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“F” Applique – Make your own words

Do you ever find yourself thinking “I wonder how I could make my own words or letter” for an applique project?  I have a method for creating words, any words, in just the perfect font you want, and turning them into fabulous fusible fabric.  Here’s how I do it.

If you’ve been following along for the past couple weeks, you know that I’m sharing all my tippy top tips and tricks for “F”un applique.  And if your experience with applique has been some “F” word other than FUN, then you’ve come to the right place.  I want to show you that it is a fun, fantastic technique that is very user friendly.

And, since it’s 4:33pm as I sit down to write this post, I’m gonna be brief.  I pick up my peanuts (little boys) in 15 minutes . . . . this will really test my get-to-the-point skills.

So, you want to create your own words or letters, and you don’t want to embroider them.  Follow these steps and you’ll open up endless possibilities for fabric-word creations.

  • grab your computer or tablet that is connected to a printer (very important)
  • open up a program which you can create letters, documents, etc.
  • open a new document and type the word you want on the screen
  • highlight the word and change the font until you find the font/look you want – –wording 3 - Copy here’s my “welcome” in a font I like
  • next widen the stroke of the text – I put the stroke at 3 to make it bolder, like this: wording 4 - Copy
  • then widen the word until it is wide enough for your space: wording 2 - Copy

 

  • then mirror the entire word:  wording 5 so you can use it with fusible web.

 

  • last, print it out, trace and use!

I hope this all makes sense . . . . my 15 minutes are up!

I’d love to hear your comments and feedback.

 

Tips for Better Applique

“F” Applique! Which Fusible Web Do I Use?

Trick #2 – Which Fusible Web Do I Use?
Make the “F” stand for “FUN”

My tippy top tricks for making fusible applique fun.

Applique (fusible, that is) should not be hard or hated.  Definitely not hated.  And if you’re going to use an “F” word to describe it, let it be only 3 letters, F. U. N.   Having designed over 200 applique patterns, and machine appliqued nearly all of them, I am pretty stinkin’ good at it.  Practice does make perfect better (let’s not use the word perfect for now) and I would love to share with you the tricks I’ve developed/discovered. . . by the way, these are in no specific order of importance.

Trick #2 – Which Fusible Web Do I Use?  
“Oh fusible web, you are my “applique BFF””.  And no, that’s not the basting spray fumes getting to me.  I love fusible web and without it, I personally would not be the self-proclaimed applique queen.  One of our readers left us a comment about their “f” in applique, and it said “trying to choose a fusible that works”.  So, I’m addressing this topic in today’s tippy top trick.

Here in my sewing studio, I do one type of applique only and it involves using a fusible web.   It makes my applique projects much more fun than if I were not using it . .. . uh, in all honesty I don’t have a clue what I would use if it were not an available tool.  I should back up a bit and say there are other methods of “applique” that do not involve some type of fusible web, such as needle turn.  They are not my cup of tea, however, so I stick to what I enjoy and that’s fusible web.

So, let’s get down to the meat here.  Which FW do I use and why?  I use Heat ‘n Bond Lite.  The company does not pay me to any degree to say that, rather I’m telling you what I use 99% of the time.  I’ll list my reasons for loving this product:
Pros:
* it’s a paper backed FW which is easily drawn upon with a pencil, pen or marker
* the paper and the fusible substance do not separate when handling the product
* it only takes a few seconds to heat up and fuse to the fabric
it does not leave a gummy residue on your needle!  this should be a the top of the list
* they have a heavy version of it, which does not require stitching to keep your piece in place – I find it perfect for tiny, detailed pieces that are too tedious to stitch around – such as the stars and bats on these “Scary Buddies”.
Cons:
* fusible side is not tacky, so when you place your applique pieces on backgrounds, they will not stay in place until you fuse them with an iron . . . . . but this does not bother me, though I listed it as a con for your information

Other FW’s I have tried:  Steam a Seam – and I gave it a good shot, really I did.  Using it with wool applique, I thought it might offer an advantage over the H&B by having my pieces lightly stick to the background before I fused them with my iron.  But, I personally did not care for it.  My biggest complaint was that I had a gummy feel to every needle I stitched through it, hand or machine.  And, I thought it took forever to heat it up and fuse with my iron, and that was accounting for the extra thickness of wool.  So . . . . the only FW I have found that works for me is Heat n Bond Lite.  The bolt even says it’s “made in USA”.  I’ve no idea if other FW’s are, but it’s another “pro” to add to this self-proclaimed applique queen’s list.

Sew, which fusible web do I use?  Heat n Bond Lite.

I want to know what makes applique fun or frustrating for you.

Please share your “F”s about applique – be it “fun” or not-so.   Leave a comment for a chance to win a “Scary Buddies” pattern.  We’ll draw at least 1 winner on Wednesday Feb 24th from all the “F” comments.  Ha Ha.  The more “f” comments we receive, the more patterns we’ll give away! So share and comment and get everyone else to share their applique “f”s.

Ooh Ooh! We’ve added “Pinterest” pin buttons to every item on our website. So, please feel free to pin everything you love and wish for. Oh go ahead and get pin happy.  Pin pin pin pin pin.

Tips for Better Applique

My tippy top tricks for making fusible applique fun – TRICK #1

logo-squareApplique (fusible, that is) should not be hard or hated.  Definitely not hated.  And if you’re going to use an “F” word to describe it, let it be only 3 letters, F. U. N.   Having designed over 200 applique patterns, and machine appliqued nearly all of them, I am pretty stinkin’ good at it.  Practice does make perfect better (let’s not use the word perfect for now) and I would love to share with you one of the tricks I’ve developed/discovered

 

Trick #1 – Don’t start, stop, start, stop, start, stop.

