Thursday, February 19, 2015

TUTORIAL: Cutting Multiples of Fusible Shapes

I know a lot of people love the look of applique and then decide it is too much work. 
Well nothing good comes from NO work but today I want to show a way to make it a bit less:)
Usually patterns that call for fusible applique have you trace each piece separately onto the paper-backed fusible you are using, cut each template out, fuse it to the wrong side of the fabric, and then you cut the actual fused fabric template out.  A lot of my patterns are written this way but most of my patterns are small wall hangs and it is the more accurate way.  I personally don't mind sitting and tracing/cutting whilst watching a great movie or two:) 

Today let's do things a bit differently....
Step 1.  The first bit of information you will need is the actual size of your template. In the photo above the template is 1-3/8" long x not quite 3/4" wide. For ease of my demo, I am using a precut 2-1/2" strip.  When measuring your template and cutting your strips, leave a little extra...  The actual strip would be cut @ 1-3/4" wide.  
Step 2.  You will cut your fabric strips up to a 1/2" wider than needed and your fusible an 1/8" narrower than your fabric strip. 
Actual fusible cut @ 1-5/8" wide for this template.  Cutting the fusible narrower allows that bit of wiggle room so that you aren't fusing glue to your ironing board...Ask me how I know:)
Step 3.  Cut strip into sections that are the size needed for your template. Remember earlier I said the Actual template is 1-3/8" x not quite 3/4".  I will cut my sections at 1-3/4" x 7/8". 
Make a FREEZER paper template and iron it to the right side of one section. Make sure all sections are fabric side up or you may inadvertently get a reverse piece where you didn't want one.
Step 4.  Cutting: I can cut up to 4 sections at a time with a wonderful pair of scissors with serrated edges which help to grip the fabric as it cuts. 
The other way I keep a good grip is with a small binder clip.  BINDER CLIPS ARE YOUR FRIEND! You could pin your layers but pinning tends to distort the stack.
Cut one side of the templates just to the outside of that Freezer paper template. 
In the photo, you only see the binder clip but remember you will be holding the rest of the stack with your non-cutting hand so slipping should NOT be an issue.  Gripping the stack of sections well, carefully reposition the binder clip to the other side and cut.

Remove your Freezer paper template and Ta-Da, 4 for the work of one.  Repeat this process for as many pieces as pattern calls for. When you are done cutting applique pieces, proceed to the next step of your applique process.

In these last two photos I wanted to show you to think beyond the rigid straight up and down positioning of templates.
In the top photo you will see that this template is longer than 3" and my strip is a 2-1/2" precut.  It will use up more fabric to cut my sections to fit this almost 3-1/2" template. 
In the bottom photo, I can rotate the template to fit within the 3" x 2-1/4" (fusible) and this may allow me to cut at least one more from this strip than doing it straight. 
A note about templates being reversed...
Since you are working on the right side of the fabrics, no need to reverse templates unless needed for mirror images or the pattern has already reversed them. 
Remember that most of the time the pattern templates are reversed so that you get Exactly what you are seeing on the cover.  It would not matter if things were done the other direction unless there is lettering.  So don't spend time worrying about whether you remembered to reverse or not.  Use all the templates the same way and you will have a lovely applique quilt when you are done!

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