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6 essential tools for detailed art quilt appliques

by Claire Haillot

In yesterday’s post, I showed you how to mark your HeatnBond Feather Lite Iron-On Adhesive and in today’s post I’ll show you how to get the interfacing onto your fabrics and create the wonderful Ariel quilt pattern designed by Lise Bélanger.

KAI scissors, Straight blades twizzers, Bent Tweezers, Wool pressing mat, Pressing Sheet, OLISO iron and HeatnBond Feather Lite

Presenting the perfect tools for detailed art quilt appliques

Since you’re now familiar with  HeatnBond Feather Lite Iron-On Adhesive, I’ll present the other tools that really helped during the project.

KAI 1000 Series Embroidery Scissors – 5½″

With a sharp point and straight blades, these scissors are great for cutting your fused fabrics as precision is important. But I have to admit that it’s the fatigue-free cutting that was the deal breaker for me! They have soft ergonomic handle grips and hardened stainless steel blades which offer superior cutting action. The trick is to always cut in the bottom half part of the scissors and keep the piece moving so you don’t lose momentum in the motion. If you cut using the tip of your scissors and without the continued motion, you won’t have a smooth edge.

UNIQUE Sewing Twizzers – Straight Blades 

This helps me cut small details, but I mostly use it for when the piece is fused and I need to cut out specific areas once I am in the quilting stage of the project. The stainless steel straight blades always cut with precision.

UNIQUE Sewing Bent Tweezers

A must-have! I use it for handling all the small pieces that need to be cut when preparing the fabrics with interfacing. And then I use it once more to position the pieces under the cellophane. And that’s not all! I use them again when quilting my projects to grab my threads (I’ll show you on Friday…. Promise!)

UNIQUE Quilting Wool Pressing Mat – 14″ x 14″ – Grey

This is absolutely my new best friend! The pressing mat is made of premium quality New Zealand wool that is tightly felted and very thick (½’’), and as wool retains heat, it’s like your fabric gets ironed from both sides at the same time. I love it so much; I even got the bigger size, 18″ x 24″, and keep it at all times beside my sewing machine.

UNIQUE QUILTING Double Sided Applique Pressing Sheet – Brown – 18″ x 18″

This is a double-sided pressing sheet that you need to use when bonding interfacing (fusible web, glue or any type of sticky stuff when crafting) with your iron. You place it in between your project and your iron to protect the surface of your iron. You’ll never have to clean a dirty iron again. The applique pressing sheet is easy to clean also! Just rub off the excess glue and you can continue with the next piece!

OLISO PRO TG1600 Pro Plus Smart Iron

And the final must have tools for this project is my OLISO Pro TG 1600 Smart iron. Although I must say that I also used my OLISO M2Pro Mini Project Iron when fusing sections of the mane onto the project.  You can read my thoughts on both irons in one of my previous blog posts here.

Interfacing pieces cut and placed on blue print fabric; HeatnBond Feather Lite Iron-On Adhesive

Pressing the interfacing onto the fabric and cutting on the marks

The next step is to position your interfacing on the back of the fabric, ironing the paper for 2 seconds using a firm pressure in a circular motion. Then cut on your markings.  What I found to be helpful after this is to place the pieces according to their numbers. I made groups of 10 pieces at a time to start positioning them onto the background.

Using the magnifier, KAI scissors and UNIQUE Bent Tweezers to cut small pieces; UNIQUE Lighting Foldable LED Desk Lamp

Using the magnifier to help you cut tiny pieces

Remember how I introduced the UNIQUE Lighting Foldable LED Desk Lamp in Tuesday’s blog? This is just another example of how fantastic this tool really is. I managed to cut tiny pieces perfectly.

Positioning fused fabrics underneath the cellophane with UNIQUE Bent Tweezers

Using the UNIQUE Bent Tweezers to position your fused fabrics

Then comes the fun part of placing the pieces onto the background fabric. I used my UNIQUE Bent Tweezers to position the pieces with the help of the precious cellophane for precise positioning. For this project, I fused the pieces with my OLISO Pro iron every 10 pieces so that they wouldn’t move while I was moving on to the next section.

The final look of the hose art quilt top when all the pieces are fused together

The final layout of the Ariel art quilt pattern

Now that the Ariel art quilt pattern is all pieced with the help of all my perfect tools for detailed appliques, come back tomorrow for the final step of the project: the quilting.

This is part 4 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 3: Marking your interfacing for art quilt appliques

Go to part 5: Must-have tools to guide you through free motion quilting


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