Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Block #3 Maple Leaf

We will now do Block #3. It is called Maple Leaf. Maple trees are abundant in our country. In fact, we even use it on our flag to symbolize our nation. Japan has maple trees too. I love the lace-like leaves of the Japanese Maples! I have included this block to show our similarities. We will begin by hand appliqueing the stem to one of the corner units of this block.
Hand Applique - Freezer Paper Method - Part I

Hand applique is a lot of fun. This is the method which I use for beginners. First find the pattern piece that you wish to applique. Next take the freezer paper. You will notice that it has a waxy side and a dull side. Place the freezer paper waxy side down over the pattern. Trace the pattern onto the back of the freezer paper with a pencil.

Next, cut the pattern out on the drawn line.
Place the freezer paper piece onto the back side of the fabric you wish to use for the stem. (green) With an iron set to the cotton setting, press the freezer paper to the back of the fabric. (The nice thing about freezer paper is that it can be re-used. If you have made a mistake placing the freezer paper piece on the wrong fabric or if you want to re-position it, you can just take it off and iron it again.) Then cut the piece out, leaving a scant 1/4inch seam allowance around the entire piece.

Now turn the edges down over the freezer paper and baste. Use a large running stitch. Some people like to press the piece at this point, but I find that isn't really necessary.

Once the piece has been basted, place it on the background fabric as directed in the pattern. In this case it will go diagonally across the piece. Pin it in place. This is the bias of the background fabric so be careful not to stretch it.

You are now ready to start sewing. Work from right to left if you are right handed. Try to use a thread colour that closely matches the colour of the piece being appliqued. I am using a contrasting colour so you can see it. At least I hope you can see it! Knot the end of the single thread and bring it from the back to the front catching the applique piece by about two threads. I know this doesn't sound like much, but you don't want huge stitches to show on the front. Next, bring to needle down into the background fabric right beside where you just came up in the applique piece. Run the needle along on the back, coming up a short stitch farther and again taking about two threads of the applique piece.

Please go to Hand Applique Part II for more photos. Blogger would only let me put this many on this post.

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