Applique Placement – My Way

I don’t know that I do or have anything different that I do in regards to how I do applique. However, while I was preparing my test block for the 2014 Bom, I realized I might do something a little different from what other people do in regards to setting up the placement on the block. Most people I’ve seen use a lightbox and mark there actual fabric. I do not do this. What I do instead is mark a cut piece of wash away stabilizer. It needs to be washaway, this won’t work if you use any other kind of stabilizer. If you need a brand to refer to, I am currently using Aqua Magic which I bought many years ago. At the time, I got a great deal on it, so I bought a whole case of it. Although any water soluble stabilizer will work, you just need something that will dissolve in water, or via a dunk in the sink. These are easy to draw on with a fabric marker, or pigma type pen. It’s not easily drawn on with a marking pencil like SewLine or Bohin. What I will mention here is that while yes, you could use a tear away, or a cutaway, or a sticky stabilizer, the reasons you shouldn’t do it, is because your going to stitch upon it. With all the stitching, it will become near impossible to get it all out, and no way to do it unless your going to cut into your background fabric in each little shapes spot to pull out the stabilizer. This is why I recommend a washaway stabilizer. It will simply wash out, it leaves no residue, no worries with having a marking pencil coming back onto the fabric and it works perfectly. I might mention I use this same technique when I mark stencils for quilting. It’s based on the very same principal. You could use cheap tearaways for the quilting, but you risk pulling the threads out when you use any other kind of stabilizers. If I need to combine the pattern papers, I combine them simply with scotch tape, then lay the stabilizer on top of the paper pattern and draw the pattern onto the stabilizer. Shown below..

Prepare Your Stabilizer

Above I am showing how I mark the stabilizer from the placement pattern, below is how I fold my fabric and stabilizer to get it set properly and centered on the fabric.

For the most part, I do what every body else does, I fold it into a square on both the fabric and stabilizer, but I do this individually.

I lightly press them. I do not want heavy creases here, just lightly enough for me to line them up and then I mark them with simple straight pins.

Fold Fabric in Quarters

Fold fabric in quarters and iron or hand press in place.

Fold Stabilizer in Quarters

Fold stabilizer in quarters.

Iron folded Stabilizer

Iron folded stabilizer, I recommend you place a ironing sheet over the stablizer before ironing.

It is hard to show here how I lined that up, but essentially, I laid the square out, I laid the stabilizer on top, and lined up the middle sections, then pinned them into place.

Lay and Match

From this point, I start adding my shapes and stiching them in place. Once I am finished, I then just dip it in the sink, let it soak for a few minutes (It doesn’t matter what temperature of water, cold works just fine) and then I just iron it dry.

I will note here, if you use a marker like a sharpie to mark with, do not iron this project once you start and until you soak the fabric. You don’t want to have an accident with the ink possibly bleeding onto your fabric. I’ve never had it happen to me yet, but I would not risk it either. Be sure you soak it first.

I’d love to hear what you do, or if you have an idea or tip on how I can improve upon how I do it.

Thanks for having a look.

Give it a try, you may like it to. If you wanted to, you can also stitch around the outside edge of the shape you will be appliquing, and then carefully cut around the edges, so that if you didn’t wash your fabric prior to creating your project you would not have to worry with washing it until you finish your project and are ready to wash it.

When you need to store your shapes, try this instead…

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