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Color your free motion quilting for the instant look of applique

 

Yesterday I used a variety of methods to create our very own custom fabric simply and easily by drawing and coloring on cotton fabric.

For today’s post I’ll free motion quilt a design and then use the FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers to color the design for the appearance of instant applique. Let’s begin.

 

The look of applique without taking an extra stitch
The look of applique without taking an extra stitch

 

The correct batting, thread and needles-oh so important

It’s important that you choose a quilt batting that will be thick enough to absorb some of the color from your pens without bleeding through to the back.

I used Soft & Toasty natural cotton quilt batting from Fairfield. This is a low loft cotton batting that has been needled with a light scrim. The scrim adds strength but also helps stop the batting from absorbing too much ink.

I wanted a bit of a puffy appearance to show off the stitching so I used two layers of Soft & Toasty.

 

Fairfield Soft & Toasty Natural cotton quilt batting
Fairfield Soft & Toasty Natural cotton quilt batting

 

For this technique I like to use 50 weight cotton thread for my stitching. It gives a nice outline to the design and is thick enough that I can feel it with my pen to help me stay within the lines. It also acts as a barrier to stop the ink from bleeding.

In today’s samples I used GÜTERMANN 50 weight cotton thread and a SCHMETZ size 11 quilting needle.

The quilting needle pierces the fabric quickly for nice even stitching.

I especially love the look of the GÜTERMANN variegated thread Coffee & Cream as it adds a subtle warmth with just the right amount of light and dark.

 

GÜTERMANN Variegated 50wt cotton - Coffee & Cream
GÜTERMANN Variegated 50wt cotton – Coffee & Cream

 

To practice my techniques I free motion quilted a simple allover floral design.

 

Simple uncolored floral design stitched with GÜTERMANN 50wt cotton Coffee & Cream
Simple uncolored floral design stitched with GÜTERMANN 50wt cotton Coffee & Cream

 

Next I added color to the flowers.

Look how beautiful a simple design becomes with a little bit of color.

Because the outline of the design is stitched you really have to look closely to see that this in not an applique.

 

Look how beautiful a simple design becomes with a little bit of color
Look how beautiful a simple design becomes with a little bit of color

 

Next I stitched an improvisational free motion with flowers and leaves.
It’s so much fun to just stitch away without any pre-planning!

If this makes you uncomfortable then just use your favorite marking tool to mark your desired design prior to stitching.

Remember… you can use your FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers to color any type of design.
Animals, birds, buildings and more.

I’m using flowers for my examples because I’m excited for Spring!

 

An improvisational free motion quilting design with leaves and flowers waiting for color
An improvisational free motion quilting design with leaves and flowers waiting for color

 

Here’s the same design colored for the look of instant applique.

I played with drawn lines, spots and dots, layering colors and different shading techniques.

Don’t forget that your pens each have a thick and a thin tip so you can color large areas or easily work on tiny details.

It’s fun to leave some of the background showing for sparkle or even color outside the lines..

All of the techniques I’ve shown you so far this week can be put to use here.

What a difference color makes to the design!

 

What a difference color makes!
What a difference color makes!

 

Store your pens flat between uses for longer lasting life. I’ve done a lot of coloring with mine and they’re still going strong.

 

Store your FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers flat when not in use for longer life.
Store your FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers flat when not in use for longer life.

 

Of course you can color more than just the inside of the areas that you quilted. You can color the background too!

I like to leave a little of the background showing through is spots to look like there is light shining through.

You can color your designs completely for solid color if you prefer.

 

Yes, you can color the background too!
Yes, you can color the background too!

 

Up to now, I have been showing you how to work with basic white fabric.

For the fifth and final post for the week, l’ll show you how to use our FABRIC FUN Fabric Markers to accent colored fabric for hand or machine applique.

See you then.

 

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: 5 ways to create your very own fabric designs using fabric markers

Julie Plotniko is a quilting teacher, blogger and designer from Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Teaching for almost 40 years, recent credits include Quilt Canada 2016 and 2017, many quilt guilds and groups throughout Canada and CreativFestival Sewing and Craft Shows in Victoria, Abbotsford and Toronto. When not on the road Julie works and teaches at Snip & Stitch Sewing Center in Nanaimo, BC. Her favorite things include free motion quilting (standard bed and mid-arm machines), precision piecing, scrap quilting, machine embroidery, blogging, designing and of course teaching. Julie believes that to see a student go from tentative beginnings to having confidence in themselves and their abilities is one of the greatest rewards that life has to offer.

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