That's One Way To Do It: Hawaiian Applique Tutorial - Part Two: The Prep

It's a beautiful Sunday and I am ready to start sewing... but first there are a few things I need to take care of... Just in case you missed part one here it is!

Part Two: The Prep

-Design you created last time
-Fabric for your background and applique
-Masking Tape
-Pen to mark fabric
       (I used both water soluble and permanent fine tipped pens. Fabric pencils would also work. Just test your pen or pencil beforehand to make sure you can see your lines before you start tracing)
-Safety Pins (optional)

Step One:

 Press your fabric and cut to a square a bit larger than your design. It is better to have too much border than not enough. I folded one corner of my fat quarter up diagonally to find the new edge of my square. Because I didn't need this first square to be even I just estimated and cut with scissors.

Step Two:

Mark the very center of the square and the edge of the diagonal bisecting lines with an erasable pen or pencil.

You can find the rough center of the square by marking the very corner of the triangle. You could also crease the fabric with the iron to create visible lines.

Step Three:

Tape the design to the center of a relatively large window with lots of light.

This window doesn't get as much light as I would have wanted but you work with what you have :)
Step Four:

Tape your fabric onto the window so that the center point of the square matches up with the center point of your design. For me it is the bottom right corner.

Wow! The background is really washed out!
 It's a little hard to see in the picture but the lines are definitely visible through my fabric. If you have a darker fabric you may need to use a light box or a pounce with white chalk... but that's a different tutorial. 

Step Five:

Trace your design on to your fabric. Be sure to mark the top corner of the design. Un-tape, rotate fabric, realign and trace again until all four quadrants of the fabric feature the design.

Step Six:

Trim off the excess border using the corner markings as a guide. Safety pin your two payers of fabric together leaving the bottom or background fabric just a little bit larger than the applique fabric (I just left mine as a fat quarter) and start basting!

Run a basting stitch along the outer edge of the square and in the middle of the design. Try to leave about a quarter inch between your line and your basting stitch so that you can turn your fabric under with ease.

Step Seven:

Start stitching.

 I started by taking a tiny snip out of the negative space in my design on the top layer of fabric. DO NOT cut through the bottom/background layer. That would be bad.

I then cut trim away my excess negative space leaving about a quarter inch seam allowance to tuck under as I go. By trimming away my negative space as I go I maintain the structural integrity of the whole piece of fabric. That way I don't get unnecessary bias warp or shifting, although the basting usually prevents this.

Anyways, I'd be happy to post another more detailed tutorial on my applique process is anyone is interested. In the meantime, if you are not familiar with needle turn applique, here is an awesome tutorial. Happy Appliqueing!


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