Sunday, May 24, 2015

Leafing away

This post is for my friend, no-blog Mary who has asked for help from afar.  Thanks heavens for the internet and blogs.

No-blog Mary has started doing applique and wanted some instructions on how to get nice pointy leaves.

So ... here goes ...

If you do your applique using freezer paper, needle turn or paper piecing, you will have a tail at the pointy end of your leaf.  The tail could be on the left or right side. 
With a pair of scissors, stylus or needle, push (flip) that tail inside
so that you don't see it anymore.  See the tip now with no tail sticking out.  It looks nice and pointy.
If there is too much bulk at the point, then you can trim the tail .... but not TOO much.  Leave at least 1/8" of fabric, otherwise the fabric will start to shred and you won't have anything solid to anchor your stitches at the point.
After trimming, flip the tail back inside and using small stitches, sew to the point and then continue sewing around until you have your entire leaf sewn.
This is what it the leaf will look like once all the basting stitches and backing has been cut away
To trim or not trim?  I get that question a lot.  In the beginning of my applique journey, I didn't trim away any fabric on the back of my applique.  Nowadays, I trim or cut away the backing fabric.  Why?  Since I hand quilt a lot of my quilts, there were just too many layers to quilt through and that is why my applique gets trimmed afterwards.  Below, you can see the difference with one side trimmed and not the other.  
Mind you, there will always be an exception to the rule.  In particular, a lady that I know is doing an applique project that has a dress form on each block.  The dress will be stuffed and embellished.  The extra fabric on the back will be left to add extra stability to the dress, otherwise it might have a tendency to sag or become wavy once the quilt is finished.

Are you curious to see what project that leaf will be used for?  A wall hanging of leaves, vines and circles.  I've been seeing this on Pinterest a lot lately and made up my own pattern using EQ7. Yep, another new project!  :o)
Well, no-blog Mary, I hope this helps you!

Have a great day!


Jennifer said...

Good tutorial......and I like your vines!

Rosa said...

Fabulous vines and thanks for the tutorial!

Barb said...

great technique

Julierose said...

Super tutorial; may i ask what kind and weight of applique thread you use? i am new to applique and have been using Superior threads' Masterpiece and it knots and tangles a lot! thanks, Julierose