Welcome back. How did the tracing go? Hopefully, the tips from yesterday made the process a lot easier to do.
Today I’ve got tips for cutting out the shapes and fusing them to the background. Let’s get started.
The pattern for the pot holders is called Barnyard Buddies by ellie mae designs.
TIP 1 – Cut the fusible webbing and the fabric together
All of the shapes have been fused to the wrong side of the fabric pieces. Now it’s time to cut them out.
Remember I mentioned that it isn’t necessary to cut the shapes out of the fusible webbing directly on the tracing line? There are two reasons for that.
First, it would take extra time to fussy cut the shapes from the fusible webbing and then you’d have to fussy cut the shapes once they’re fused to the fabric. By only fussy cutting once, we save a bit of time.
The second and most important reason is to ensure that the fusible webbing provides complete coverage at the edges of the applique shape. If you attempt to cut on the lines the second time, the fusible webbing will be missed in some spots right along the edges where it’s most critical. This will cause the edges with no fusible webbing underneath to fray.
Bottom line, rough cut the shapes from the fusible webbing and fussy cut once the shape outlines have been fused to the fabric.
TIP 2 – Move the shape, not the scissors
It’s important to have a very sharp pair of scissors to do this cutting step. Sharp scissors will help prevent frayed edges.
When cutting, try and keep the scissors in one position and rotate the shape in your opposite hand. That results in a smoother cut.
Now that my shapes are all cut, it’s time to position them onto the background.
A note about the background.
I did not cut the shape as indicated on the pattern. You can see the corners are rounded on the pattern and my corners are square. I also cut the background a little bit larger than the actual size. Once all the stitching is done, I’ll trim the background to the appropriate size and round the corners.
But wait, you may have noticed some funny lines on the pattern when you were tracing. See the dashed lines in the cow pattern? The dashed lines are in fact tracing lines as well and allow for some of the shapes to overlap.
In the pattern below, the outer edge of the ears overlap the inner part of the ear, the eyes overlap the horn and the nose overlaps the mouth. The overlap is very important to prevent gaps between the outer and inner ears or any of the other parts.
TIP 3 – Fuse overlapping pieces together
I could go ahead and put all the pieces on the background as there are not many shapes for the cow’s face. But if I happen to have a lot of applique shapes that overlap and I’m trying to position them on the background, it can be a bit of a nightmare if one or more pieces shift and then I have to start over.
If there are pieces that overlap as in the cow above, I like to fuse those overlapping shapes together before I place them on the background so I can treat them as one piece. This makes the final placement process a whole lot easier.
To start, I need an applique pressing sheet. It’s made of a material that allows me to fuse the shapes to the applique pressing sheet. Once the shapes are fused to each other and they have cooled off, I can peel the combined shapes off the applique pressing sheet as one larger piece. It’s very easy to position the new combined shape on to the background.
I start by placing the applique pressing sheet on top of the placement guide. Then I position the first shape, the one that is on the bottom. In this case, I start with the cow’s mouth.
Place the shape that’s on top of the bottom one as per the outlines on the placement diagram. Carefully fuse the two shapes together using an iron. No need for steam as it doesn’t really have any place to go when you’re using the applique pressing sheet.
I fused the tail bits together, the ears and the eyes (I’m not putting in the horn) and the mouth. Now that I have fewer shapes, it’ll be easier to place them onto the background fabric.
Tip 4 – Use a light box to assist in placing the shapes
Depending on your background, it may be hard to see the placement guide through the background fabric. I use a light table with the placement guide directly on the surface of the light table and my background fabric on top. Then it’s easy to see the outlines so you can place the shapes.
Alternatively, if it’s not critical that the pieces be positioned exactly, you can always eyeball this process.
Once the shapes are positioned to my liking, I carefully transfer the background to an ironing surface where I’ll fuse all the shapes in place according to the manufacturer’s directions.
You’ll notice on the cow that some of the background fabric is showing through the white and the pink. I could have added a second layer to the pink fabric to prevent that from happening or I could have used a darker fabric that wouldn’t allow the show through.
Aren’t they adorable? Now it’s time for the stitching process. I’ll share some tips with you tomorrow on different stitches and the threads to use when making applique stitches on the sewing machine.
Have a great day!
This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: 2 tips to make prepping a paper pattern much easier!
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