While there are numerous ways to prepare your applique pieces, my favourite is the Starch Method.
|Tools for Starch Method of Applique|
Cut the freezer paper template to the finished size of your appliqué piece. In this case, I am making an appliquéd drunkard's path block. One advantage to this method is that the freezer paper templates can be used over and over. Many times!!!!!!! This one below has been used about 35 TIMES!!!! It is FINISHED and should have been retired a while ago - but we always push things. It literally has no more wax left on the under side. If you are going to use a template more than once, you probably want to stabilize the template by doubling up the layers of freezer paper. Take TWO pieces of freezer paper. Trace your design onto the MAT side of one of the layers. Take the shiny side of the other piece and layer it over the first one - place the shiny side of the top one on the mat side of the bottom one. Yes - your traced design will be sandwiched in between the two layers but you can still see it through the top layer. Now you should have a double thick layer of freezer paper with a shiny side on the bottom and a mat side on the top and your drawn design sandwiched in between. While it is not critical that the drawn design be in between the layers - it does prevent that pencil mark from coming off on your fabric or the iron.
Then cut out the template. The smoother you cut this - the smoother the edges of your appliqué will be.
|Freezer paper template (well used)|
|Template ironed onto applique fabric and cut out with approximately 1/4" seam allowance|
|Painting the seam allowances with starch|
|You can see where the starch has "wet" the seam allowance.|
|Ironing the seam allowance|
|Seam allowance pressed over the freezer paper template|
|Freezer paper template is removed and can be reused for next circle.|
|Here is the prepared circle and the background fabric|
Now we need to position the appliqué onto the background. I want the circle centered on the background so I used a ruler to make sure that it was approximately in the center.
|Using a ruler to center the circle on the background square|
Now that the circle is positioned correctly, you do not want to move it to put the glue on the back. Fold down one half of the circle
|Fold back one half of the circle|
|Add dots of glue around the edge of the circle on the folded under seam allowance.|
|Use a bamboo skewer or wooden toothpick to help poke under any stray edges or threads|
|Repeat the process on the other half of the circle|
|The circle is now glued to the background and is ready to sew.|
|Tools needed for appliqué by machine|
|Use a zigzag stitch - 1.5 LONG and 1 WIDE.|
|When the needles goes into the fabric on the right hand side of the zig zag, it is just skimming the appliqué piece and goes through the background fabric ONLY.|
|When the needle goes into the fabric on the left hand side of the zig zag, it is 100% on the appliqué piece. 99% of the appliqué stitch is sitting on the appliqué piece NOT the background.|
|The front of the piece when finished|
|The back of the piece when finished (I used a different one so you could actually see the stitches)|
|CAREFULLY make a slit in the background so that you can cut the background away from behind the appliquéd circle|
|Background completely cut from behind the appliquéd circle|
|Trim the block which was intentionally made a big larger than needed to allow for shrinkage.|
|Then using TWO rulers (only because my brain doesn't work properly sometimes) I make a vertical cut HALF WAY through the block|
|Then using TWO rulers I make a horizontal cut through the block|
|FOUR drunkard's path (appliqué method)|