Updated: Jul 6, 2022
How about a cute and festive project to learn fusible machine applique? The days are getting shorter already and the nights have a little nip to them… I’m super bummed about both of these changes. I spent the evening lounging by my new backyard fire pit, so if Fall has to creep in, I’ll be waiting for it in the backyard :)
There are many different ways to applique, I am not an expert at all of them, but I thought I would share one of the easier ones today! I will probably do a few guest posts on the others, like hand applique (who has time for that?). Those of you who hand applique have my deepest respect. Someday, I will sit at your feet and you can teach me your ways! Haha!
I made this table runner out of strips of orange fabric ranging in width from 1.25”-3”. I sewed them together at random until it was long enough for the table. The final measurement is 16” x 48”. I quilted it with straight lines for texture and bound it off before doing the applique jack-o-lantern on each end (usually I would do this before, but today seemed like a day for mixing it up).
Click to enlarge
I did the jack-o-lantern faces using Wonder-Under Fusible Web. This has a paper side that peels away once it has been pressed to fabric, then the exposed side can be pressed to another fabric. Trace your image on the paper side of the web. (You can download my jack-o-lantern template here.) I traced two full pumpkins and two sets of face pieces for the runner (set the full pumpkins aside for the bonus project).
Press the face pieces onto the back of the black fabric (hold the iron in place for a 5-6 seconds on each piece). Cut out the face pieces on the traced lines.
Peel the paper backing off the pieces and arrange web side down on the table runner. Press in place, holding the iron in each spot for several seconds (using steam is sometimes helpful at this point).
Now to stitch them in place! I do a satin stitch for most of my fusible applique. Satin stitch is a very tight zigzag. If your machine has digital settings or a way to adjust the stitch width and length, you should be able to do a nice satin stitch. I set my width at just under 3 and my length at .4 (your machine’s numbers may be different). You will want to do a few practice stitches to adjust your stitches to look like one smooth line instead of a zigzag with spaces between the stitches
Once you have the stitch set right, you will start along one edge with your needle down just on the outside of the fused on piece. The needle should swing up and into the piece catching as much of the piece as the stitch width allows. When you get to an outside corner, drop your needle on the outside (right side) before pivoting. When you get to an inside corner, drop your needle to the inside (left side). Work your way around each piece overlapping the ends to secure the stitch.
You can make the satin stitch come to a fine point by shrinking the stitch width as you go into a tiny area. Pivot at the point, and then widen the stitch, little by little, as you come back out on the next side.
Did you know you can use fusible applique on paper as well as fabric?! Here I used those two full-size pumpkins pressed onto orange fabric, cut out and then pressed onto paper bags to make light up jack-o-lanterns. Just cut out the face pieces and put a tea light inside! Or, line with a cellophane bag for a cute way to pack your treats :) ...not candy corn though, that stuff will shorten your lifespan!
What do you think? Ready to start the festive season?! I hope you enjoy!
Happy Sunday, everyone!
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