How to do Pre Cut Pre Fused Applique
So, what exactly ARE "pre-fused, laser-cut kits?" These are raw-edge appliqué kits that have all the appliqué pieces already perfectly cut out for you! This is done with the most extreme precision, using an industrial laser machine. They come with a fusible adhesive already applied to the back of the fabric, so all you have to do is peel off the paper backing, iron down the pieces, and do the fun part...SEW!
Laser-cut quilt blocks are a new trend that makes appliqué quilting quick, easy and achievable to everyone. If you have always admired appliqué, but have been afraid to try it, this is a great way to attempt it for the first time. Not only is it great for beginner appliqué, but many experienced appliqué enthusiasts love this process as well. Since the fabric selection, the drawing, the fusing, and the cutting is all done for you, this method is also a great time-saving method for busy people.
No work—all fun!
Wow! It's all cut out for me?!
When you first open your kit, it will look something like this.
The appliqué shapes have paper-backed fusible attached to the back side of the fabric. To release the paper backing, scratch the paper in the center with a long straight pin to get an opening--then carefully pull away the paper from each shape. They also may have a few little tabs that need to be cut-- this prevents small pieces from getting lost. A few little snips with small sharp scissors releases them from the larger fabric piece. Try to pull the paper backing off BEFORE snipping the pieces out!
You can see from this photo that some of the appliqué shapes have had the tabs cut so you can see the actual shapes.
Place your background fabric on top of your pattern. Use a small dab from a water soluble glue stick to hold each appliqué shape in place using your pattern as a guide for placement. If the pattern design does not show through your background fabric, you can use a light box for easier placement.
In most cases, the pieces just touch or slightly overlap. The stems should slightly tuck under
at each end.
When you are happy with your placements, fuse the shapes in place according to the directions on your fusible product. Not all products will work properly with a hot iron so if you are unsure, use a scrap piece to test until you are satisfied with the results . Use a lift and lower motion so that the pieces do not shift before they are fully fused. NOTE: if there are places that do not want to stick, simply use a touch of glue to hold them in place until they are stitched.
Time to sew!
The block shown to the right has been fused and is ready for stitching. A thin tear away stabilizer is a good idea to insure the stitching stays smooth. Once stitched it can easily be removed. The most common stitches used in fusible machine appliqué are the satin stitch, the zig zag stitch, and the buttonhole stitch.
In the photo below is a very narrow zig zag stitch with a regular sewing thread in a color that matched the fabric color, or was just slightly darker to outline the shapes. Each machine is different, so it is best to make a sample--you want the stitch to be just off the edge of the shape and bite into the shape by about one-eighth of an inch.
A satin stitch (a closer zig zag) also looks very nice, but takes longer and uses more thread. In both cases, when you use these types of stitches, you stop with the needle down on the outside of an outside curved shape and and vice versa for an inside curved shape.
When you come to a point, such as at the tip of a leaf, you can taper the zig zag stitch if you have that option on your machine.
You also need to lower your tension (go to a lower number on the tension dial) and use a lower pressure, so that the fabric can be turned easily. A knee lift on your machine is very useful to help you turn the fabric as you sew around the curves and indentations (but not necessary.)
In some places, there is a small blanket stitch around the outside of some of the shapes. The blanket stitch should just touch the outside of the shape and take a very small bite (about one-eighth of an inch) into the shape. This will be enough to hold the shape in place and keep it from fraying.
When using a blanket stitch, try to have one stitch right at the tip--there should be three stitches at the point--the two outside ones form a V with one stitch right at the point in the middle of the V.
A combination of the two stitches (zig zag and blanket) can be used to add a bit of interest to the look of the appliqué.
This block is partly stitched--it is shown here so that you can see that it does wrinkle up a little. That much seemed acceptable, and with pressing, it became perfectly flat after the stitching was completed. It is shown here so that you won't worry! Just try pressing as you go along, to make sure that the final project will lie nice and flat. Then, when you quilt around the shapes later, that will give dimension to the shapes--everything looks better when it is quilted!
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