When you have a shape that has other pieces that overlap it here and there, you don’t have to stop and tie off when you come to the overlapping piece.  Let me explain using my little bird on a branch below.  Here’s how I appliqued around the entire branch without stopping and moving my needle to the next point, leaving threads to clip and tie off.

Little Birdie is featured in 2 patterns: MM905 Little Birdie table runner & MM9T2 Tah-Dah Towels for Spring
Little Birdie is featured in 2 patterns: MM905 Little Birdie table runner & MM9T2 Tah-Dah Towels for Spring
  1. I started at the “start here” spot.  Using a blanket stitch, I stitched up to the pink flower (left) and stop
  2. Put my needle in the up position
  3. I switch my machine to a straight stitch (noting your blanket stitch settings so you won’t forget)
  4. Then, manually place my needle just to the left of the pink flower and straight stitched along (but not on) the pink flower until I reach where I begin blanket stitching the branch again, and stop
  5. Put my needle in the up position
  6. Switch my machine back to the blanket stitch (use same settings as before)

Continue blanket stitching on the branch. Then I came to the bird body which overlaps the branch just a bit.  Again, I follow these steps and continued this process all the way around the entire branch until I got back to the starting point.  My very rudamentary yellow drawings here, show my path.  Sorry about the chicken-scratch look, but you get the jist.

I love this trick because

  •  save time by not having to go back and clip all those pesky threads.
  • I don’t have several threads to clip, just 2 at the start/stop point (and 2 on the back side)
  • I don’t waste lots of thread that would be those long strands of loose threads if I were to stop, tie off (or backstitch), move my needle/project to the next spot, and begin stitching again.

It just looks sharper and cleaner.

??’s – One big question that will eventually pop into your brain is: “But won’t my stitches show around the flowers, especially if I’ve stitched over that same path 2 or more times?”
No.  As long as you stitch over the same path, they will not show up when you’re all finished.  In this particular case, the branch is the first thing I blanket stitched, so the blanket stitching around the flowers, leaves and bird covered it up.  But use common sense: if you stitch black thread on white fabric, then yeah the stitching will show up.  I use this trick ALL the time and I’ve NEVER once regretted it.  And, I’ve shown this trick to many guilds and then asked folks if they can see where I “did my trick”.  Nope.  No one can see it.  Tah Dah!  Success.

So, that’s one of my applique tricks.

Please share with me one of your “F”s about applique – be it “fun” or not-so.  I want to know what makes applique fun or frustrating for you.  Leave a comment below for a chance to win a “Little Birdie” pattern (table runner or towel).  We’ll draw a winner on Wednesday Feb 17th from all the “F” comments.  Ha Ha.

My Favorites for the Season

Easter Project Suggestions

Can you really whip up an adorable Easter project in just a day?

Yes we can! Yes you can!
Oops, I have seen way too many political campaign ads in the past few months, living in Iowa . .. .

Easter is early this year.  March 27th to be exact.
So if you’re looking for a new Easter or spring project to stitch up in a jiffy, may I offer a few “sunny” suggestions. Click on images to shop.

Ooh Ooh! We’ve added “Pinterest” pin buttons to every item on our website. So, please feel free to pin everything you love and wish for. Oh go ahead and get pin happy.  Pin pin pin pin pin.

All of these projects are available thru ANY awesome quilt shop that carries Patch Abilities products. Please, if at all possible, drive or surf(the internet) to your local quilt shop and purchase locally.  Can’t stress “shop local” enough. 
Now, if you live in the sticks or if your local shop does not carry our products, then by all means, shop with us. (stepping down from soapbox now)

The 1st and probably my favorite is
MM804 Bunny Got Back
he finishes at 6″ x 12″ and has 2 hanging/display options: on your table with a stand (with interchangable headers) or on your wall with a 6″ hanger. 


Don’t forget the cute buttons for the flowers and eggs – he’ll look like he’s sitting in a green puddle otherwise.
$9 – pattern, $18.08  – pattern + buttons
$8.38 carrot hanger, or $9.84 carrot header (stand required)


How about a table runner?
MM904 Bunny Basket
finishes at 12″ x 40″ and the pattern has a “super simple” stamp on it – it’s true. This is a perfect beginner-friendly whip it up project.

$9.00  – pattern



There’s even a corresponding towel pattern:


$9.00  – pattern


And last, here are some of my long-skinny wall hangings that helped put Patch Abilities on the quilt map.
All of these finish at 6″ x 22″, except for Chocolate Bunny – he is 6″ x 20″.
Click on any image to shop

               
$9.00  –  each pattern
You’ll of course need a handy way of hanging any of these little cuties . . . . say something like . . . oh I don’t know . . . a hanger.

We won’t make you go hunting for an adorable hanger, no sir-ee.  We have those available too.  Yep-er-ree-do! We sure do.  When you click on an image, you’ll zoom over to that page on our website.  We have convenient purchase options in the dropdown menus.

So, there ya have it.  All of my favorite Easter projects.  Of course, I’ve done all of these . . . . . how many will you do?
Wishing you happy stitchin!
~Julie

Psst . . . if, you really really love the fabrics you see here in our samples, I have a secret source for the fabric kits. 
As you may know, my Mom owns an awesome quilt shop near Jesup, Iowa.  Merry’s Stitchins. And it just so happens that I create all of my new designs from her fabrics . . . . so she has all of THE fabric kits. 

Whiz on over to Merry’s Stitchins by clicking here.

Or, give them a call to place your order immediately.
319-827-6703