Yesterday on QUILTsocial we compared curved piecing in art quilts – traditional vs improvisational. I found that I loved how both methods worked for creating components of my art quilt. Northcott’s Stonehenge Elements fabrics are so beautiful and lovely to work with that today I’m really excited to try out 3 ways to machine applique circles onto a quilt.
Finishing up my background
I trimmed the curved pieced section and then arranged my Drunkard’s Path blocks along the left side of the background.
I sewed the Drunkard’s path blocks together and then sewed them to the curved pieced background.
Using an interfacing to prepare your applique circles
There are many ways to applique shapes onto a quilt, but for the purposes of my art quilt, I want to try out 3 fast and easy ones that I can sew with my machine. Don’t get me wrong, I love hand work but I’m in a bit of a time crunch with this project and using my sewing machine to put these circles on my quilt sounds like a great idea!
The first method I want to try is using an interfacing on the back of my circles to turn the raw edges under so that they can easily be appliqued onto the quilt. I found this video on YouTube that explains this process very well.
Applique – Interfacing Prep – Quilting Tutorial from ConnectingThreads.com
Making my fabric circles
I decided to use a couple bowls from my kitchen as templates for my circles. I used a permanent marker to draw around the bowl onto the paper side of the fusible interfacing.
After cutting out my interfacing circles I was able to use them as patterns for cutting the circles of fabric.
I layered the interfacing circle and the fabric circle so that the right side of the fabric was facing up and the adhesive side of the interfacing was facing down. The circles were then pinned together to prevent shifting.
Next I sewed the two circle together with a ¼” seam and then cut out and removed the center of the interfacing. I clipped the seam all around the circle close to the stitching. Next the circle was turned right side out and pressed.
Using a pressing sheet
Back in June on QUILTsocial I showed how to use a silicone pressing sheet when doing fusible applique. Today I used this same pressing sheet to protect my ironing board cover when I pressed my circles after turning them right side out. Since the interfacing I used has a fusible backing, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t fuse them to my cover!!
Using a turned edge technique to prepare your applique circles
I tried needle-turn applique many, many times and I have to admit, it’s not my favorite thing to do. But it does look really nice when it’s done right. Kathy Wylie does an awesome job of explaining how to do turned edge applique so check out her QUILTsocial post “Turned-edge applique made easy with Apliquick!” on May 7, 2015.
Use fusible web to prepare your applique circles
I’ve talked about fusible applique lots of times on QUILTsocial, so if you want more info check out my QUILTsocial posts during the week of June 6-10th to see the whole process.
Adding dimension to the quilt
For my art quilt, I’d like the circles to pop compared to the background. So I’ve decided to use the interfacing method to make a few different size circles to applique onto the quilt. To further enhance the dimensional aspect of the circles, I’m going to machine quilt the background and then applique the circles on the quilted background.
Quilting the background with a walking foot
I layered my quilt top, batting and backing and since the quilt is fairly small I’m going to quilt it on my home machine using my walking foot. The walking foot does a great job of quilting gentle curves on a quilt so I think it’ll work well on my curved background.
Now that my background is quilted, it’s time to add the applique circles. I’m going to stitch them down using invisible machine applique. Here’s a video I found that explains it quite well. I’m going to use my 505™ adhesive spray to stick the circles onto the quilt and then use matching thread for the stitching.
Invisible Machine Applique – YouTube
Appliqueing my circles
Since my circles have the fusible interfacing on the back of them, I arranged them on my quilt and gently pressed them in place. I also used a few pins to make sure that they weren’t going to shift around (or fall off) as I was handling the quilt.
Finding the right stitch
Now that the circles are in place, I’m going to use the method shown in the video to stitch them to the quilt. I found a thread that was almost exactly the same color and I used a similar color in the bobbin. It took a few tries to find the right stitch, but I ended up using my machine’s basic blanket stitch set to a narrow width and a long stitch length. Using the “needle down” position on the machine as I went around the circles made it super easy!!
I really like this technique!!! The stitches are almost invisible and the circles look really great on the quilt. My creativity is flowing – I may need to use this technique again really soon!!
My circles are now secured to the quilt, so all I have to do now is to trim it. Join me tomorrow when I show you a neat way to sew on the binding and then Friday I’ll show you the easiest way to put a permanent label on your quilted masterpieces. Stay tuned for more quilting fun!