Thursday 16 July 2015

Applique ....

In its broadest sense, an appliqué is a smaller ornament or device applied to another surface. The technique is very common in some kinds of textiles, but may be applied to many materials. In the context of ceramics, for example, an appliqué is a separate piece of clay added to the primary work, generally for the purpose of decoration.
The term is borrowed from French and, in this context, means "applied" or "thing that has been applied." Appliqué is a surface pattern that is used to decorate an aspect of a garment or product.

I simply love doing applique both the more original needle turn way and the way that I sometimes do it if stitching something like a roof on a cottage or around an animal. ( I will explain as we go on)

Firstly applique cutting out.  Now I draw my designs onto paper and then I photo copy the drawing, this is so that I keep the original and then I can cut out the components on the photocopy and do not loose the design.  If you want to you can use a design and trace it or indeed draw your own.

You then, with paper scissors, NOT your needle work scissors, need to cut it out carefully.  When you have decided on the fabrics, pin your patterns onto the fabric and cut around it leaving a small hem around as when you turn some fabric under you will loose the size of the object.

When you have cut out I always finger press the hem so that when you pin your piece to applique you have already turned the fabric and this makes it a lot easier, then put your work in an embroidery hoop to hold your fabric tightly.  Then you thread the needle and with tiny stitches in invisible hem stitch you stitch around the object you have cut out.

Sometime I embroider the piece in place with split stitch or stem stitch to give it some character.  Around an animal it almost then looks like fur or on a roof top to look like a thatch on a cottage.

Always use good quality thread and if using the invisible needle turn method then find matching colour threads which helps with the concealment as well.

You can combine applique with embroidery and this makes for a beautiful blend I always think.  I always buy applique needles and applique pins to help with my work.  You can see from the picture that the pins are tiny, which helps with little bits of fabric and also to be neat and accurate in your pinning.

If there is one thing that I can not stress enough is the embroidery hoop.  This keeps your fabric taught and really helps keep your stitches tiny and neat and this is something that you really should have in your tool box.  I have several sizes and  they are invaluable to me.  I always take my hoop off at the end of the day so that the mark from the hoop gets time to relax away.

I hope that you have enjoyed this small look into applique and that it has helped some of you that have enquired.  I thought is a good idea to do a small blog on the subject to help you all.

I am doing some applique today on my banner and hope to bring you some going along pictures this week if possible.  I have taken pictures along the way.{ there was a blip which stopped play}

Have a great day and Happy Stitching!

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