Looking to save money and boost creativity? This tip shows you how to do both!
GlitterFlex heat transfer vinyl can be used with machine embroidery applique, just like fabric. You can cut shapes from GlitterFlex with your cutting machine too. It has a lot of different uses, but it's really fun with embroidery.
After trimming applique made with GlitterFlex, I have lots of little leftover scraps. GlitterFlex is not real cheap, it's kind of pricey. I didn't want to throw scraps away, but they're not quite big enough for most of my applique pieces. So when I got this tip from Terry Manning, I was really excited about it. Not only will it save people money, it brings another element of creativity to our embroidery.
"Different colors of GlitterFlex can be added to butterflies. It doesn't matter if they overlap because the black veins will secure them." Wow, Terry. That's a great idea. She didn't give me a whole lot of details, so I went to my sewing room and I experimented a little bit.
Preparing GlitterFlex Scraps
If scrap pieces still have the clear carriers attached, remove them. Tear or cut up larger GlitterFlex scraps into smaller pieces. Now I've pulled up a little pumpkin applique design from my Fun Time Veggies series. I have some scraps that are pumpkin colors. I have some dark gold, I've got some copper in here. I could have added some light gold. Whatever colors you want to add to your design is fine.
Embroidering the Applique
First you're going to stitch your placement line as you ordinarily would. Apply glue stick on the back of the scraps. I use standard Elmer's school glue stick that you get from the office supply store. It does not gum up your needle and works great for holding things down temporarily.
I start making a little mosaic using fairly small scraps. It's kind of like fussy cutting. I just started gluing these little pieces down inside the placement stitches and slightly overlap them.
I am going to completely cover the pumpkin and make sure scraps extend past the placement stitch edges.
When I stitch this down, to hold it in place, I use a little piece of tulle. Since I was using golds and coppers, I picked this burgundy piece of tulle. When I lay it on top of the GlitterFlex, it kind of blends in. You can use any color of tulle that you like. Use one layer or multiple layers.
For tack-down stitches using GlitterFlex, I use a higher contrast thread than I would ordinarily. GlitterFlex is so sparkly, it has a tendency to hide tack-down stitches, making it a little bit more challenging to trim around.
After I tack down around my GlitterFlex scraps, I'm going to trim my applique as I ordinarily would. Trim the tulle as well, going around the outer perimeter. Most often, I will tear GlitterFlex away from the tack-down stitches. Since multiple scrap pieces and a layer of tulle are being used, it is easier to trim than to tear.
After trimming, I'm going to fuse this with a press cloth because I don't want to touch the tulle with a really hot iron. Press for about 17 to 20 seconds for each section to secure the GlitterFlex.
After fusing, finish stitching your applique as you would any other embroidery design. I turned this into a cute bowl cover. They make quick gifts and are especially nice for potluck or holiday gatherings. Get the free bowl cover pattern here.
Wouldn't this be pretty if you had an applique of a flower? You could have the petals and leaves change color. So you could kind of fussy cut and actually add the color you wanted to the section of your applique that you wanted.
You can expand on this. Think outside the box. This technique gives you more control to put color exactly where you want it. I was thinking of a rainbow. A rainbow has that large arc and you could fussy cut little colors all the way around the different sections of the rainbow and get a very interesting look. So I think this has some real possibilities to expand upon.
I hope you'll take these ideas and think about where you could use those little scraps and where you can apply them in your appliques. I think we're just scratching the surface here. If you come up with an idea to expand on this, please share it with everybody in the comments.
See the full video here.