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Applique: Your way!

The best thing about applique is that there are so many different ways to do it! Which technique you choose will depend on several things: time, supplies, preference for hand or machine work and desired appearance.

What does it take to convert an applique pattern from one technique to another? The two main considerations are seam allowances and reversing.

Fusible to Turned Edge

Fused whimsical owls are the star of Swoopers (page 50). If you planned to use a turned-edge technique instead, the biggest change needed is the addition of turn-under allowances. Add turn-under allowances all the way around by cutting 3/16" outside of the lines.

When converting to turned-edge applique, consider softening the lines. The owl's feet are pointy. Alter these for turned-edge applique by making the points more rounded. The quilt maintains its mood and style but is easier to applique.

Look at Everybunny (page 16). The pattern is for fusing. For turned-edge, add a turn-under allowance except for the patch edges that lie under another patch, e.g. the base of each ear goes under the body, so nothing is added there.

When to Reverse

When converting to or from fusible applique, you'll need to think about reversing the shapes unless they are symmetrical. Check for symmetry by imagining a vertical line down the center of the shape. If what's to the left of the line is exactly the same as what's to the right of the line, the shape is symmetrical (like the bunnies)--no reversing needed.

But what if you have a shape like the bird below?

If you'll be fusing the bird, for tracing it must be reversed from the way it will face in the end. (QM's fusible patterns are reversed for you.) For the bird to face right, it must be traced onto the fusible web facing left.

When the web is ironed to the fabric's wrong side and the cut-out bird is fused to the background, it will face right.

How to Reverse

When you need to reverse a pattern to use a different technique, you must "flip" the shape so it comes out correctly oriented.

You can flip any shape using a lightbox or a window. Here's how: Put the shape over the light, facing down. Using a marker, trace the outline on the back side of the paper to get a reversed image. Use this reversed image to create your applique.

Turned Edge to Fusible

Perhaps you love Erin Russek's Sweet Tweets (page 20) but wouldn't think of turning all those edges. To make the pattern fusible friendly, just trace onto fusible web as it is. The shapes are symmetrical and seam allowances are not a concern. Easy as can be!

Just remember, there are two main keys to conversion: seam allowances and reversing. Soon you'll be all ready for applique--your way!

By Diane Harris

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Author:Harris, Diane
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2016
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