Monday, 27 February 2017

Discussing freezer paper applique techniques

For the first flower I thought I would try out a different technique... the next flowers are circular and need to be very precise.  Apparently some people use the freezer paper on the wrong side of the fabric, then use a washable glue stick to fold under the seam allowance. This is how I have attached the purple petals.

working out the first circular flower for Diamond Hill

I thought I would give it a try. First I glued under the vanilla background circle. Uh-oh. Had to remove it from the freezer paper to see through  the fabric for placement of the other (purple) pieces... and if I had left it in, I would've had to stitch right through the double thickness of freezer paper. No, that wouldn't be good for the needle or my finger or my stitches.

The purple petals were turned under using a Bostik washable glue stick (I've been using that brand for years for foundation piecing), then I used Burrows clear gum from Officeworks to baste the petals onto the vanilla circle.

How do I remove the freezer paper?

In the past when using a single layer of freezer paper, I have stitched around the freezer paper, leaving it in until fully stitched. Then I would cut a slit in the background fabric, and remove the freezer paper there. No freying ever occurs as the applique on top prevents exposure of the slit on the top, and once it's quilted nothing can be seen at the back.

back of Diamond Hill block 1, made using my usual needleturn technique

 Even when I have handled blocks for years (as in my Baltimore album blocks which literally took 10 or 15 years to make, and aren't even assembled into a quilt top yet, and Civil War Bride blocks), no damage has occurred by cutting a slit, and no glues were left in the fabric.

The edges on the purple petals above are turned under with glue, and stuck to the freezer paper. I think I will have to hand swish/wash the block to remove the glue before I can cut a slit and pull away the freezer paper without damaging my stitches.  Then, a yellow circle is to be appliqued over the centre of the petals.

Now I am looking at the next circular flower which is different again.

Last night I was thinking to cut a circular background again, and applique every second petal. This will make some of the applique pieces come forward, and some will recede. This is my favourite plan, not just for ease of stitching, but because I like a variety of depths, colours and prints in my work. (Even in jewellery I am not into matching, but prefer to co-ordinate earrings and necklace).

 If I made every petal individually and stitched them, I would have to cut the freezer paper slightly smaller than marked line to account for the thickness of the fabric in the turned under section, then try to line up the outside to make a circle.

Esther also has a tutorial on how to machine stitch those seams when making leaves, but I estimate it would be a bit frustrating for me on a circle where I want the outside to line up perfectly into a circle.

Esther has another tutorial on how to use Floriani fusible stitch n wash, but that still requires ironing over the seam with a starch product, not glueing. I am finding the ironing over to be a bit heavy on my arm, and not all the curved edges are as curved as I would like using the ironing over technique. Hence, why I wanted to try the glue.

There are two circular flowers in the pattern above. I am still wondering whether to use this technique: applique 4 parts onto a large piece of circle fabric, stitch, wash to remove glue, cut slits to remove freezer paper inserts, then iron on a large circle template onto the back, cut out, glue and applique, then wash again later to remove glue, then cut a slit to remove freezer paper. OR this technique: applique background circle first, wash, cut a slit to remove freezer paper, position petals, stitch, wash again.

Either way, with this many layers I see the block being washed at least twice. It's going to be a matter of getting all the flowers to a certain point, then washing to remove glue, cut a slit to remove freezer paper, then add second layer with a second washing at the very end.

I really don't want to wash the block more than twice.

The reason I am trying all these gluing things is to improve the placement of my applique, as without basteing, it seems to migrate all over the place while I sew.

Maybe I just need to try a different iron, and take more time. I have just seen the Petite Press Portable Mini Iron, which looks like you can apply pressure with a finger.

And I've just done a little bit of youtube research.. I think I'll buy the Roxanne glue baste, the Sewline glue stick and the Floriani fuse and wash papers. Giving it a go on this applique journey!

I welcome your ideas, and sharing of your experience with any of these techniques in the comments below.

Thank you.

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