With applique, fabrics can really make the project and fussy cutting makes a big impact! One of the fun things about applique is that you can use fabric motifs to your advantage. Fussy cutting means that you can selectively showcase one area of the fabric in your applique or quilt block. Although you can use printed templates, a stitched template is even more accurate.
In this blog, Bonnie showed you how to use a printed template to fussy cut a mitten applique using her Christmas Cookies set. Another way is to use a medium tearaway or cutaway stabilizer and stitch out the template.
Stitching a Machine Embroidery Applique Template
A beach project I created for Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine utilized a stabilizer template for perfect fussy cutting of a scenic sky fabric. Instead of stitching clouds and gulls on the piece, I had a pretty piece of fabric that I wanted to use.
A sunhat was appliqued over the sky and ocean. To take full advantage of the gorgeous fabric, I needed to be able to place it where it could be seen best with regard to the sunhat.
The scene was pieced in the hoop. The sky was placed and tacked down first, followed by a placement stitch, tack down, and eventual satin-stitched edge for the applique hat.
I hooped the stabilizer for the template and skipped through the design to the placement stitches of the sky and hat circle. Runing those two placement stitches, without thread, allowed me to see exactly where the sky fabric would show.
I cut out the sky area in the stabilizer, making a stencil with which to create the exact placement of sky fabric.
When positioned where I wanted it, I marked the corners of the cutout on the sky fabric so that I could line up the sky fabric within the project.
I hooped stabilizer and stitched the project. After placement lines for the sky stitched on a low-loft batting, it was time to line up the sky fabric that I had marked.
I placed thumbtacks pointing up from the back of the hooped stabilizer at all four corners. It was easy to lay the sky fabric in the hoop, lining up the marked corners with the corner points of the thumbtacks. After securing the fabric in place, I removed the thumbtacks and continued stitching the project.
You can use this technique for exact positioning of any applique, quilt block, or pieced in-the-hoop project.
Sew Inspired by Bonnie