Wonderful! You have the fabric and patterns laid out for various baby quilts that you could make but the one that sticks out and you really would like to tackle is appliqué.
Whether you have quilted before or not, the project of an appliqué quilt can be a challenge. Here are successful techniques that will help you feel comfortable and not feel frustrated to the point that you are ready to give up on your first try.
1. If you are using fusible web, and there is a problem with it not sticking well to the fabric, stop first and read or reread the manufacturer’s directions and follow the steps exactly. In most cases, if you press the fusible web longer than is recommended, the glue loses its adhesive qualities and it will no longer stick to your fabric.
2. Curved edges are tricky. Iron your fabric to the freezer paper. Trim the seam allowances to 1/8 inch to reduce the bulk. The wider those seams are, the harder it will be for the fabric to stick to the paper since too much fabric is harder to gather.
3. If your baby quilt project requires appliquéing many pieces of the same shape and you are using iron-on freezer paper, first make a plastic template. It is more accurate and easier to trace around the plastic template and onto the freezer paper, than over a printer pattern.
4. Fusible web is great for appliquéing baby quilts, but it makes your project stiff. To reduce this problem, cut away the center portion and leave ¼ inch of fusible web around the perimeter of your shape. This is just enough to secure the baby quilt project is place but keeps them flexible for you to do the appliqué stitching.
5. To remove the freezer paper from underneath your finished appliqué pattern, you need to cut the background fabric. Leave ¼ inch for your seam allowance. Another option which leaves the background in place and won’t fray is made by making a diagonal snip in the background fabric. This allows you to pull the freezer paper through the opening.
6. A sharp pointed needle is important for hand appliquéing on the special fabrics you have chosen for your baby quilts. Change the needle often.
7. Hand appliquéing your baby quilts offers you two ways of stitching. The top edge is referred to as the “mountain” because you are looking over the fold. The second way is to stitch along the “valley” or the bottom edge where you can see the exact edge of the fold. My suggestion is try both methods and see which is more comfortable for your use.
8. Since you may want to travel, resealable plastic bags are perfect for storage and carrying your appliqué projects. They keep your appliqué project neatly organized, and is portable when you are on the go.
Using these helpful tips, your beautiful fabrics, and some creativity, there are many new appliquéd baby quilts just waiting for your needle.
By: Sharon Camp – Unique Baby Quilt Boutique