Yes, I know, it’s been almost two months since I posted…sorry! Been so busy!! I’ve made some quilts (which I will post soon). I recently wanted to try my hand at raw edge appliqué and do something artsy. Artsy is a word I’m sure if not, it is now.
I wanted to do a fun cat, so I started with a sketch on pattern paper. The sketch was not a precise template for me, but if you do this method you will want to use your sketch or tracing as a template.
You’re going to need scissors, scrap fabrics, some background fabric, and this fusible web stuff: Lite Steam-a-Seam 2 (you can get it on Amazon or JoAnn’s and other places). It is two-sided and you can reposition it; then when you are done you can iron your composition fusing it to your backing fabric! The way it works is this: you will peel off one side of these sheets which exposes a tacky surface. You will put your small pieces of fabric on these sheets, cutting off that section. Flip the section and your fabric over and burnish or buff the fusible web against your fabric to get the webbing to stick to your fabric. You will then peel off the other side of the backing and you will have what feels like a post-it note, it will be tacky on the back of your fabric. You can lay each piece of fabric into position and reposition it as much as you like. It is not fused until you press it with a steam iron for 20 seconds. I wait till the very end to do that because I like making changes as I go along. Tip: cut out your pieces a little larger than needed, apply to the fusible sheet, then cut out to exact size. This ensures that the raw edges are secured to the fusible material to prevent fraying.
Because I’m me, and fearless, I just start cutting out my fabrics. This is a cat head! You can use chalk or water-soluble markers to mark your fabric for cutting.
Now we have some ears, muzzle, and nose.
EYES and PUPILS. Look at that scaredy-cat facial expression. Oh my. Do I want him looking like that?
No, I want him looking sneaky, so I added eyelids. I also added cat stripes in red. He has a mouth, neck, and shoulders now, too. See how easy this is?!
By now, your work table will probably look like this! Tiny scraps can be saved and used for another project. If they have the fusible stuff on them, stick them on the contact sheet from your fusible web sheet, and save them. I probably should have cut stuff out over a trash can, but that was way too practical. It’s not art if you don’t make a big mess, right? Oh, and that blue thing didn’t help as much as I had hoped; it is a seam roller and it’s great for getting seams open without having to use an iron. Using the tops of my fingernails and buffing against the fusible paper to adhere it to the fabric was the best solution. NOTE: this fusible stuff is sticky and your scissors will get sticky. You can clean them with fingernail polish remover to remove the adhesive. This stuff does not gum your needle, so so worries (but I’m assuming that is after you’ve fused it with your iron!).
I started out with the idea of only doing a cat… so I previewed him on different background fabrics.
I thought maybe I wanted a bug flying into the scene as if that’s what he’s looking at because I wanted to do a lot of FMQ in the background around him. BUT… my idea evolved and I decided I could add some flowers, creating more of a setting. I had some Kaffe Fassett floral print, so I cut out these flowers and used some green fabric I had to make the stems. BUT… this just didn’t seem exotic enough for me. I love exotic.
Now we’re getting somewhere. This background fabric added to the sneaky look, as if he’s somewhere in a garden, peeking out through the flowers. Of course, as we all know, busy prints do not showcase your FMQ, but that’s ok. I accepted the tradeoff.
Besides, I could do FMQ anyway. So, I added a big border and used blue contrasting thread. I did an all over feather meander on the background, and I stitched around all the applique pieces about 1/8″ from the raw edges (because if you sew too close to the edges they can fray). I decided he didn’t need the bug. He’s looking at that flower that reminds me of an artichoke. ha. I used Quilters Dream wool batting over one layer of Hobbs Cotton-wool 80/20 batting. This gave it some nice loft, or as I call it, puffiness.
Some close-ups showing the detail.
I quilted some whiskers on him, too.
See how easy, and messy, that was? It was so fun! Took a few hours but I now have a cool piece of art. My husband loves it so much he asked me to hang it in the living room. Wow. Is he a keeper or what? He doesn’t realize it yet but before long the entire house will be covered with quilted art. It will be a soundproof house I bet.