Fioriani Stitch and Wash Applique

>> Saturday, July 24, 2010

Necessity is the mother of invention? How about desperation?

Lately I've been frustrated with my applique. When I've worked on more challenging patterns (with very small pieces or tight curves) I haven't been satisfied with the results. So I've tried different methods, combined methods and made up methods! I hate to think of all the fabric I've wasted!

But I've finally come up with a system that works for me and thought I'd share it with you in case it might be helpful.

First I start with Floriani Stitch N Wash Fusible. You can get it at Red Rock Threads and other places. This is a wonder product.

I first learned of it through Kelly at Don't Look Now. She used Floriani with a glue stick to make orange peel blocks. She ironed shapes cut from the Floriani on the back of fabric and then used a glue stick to turn the seam allowance. I found my orange peel blocks looked best if I finger pressed the pieces before applying the glue. While I enjoyed having the pieces already "turned", I didn't like the mess of the glue. I also didn't like the inaccuracy and time consuming process of tracing patterns on the Floriani.

After brainstorming I discovered a solution to both issues.

First I start with an 8.5x11 inch piece of Floriani. I like to use my rotary cutter and the template Soft Expressions sells to cut out my pieces . I found I can cut as many as three at time.

I iron an 8.5x11 inch piece of freezer paper on the non-glue side of the Floriani. The glue side is somewhat shiny as the photo shows. Iron on a hard surface that will not absorb the glue. I use a piece of tile. Only iron the freezer paper  a few seconds, long enough to stick to the paper lightly.

Now I can run the Floriani through my printer with the ink printing on the glue side.  I know this sounds backwards, but stick with me. (If you need to reverse your pattern, do so before printing)

Then I carefully peel the freezer paper off the Floriani. It should easily peel off. This freezer paper can be reused several times. You should now have your pattern printed on the glue side of the Floriani.

Cut out your pieces and iron the Floriani to the back of your fabric. That means the printed side/glue side will be in contact the back of your fabric. Be careful,  it's not easy removing the Floriani from your hot iron (ask me how I know).  Now you can cut out the pieces adding your seam allowance.

At this point I attach the pieces to my background and needle turn the seam allowances over the Floriani edges. Works like a charm. The Floriani is light weight and most of it washes out with hot water and soap. When I compare pieces that used Floriani and those that didn't I really can't tell a difference. And that's before washing. There is no stiffness and when the piece is held to a light there is no difference. I really love this product.

I have a confession to make that may sound loony. Instead of using little applique pins to secure a piece to the background I use a staple! It holds the piece tightly, there is no shifting and they are easily removed. They also don't catch your thread. A stapler obviously wouldn't work with a fabric like silk but it's worked well with my cottons.

Have fun trying something new!


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