Today I am starting a new series of posts I am calling Appliqué Lessons. This is just a brief primer on my preferred method of appliqué which is sometimes called “starch and press”. I LOVE this method of appliqué because it gives you a lot of control over your shapes and I can sometimes be a little, shall we say, anal about things.
I designed a block that demonstrates a variety of techniques I use in my designs to help you learn this method of appliqué. (You can download it here) This is my first attempt at putting a file (it’s a pdf) on my blog so I would appreciate it if you could contact me if you have any problems. Just leave a comment by clicking on the comment button below this post. Also, if you like this block you can make three more to create this little quilt. (The individual block size is 9", the quilt @ 40")
Lesson One: Gather Your Supplies
Here is a list of supplies I use in almost every appliqué project.
1. Liquid Starch: I use Stay-Flo because that is the only brand my grocery store carries. I like this because it doesn’t have much of an odor and I am very sensitive to perfumes etc. I dilute the starch 1:5. To do this I use a plastic bottle with marking on the side. Some people like more starch, I prefer my shapes to be on the soft side.
2. Stencil Brushes: You can get these at pretty much any hobby store. You have to play around with which size works best for each design but I generally use the smalls and mediums.
3. Templar or heat resistant Mylar: You can find these in your local quilt store or online at Karen Kay Buckley’s website (she has pretty much everything you might need there)
4. Mettler 60wt cotton embroidery thread (the green label Mettler) I usually match my thread color to the appliqué shape.
5. Thread Heaven: This is a thread conditioner that helps keep your thread from knotting up.
6. Bias Bars: there are a variety of bias stem making notions out there. I have the old fashioned metal kind. I mostly use the smaller ones.
7. Clover Bias Tape Maker: I like this for stems ¼” or more but not for smaller ones.
8. I have a special tool for turning points under that I can’t find anymore. Toothpicks work great for this. If I find it again I will post it here.
9. Pressing surface: I wrote about making these in this post.
10. Good Iron: I like to use a regular iron. Although they make some very nice small ones for appliqué I have had success with my standard iron (just be careful about too much steam and getting your fingers too close)
11. Perfect Circles (from Karen Kay Buckley) or some other heat resistant Mylar circle notion.