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Old Tools Yield New Applique Marking Technique

The following's really a technique tip, but since it's a personal anecdote, I thought I'd leave it in that form. Hope to hear from any readers who try it to find out whether it works as well for others as it does for me!

After drawing the applique portions of a memorial hanging in progress, I needed to get the draft onto fabric. I've always resisted making temmplates from plastic because the whole process in my hands turns drawings and drafts that suit me into clunky things I'm not pleased with. I have tried virtually everything, and last night a lightbulb went on!

The piece in question was a very small sloop with a luffing mainsail and wind-filled jib for a quilt that is my more customary nonpictorial with some more representational elements. This boat was quite small and really required considerable precision to assemble, even though it would tend to fade into the background fabric when viewed from a distance.

In any case, I couldn't bear the thought of making templates, and freezer paper wasn't quite the thing, either. Having used my tracing wheel just recently to set that memorial hanging's Mariner's Compass into its background ... I realized that I could trace my cartoon onto tracing paper and then use the tracing wheel and wax-free paper (I have a couple of packages of Dritz hanging around) to mark the applique pieces as well as the background.

It worked like a charm and gave me very precise markings for assembling the whole piece using Ami Simms' invisible applique (ladder stitch, as taught to me by my grandmother and improved upon by Ami simms).

Finally, rather than marking the thing onto the main piece itself, I marked it onto an appropriate size piece of the background fabric. The design required appliqueing down the interior (very tiny) of the boat before superimposing the hull and sails upon that. After laying down the interior of the craft, the tracing paper served me well once again.

Best of all, no need to press, preturn, baste, or starch. All I needed to do was to match up the major landmarks of each piece, pin for position, and stitch down going from marked line to marked line. This method has proven far more precise for me than others tried to date.

Copyright 1996 by Addy Harkavy (aah@main.rr.com) Addy is co-owner of Pinetree Quiltworks, a mail order quilting supply company. Her company was one of the first of its kind to establish a catalogue on the World Wide Web.



(c) Copyright 1995-2012 by The Virtual Quilt Company. All rights reserved.


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