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Pop Art Pillow - Easy Applique

Learn to applique the easy way by using fusible web. Jennifer Keltner and Jill Mead show you how.

-Hi! I'm Jennifer Keltner with Quilts and More. It's time for another quarterly challenge. This quarter, we're making the pop art pillow. There's a downloadable pattern for you at allpeoplequilt.com/QuarterlyChallenge. If you enter, you'll have the chance to win some great prizes. I can't wait to see what you create. -Hi! I'm Jennifer. -And I'm Jill Mead at Quilts and More and we're here in the Quilts and More Sewing Lab to share some applique techniques with you today. -Jill, some people are afraid to try applique, so I think fusible is a great way to start. -It is a great way. Once you see the quick tips we have for you, you'll be convinced applique is the way to go. -First and foremost in your downloadable pattern, you have all of the instructions to make the pop art pillow. But what we're gonna share with you today are some tips to make it easier and smoother with fusible web. When you change your fusible, make sure you choose one that's lightweight and sew through. -The lightweight fusible makes it very easy for your needle to penetrate both the fabric and the fusible holds the fabric in place while you're stitching. The heavier weight ones sometimes gummed up the needle and aren't necessarily made for stitching through. -Right. So choose a lightweight. Lay your fusible web down on top of your pattern. There are two sides to your fusible and one has a paper backing, the other has the fusible. You want the fusible side down and the paper side up. Then with a pencil or pen, trace around your pattern, the number of times indicated. -You'll notice that Jennifer left a gap between the two pieces or between as many as she has drawn out. That's to help you when you roughly cut out around each shape, so about a quarter of an inch around each shape is plenty. In order to reduce the area that is actually fused, we'd like to cut a doughnut shape on the inside of the drawn line. -Again leaving about a quarter inch inside the drawn line. -That's right. Now, quickly cut this out. It doesn't have to be accurate, just about approximately a quarter of an inch. -And the point of this is when you have a lot of fusible in your project, say you have to 2 petals layered on top of one another, you don't want to layers of fusible web on your project because it can get too stiffed. So by cutting up the center of the applique shapes in the fusible, you'll make for-- more pliable project in the end. -Once your doughnut shape is cut up, place it on the wrong side of the fabric and fuse in place according to the instructions that are given with the fusible that you purchased. -Different fusible webs do have different instructions. So it's important that you follow the ones for the fusible that you've purchased. Some require steam, others require a dry iron, and the temperature settings may be different. So it's important to pay attention to instructions. -Once you place-- Once your piece is fused in place, simply cut out on the drawn line. This way, you're cutting through both the fusible and the fabric at the same time. -Jill one of the mistakes I used to make when I first started doing fusible applique was between this step and this step. I would try to cut out my shapes exactly on the drawn line before I fused them to the fabric. And what I found was I couldn't get it exactly right. -So by leaving a quarter inch around that you guarantee accuracy by trimming it all at one time. -And fusible web goes all the way to the edge, so that's a great reminder. So when you're ready to put the petals on to your project what do you have to make sure to do first? -First, you remove the fabric. So you'll see a little shiny edge around the outside of the wrong side of the applique, that's your fusible. -So take the paper away and the fusible side is the one that you wanna put face down on your foundation fabrics. So, we're ready to take it to the machine next. When it's time to choose your stitches for your project, that's when the fun really begins. -Jennifer, how do you decide which stitches to use? -I like to begin by making a stitch sampler. I was working on the Baby Lock Espire and so I created this stitch sampler and just stitched out a few different choices that I thought I might like. So I began with a blanket stitch. Then I tried out a blind stitch. A blind stitch, sometimes I use if I'm going to use thread that matches my applique and I don't want it to show. I also tried the zigzag stitch. And then I tried playing with the width and length of the zigzag stitch, so that I could decide if I liked it any better. -I like the way you marked out the side, the name and number of each stitch, so you have a reference. -Well, there are so many great stitches to choose from and I have a hard time sometimes remembering which ones they were. So I usually write down the stitch number along with the name, and then I can keep this for future reference with other projects as well. -Perfect idea. -Once I've chosen the stitches that I'd like to try, I do also create a sampler and I try to stitch them out ahead of time on just a scrap piece so I can see what they look like. It also helps me to decide where the presser foot should be lined up, so I know exactly how to get the swing of the needle on to my applique. -It's a great sneak peek at how things will look once they're stitched out with the colored fabric and the colored thread you'll be using. -Exactly, and you can also decide which one that you like the best. I decided for making my sample that really the zigzag was the one I was going to use for my project. -Perfect. -The only other suggestion I would make is as you're looking at stitches on your machine, you wanna choose stitches that have the machine needle swing only to one side. So for example on the blanket stitch the needle always goes to this side of the stitch. There are two-sided stitches like feather stitches and that mightn't be the look you're going for, but that would also mean you have a lot of stitches going off your applique. So just make sure as you're making choices that you make ones that meet the needs that you're going for. -Jennifer, the other thing to remember is to add a stabilizer to the backside of your applique. We've added an iron-on stabilizer. That once our stitching is complete is torn away gently from the back side. -And why is it important to use a stabilizer? -Stabilizer makes your stitching look absolutely professional on the front side, prevents tunneling, or that tucked under feeling that you sometimes get with applique pieces. -Right. It can prevent all those puckers from appearing on the front of your work. -Absolutely, so a stabilizer is a must. -Alright. Well, let's get ready to show you some stitching. As you begin stitching, it's important to know which way the needle is swinging as you're working your way around the applique. I've chosen the zigzag stitch for my project. And I'm working with a foot that has a clear front on it so that I can see easily as my needle is swinging back and forth between the zigzags. One thing that's important to note is you want to slow down and gently guide your applique through so that the right hand needle swing is just off the edge of the applique and the left hand swing of the zigzag stitch is on the applique. As you come close to the corner, stop, and this is a pretty gentle curve but stop with your needle down in the foundation on the right hand side. Then, gently nudge your applique over and continue stitching. On an outside curve like this you always wanna stop with your needle in the right hand swing. If you need to lift the presser foot slightly, stitch a few more stitches, needle down, pivot, and that will make sure that your stitching doesn't come to a sharp or abrupt stop at an outside point or curve. You'll find more tips for where to begin and end your applique and how to make sure that all of your stitching is smooth whether it's outside curves, inside curves, or inner or outer points. Where your needles stop in the fabric when you pivot, makes all the difference. So you'll find all that information in your downloadable pattern. But remember, go slow, take it easy, and you'll have fun stitching down your fusible applique. We hope these tips have helped take the fear out of applique. -We can't wait to see your version of the pop art pillow.