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Wearable Art Part X-- Appliqué
By Kathleen Brown, Of My Hands



There are many books on the market today, dealing with both the tried-and-true techniques of our grandmothers and the techniques made possible by the newest inventions of recent years.  Therefore, I will not detail all of the techniques here, but I do encourage you to check out your favorite book stores, fabric and quilt shops, the many catalogues on the market and in your mailbox, local quilt guild libraries, friends' collections, and classes offered in your communities.

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Machine Appliqué:

What works for me: Place a piece of typing weight paper (junk mail works great) underneath the background fabric, next to your machine's feed dogs.   When zigzagging, have the entire stitch width on the appliqué. The paper is torn away once you have zigzagged your appliqué into place.

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Hand Appliqué:

I like fusible interfacing appliqué  technique. Cut your appliqué shape out of the fabric you desire and out of a piece of fusible interfacing. With the right side of your appliqué facing the non-fusible side of the interfacing, stitch these pieces together. Make a slit in the interfacing; turn the appliqué right side out, through the slit. Fuse the appliqué into place, making sure the interfacing is not showing. Now your appliqué is ready to hand stitch into place, using either an invisible slip stitch or a fancy embroidery stitch.

Shadow Appliqué:Wearable10a.jpg (45805 bytes)

Talk about the easiest way to appliqué! Cut out your desired appliqué, position it on the background fabric and cover it with a transparent piece of fabric. Organdy, voile, dotted Swiss, and other transparent fabrics will work. Now stitch, using a small running stitch, just on the outside of your appliqué piece to hold it in position. You can also add stitching to the appliqué piece itself if desired. This will add depth to your finished appliqué piece.

I find that if I use bright colors for the appliqués, they show up better as the sheer fabric will act as a shadow, dulling the appliqués. This technique can create a wonderful dream-like image.

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