Click here for a printer friendly pdf INSTRUCTIONS
and here for DIAGRAMS
Okay! It's the 1st of October and I'm officially nervous! Please remember I'm new at this and my aim is to get better at the computer while sharing something I'm really proud of, so please be gentle with me!
So - to begin with we will be working with our first row.
We will require:
- One of our background fabrics
- Various coloured fabrics, including a few greens
- A lead pencil, or a fine ink pen. I don't recommend a wash-away pen because we are going to be ironing over the top of any markings we make
- Matching embroidery floss
- Sewing needles (I prefer crewels)
- General sewing requirements (ruler, board, rotary cutter etc)
- Light box if you have one
Just a quick note - I don't prewash any fabrics. It's up to you if you want to, but I have yet to have any issues with unwashed fabrics.
Also, I'm assuming a basic knowledge of how vliesofix/fusible webbing works. There are tutorials out there in cyberland if you need a lesson, or please feel free to let me know and I'll try to answer your questions.
To begin, cut a 10.5" strip from the width of your background fabric. Open it up and it should measure 10.5" x 43" at least. We will be trimming this back when we have finished stitching.
Press any centre fold seams from your background fabric.
Now, right click on the following files and save them somewhere safe. I recommend you open a new file on your desktop and safe these files into that.
Okay. Now, right click on each of these pictures and when given the option to print, do so. PRINT TWO COPIES OF EACH PAGE. I'm in Australia, using A4 paper that measures 8.25" x 11.75". Now, tape them together with sticky tape all the way so that your design looks like mine below, being sure to overlap where indicated.
It may help if you put the images over the light box when doing this step. You want to make sure that the ones underneath are laying in the right spot before you tape. Now measure your design - it needs to be in the vicinity of 8" x 36" but honestly, an inch or two different in size isn't going to matter as long as it's not bigger than your background piece (which will have a finished size of 9" x 42").
Write at the top of one of the papers REVERSED PIECE and set this paper aside for now.
Okie dokie. Now the fun starts.
For the next step, I lay my whole border piece of fabric onto an ironing board right side up. I then set up a smaller ironing board (or a folded towel, just a smaller thing to iron on). It will be on this smaller board that I do my fiddly work with the bits and pieces of applique.
Now you can see that I have numbered the floral appliques. It's easier to start at the first number and go on, slowly, while you plod through it. We will work from the first applique design first, not the one marked REVERSED PIECE.
Trace as many pieces as you wish to onto the smooth side of the vliesofix or fusible webbing, making sure that you leave a little bit of space around each shape. Remember to number each piece to correspond with your background diagram. This will save you going nuts later in the placement stage. Cut roughly around each shape in the space provided.
Decide what colours you wish to make each applique shape from. Use our photo for placement guidelines if you wish but be adventurous. Every garden is different!
With the iron on the dry setting (no steam) lay the rough side of the vliesofix onto the wrong side of the fabric you wish to use for each appliqued piece. Fuse the webbing to the fabric by ironing over each piece for a short time. Cut out on the line and let cool completely.
Now, take that other piece of paper marked REVERSE PIECE and lay it face down (or reversed) onto your ironing board. This is your placement picture so it needs to be reversed to the one that we are working with tracing our bits and pieces. You should be able to see your design through the fabric, but if not, I find that taping the paper onto a window frame or light box and then drawing your picture onto the reverse side. Centre your background over your design. The long vertical stem in the middle of the picture is the middle, use that as a guide.
Peel the backing paper from each piece and lay in place over the traced lines on your background fabric where it is indicated. I find the backing paper peels off much easier if you let it totally cool after pressing.
Begin in numerical order. Start with number one and continue onward. Gradually add the layers that are on top. Lay as many out as you feel comfy with and then press in place. This is why I use two ironing setups, you will NOT want to move the background fabric when all the bits and pieces are laying in place.
When all your bits and pieces are in place and you are happy, give it a good final press to secure any loose corners and using a new needle and two strands of matching embroidery floss, blanket stitch around all exposed edges of your applique shapes.
I'm sorry that I couldn't do a whole length photo but long and skinny is very difficult to photograph!
Trim border length to 9.5" x 42.5" and set aside for now.
So stay tuned on Nov. 1 for your second installment! Please email or comment if you have any questions or queries.