-A-Seam II lite, to be exact. I have found it makes an amazing bond! Better than the other brands I have tried. I thought I would show you some of the tricks I have learned about doing fusible and the machine blanket stitch around the applique. So here we go, ready??

I usually begin with some kind of drawing like this one for my Valentine Birdies.
Birdie design on graph paper I then place the drawing on my light box (or you can use a sunny window) and trace my design onto the fusible. SAS II has the web bonded to one side and loose paper on the other. You want to draw on the paper that is bonded to the web as the loose paper side will get discarded, as you will see. Remember that you need to make your tracing in reverse to orient it correctly on the finished quilt. I usually do my drawing, and then turn it over, put it on the light box again and trace it on the back side. Then I lay the fusible on top of that and trace the design onto the fusible paper. I sure hope that makes sense! Now you can cut out your design. You should NOT cut on the line when doing this,just about a fourth of an inch or so away. The amount you leave around the line is not critical as it will be discarded, you just use more fusible and fabric if you leave more.

Here is where I used my scraps. I had a charm pack of Giddy that I actually cut into scraps since I didn't have anything suitable for strings for this project. I cut a few and sewed them into new "fabric" like this:
String pieced fabric for applique
Once that was done and my applique shapes were roughly cut out I was ready to place them for fusing. Using SAS, I peeled off the loose paper and then was able to place the shapes as desired on my new fabric. One nice thing about SAS is that it is kind of sticky and will stay put on your fabric, which is nice when you need to build an applique (like add eyes or wings as I am going to do here).
Roughly cut out shapesDesign fused to applique fabric
When I was happy with the placement I followed the manufacturer's directions and fused it to the fabric. Now you are able to cut out your pieces on the line. I cut out my pieces, peeled the paper off and you are ready to place your applique on your background. I built my birdies and the strip below them and when I was happy I followed the SAS directions and fused them to the background.
(I forgot to take a photo of this with the birdies but you can see what I mean with the owl)
FNSI  January 2011 002
Next up is doing the blanket stitch around the applique. My machine has a blanket stitch on it which I find very convenient to use. You may need to check yours for size etc before beginning your project. I generally use the preset numbers on my Bernina when I do it unless I am doing something HUGE or really, really small. Having the needle down position is really helpful too for neat work.

When I begin, I like to stitch until I get far enough away that I can stop and look under my piece.
Blanket stitching around applique
Here is what it looks like from underneath.
Before top thread is pulled through
If you pull on the thread from the bottom the top thread will be pulled through via a loop. I use a pin to go through the loop and pull the top thread through to the underside.
Pull top thread through
Once you have both threads on the underside you can tie the threads together to make a knot.
Knot on the back
Now you can continue stitching until your stitches meet back up.
The blanket stitch ending
At this point you can cut your threads and pull your top thread to the back side like you did with your starting thread and make a knot. You continue like this until you have all your pieces stitched around. For areas that are really teeny tiny, I sill start with a few straight stitches and then go into the blanket stitch or if they are amazing tiny, I will just straight stitch around them. I sometimes like that look better for the place like the eyes on my owl. I straight stitched around those. I also did a straight stitch on the birdies legs.
Finished owl mug rug frontAll stitched around
Lest you think I do all my stitching alone here are two of my helpers.
"Maybe I need to roll on it?"Jack was helping
I chose to do the embroidery by hand on the birdy piece but I wanted the heart to show through on the back of the finished piece so I did not stitch around it until it was all quilted.
Completed Mug RugBack
I hope this has been helpful! Come back on Friday. I will be having a giveaway of my Giddy scraps and my scraps from making the owl mug rug too. You will need to visit my Stash Manicure post on Friday first and then come here. You will need to comment BOTH places to be eligible. Have a wonderful day!!! XOP


Rae said...

I'm taking an applique class that started Monday, and the teacher raved about SAS II as well. Glad to hear it from multiple sources! We’ll see how this applique adventure goes…

(P.S. I love the birdies and owl. They’re so cute!)

Stray Stitches said...

Thanks for the wonderful tutorial. I just bought SAS II Lite and am looking forward to using it with my next applique project. Your owl and birdies are adorable!

Impera_Magna said...

Love your mug rugs... I'm going to have to try doing something like that!

Mommarock said...

I love how you stitched together the fabrics and then cut out the birds.. I think that is just the neatest effect. I'm certainly going to have to put this on my list of things to try. I'm getting ready to hit DH up for a sewing machine.. just getting up the nerve. I've just been stitching by hand until now.. but I don't think I can hold out much longer!

Crazyquiltgirl said...

Hi Pam,
Great tutorial. It is so nice of you to share.
I love both your owl and birds mug rugs. They are so cute! And I love how you piece together scraps to make fabric for you applique pieces.
I can't wait to read your Stash Manicure post on Friday.

Mamacessories said...

Love this! Thank you - it is so creative!

Faith said...

whooo.... i love your blog make over and thankyou for the tutorial...its great, i love your little birdies..imgetting a bit worried that the box hasnt reached you yet....fingers crossed it will reach you soon, oh i really hope so Pamxxx

West Michigan Quilter said...

Love your mug rugs. Thanks for the tutorial. I'm going to try to make something like you have done here. They are so darn cute!

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Very cute and helpful Pam! Thank you.

KatieQ said...

I love your mug rugs. Thanks for sharing. Most of all, I love your sweet kitty.

Marie said...

Thanks for tutorial. It was explanatory and well worded. I didn't know about pulling the top thread through - thank you.

Hugs - Marie

Brenda said...

Thanks for the info. I needed to pick up some fusible webbing for applique and will look for this product you are using. Love the mug rugs. Still have not tried one yet.

Anonymous said...

Cut mug rugs!

Florence said...

thanks for this explain !
Owls are very cutes !

Crispy said...

Great tutorial Pam!! It's great to know which fusible is the best though I would do a hand blanket stitch :0)


Madame Samm said...

I just love this Pam, a tutorial for another mug rug..I am in...and it is red and white, I am in again...great blanket stitch...

Wendy said...

Okay, I think I'm going to have to bookmark this tutorial! I love how you made the strip set and then cut out the birds ... very cool :) Thank you for sharing this awesome tutorial :)

VivJM said...

These are lovely, lovely mug rugs! Thanks for the tutorial.

rubyslipperz said...

I love your blocks, tutes...........but, LOVE the cat pics too. and see I'm never really dressed without a bit of fur. =)

Girltwin64 said...

Love these little guys! Oh and the quilt rugs to! Cats loving your stash and work is truely a compliment!

Elly D said...

Very cute mug rugs :) I love how you've made the pieces out of strip strings. Thank you for the tutorial :)

Jen said...

Okay, between this and your email to me, I think I've got it! I've been dying to play with my applique pieces this week and just haven't gotten the time (stupid V-day!). Thanks for telling us about the reverse tracing too. I was trying so hard to figure that out and was just getting more and more confused! I kept flipping my applique paper over and over and over :( I'll let you know how it goes!

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