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Mysteries of Appliqué

By Sally Cowan, Keeping You In Stitches

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious." Most people feel this way about appliqués. A rather hard word to spell and just as hard to know where to begin.

The best place to start is your child’s coloring book -- a sewer’s dream! The pictures are the right size and the book are full of simple ideas. There’s not too much clutter involved in each picture. While your child is asleep, tear out one picture. More than likely, the next day that will be just the picture she wanted to color. Rushing to the sewing room and locking the door behind you, lay your piece of material right side down on the table. Attach the picture to the back of the fabric with pin. All your work will be done from the picture side.

SampleLet’s pretend the picture is a face of a teddy bear (everyone loves a teddy bear!). Lay a large piece of material over the right side of the material. Both pieces are now right side up with the picture on the back side. Be sure the fabric is covering the area in which you are going to work first. From the picture side and using a small straight stitch, sew around the ears. Trim away the excess.

Next, lay a large piece on the right side again that will cover the face of the teddy bear. Once more, from the picture side, stitch around the face and trim away the excess. The same procedure for the eyes and nose. When your picture is completed, and you have carefully trimmed away any excess fabric, set your machine on zigzag. Using a close zigzag stitch, go around the whole Teddy Bear. The same procedure is followed for lettering. But, be sure the letter is backwards on the back side of the material so it will be the right way when turned over!!

Appliquéing is one of those sewing problems that is easier understood when seen done in person. The main thing to remember is to sew from the picture side. The possibilities are endless and it can be a lot of fun.

Perhaps appliquéing is mysterious, but not impossible!

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