My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A flurry of fabric and invisible machine applique

Last week sped by in a flurry of fabric and threads! We were busy at The CountryYard getting ready for our annual 'New Year's' launch.
We had samples to finish, kits and bundles to package, and quilts to hang. We also had a big change around, and know we will spend the next few weeks trying to remember the new home of all our fabrics!!
Sadly I didn't get many decent photos of the new look shop as I thought of it too late and the lights are shining too strongly in the ones I did get. Here's what you see when you first walk in though —
New block of the month (Avalon), class sample (Country Sampler) on the wall.
Leeanne talks about some of our new quilts *here*. Some of them were real team efforts with all of us doing our bit on them!
Another little re-stocked and tempting corner.
I'm pleased this photo turned out ok as it shows the mini-spools I made
(at work) for a class.
I've really fallen in love with this mini-spool block. This one I made at home to test out my (EQ7) pattern. I have high hopes of making more :-)
Here's something else new. This is the block I've made for the start of our Tuesday Medallion Mystery. I followed the rules set for Part One....... of course I cant share them here as we have to sign up at the shop to get the instructions :-). Part Two will see us adding something to the block.
I made this block from one of Kim Diehl's books (I have plenty that I drool over regularly!). It's re-sized to fit the size we needed for the Medallion Mystery. Although I love doing needleturn applique I didn't do it here. Instead I experimented with 'machine needleturn'.
I have done this before but with freezer paper - which can be fiddly to remove at the end. This time I used the water soluble applique paper shown below.
I was able to use the printer to print out most of the shapes I needed. The rest
I just traced on.
One side is fusible, so I ironed that to my fabric then used a glue pen and my
fingers to turn the raw edge under.
There are tools to do this but I don't have them.
A dab of applique glue to position the pieces in place, then sew on with a fine

This photo is just for me - so that if I lose my scrap of paper I can remember what settings I used! I've played with the size of the zigzag so I can get it as small as possible but it does have to be big enough to catch the fabric on the applique and then off to the side on the background. I used to do the zigzag a lot smaller but it was quite slow and, as I say, it was easy to misplace the stitches.

You can see the stitches here - so it's not as invisible as needleturn but it is
a lot quicker! I use Wonderfil Invisifil thread but one of the Invisible threads
would be just as good. (The thread for the centre circle wasn't the best colour
match; I should have pulled out something different.)
This photo is from a post I wrote on this method 2 years ago. You can see where
I cut the fabric to get the freezer paper out. I much prefer using the soluble
applique paper. I haven't done much of this technique since
then so it was good to revisit it.
Update: After Julie's question in my first comment, I decided to have a bit of a play. I had heard that the paper doesn't physically dissolve, the fibres soften, maybe the in-built glue dissolves.
This is a scrap of the paper with a squirt or two of water on it.
I was interested to see what the printer ink did, it left the paper and dissolved into the water - a bit worrying when you think it is against the fabric!
{I mopped up the surplus ink with a tissue and when the piece dried what was left there just dried on the applique paper.
After a bit it seemed to disappear but I guess the next step would be to wet a printed-on scrap against fabric and see what happens.}

 In comparison the scrap with the ballpoint pen written on it didn't have any ink bleeding or mess.
Here is the scrap after sitting in water for 5 minutes. It is very soft, has kept its shape and feels quite nice - I would like this sitting in amongst my quilt. 
It doesn't disintegrate as such - say like washaway thread which you never see again after wetting!
Interesting, huh? I think I would experiment a little more before using it in the printer again - it did save a lot of tracing and I would like to think it would work without putting ink into my quilts! (And thinking about it, the instructions say it's ok to put through the printer so it would seem it cant cause too much harm).

I've more bits and pieces to report but will tackle them another day. I hope your week's got off to a great start and you're finding time for some Creative Me Time.... I'm off to do that now ♥
Happy stitching,


  1. Great post Raewyn, I was thinking of you girls on the weekend & hoped it all came together well. The shop looks great. I have a crink in my neck from peering so closely at the screen - that fusible stuff is amazing & very tempting to try. Pardon my ignorance but how does it dissolve ... do you soak your finished applique block in water at the end??

  2. Busy beavers were we! I was a bit disappointed with the photo's I took of the shop. Doesn't the shop look yummy.............I wouldn't mind working there :-).............hard to call it work when you love the job.

  3. Raewyn, Your machine appliqueing is gorgeous! I have yet to try that technique. I had to chuckle that you put a picture up for yourself, so that you would remember what settings you used. Very interesting to see the test on the water soluble paper.
    The shop looks wonderful! The fussy cutting int he center of Avalon is so beautiful. You all have done a great job on the quilts!
    LOVE your EQ7 Spool pattern! The minis you made wiht it are adorable! Will you be offering the pattern for sale? I would definitely buy it!

  4. I enjoyed all your bits and pieces in the post. I have used the paper from Helen and found it great. I like the machine needle turn as it is not my favourite way of adding applique to a block. hugs.....

  5. As a customer down in Auckland it's so nice to see your photos of the shop! Love your appliqué too.

  6. The shop pictures look great. What an exciting time with all the new projects.
    Lovely work with the applique. And a very interesting play with the paper.

  7. I am using that applique paper for my NJ quilt...............

  8. lovely tour of the shop...
    the centre for your medallion quilt looks gorgeous. thanks for showing the steps for the applique. I am using the stabilizer for my sweet william blocks and I love it. bit scary about the ink bleeding.

  9. What a wonderful place to work, you lucky thing!

  10. What fun place to work... Your spools are sew cute..
    I have found that appliqué paper makes needle urn a little easier.

  11. Very nice samples and I enjoyed your tutorial...hugs, Julierose

  12. I am envious! The shop looks grand! Good luck!

  13. That wee spool block is just wonderful. I found the applique hints interesting too.

  14. Oh I think I would love a visit to the shop . Your spool block is very pretty and the medallion block is gorgeous . I found your explanation of applique using this method very interesting and I think I would like to try this product .

  15. Love that photo memo for yourself - I am always writing machine settings down and losing them.

  16. great tutorial and photos of machine applique'

  17. Thanks for the little peek into 'your' quilt store.... it looks gorgeous. Lovely to see your projects on display too. Great machine applique tips .... taking a photo of your machine settings was inspired! I'm looking forward to seeing the Medallion Mystery quilt progress..... have fun with

  18. Você tem uma loja? Que legal! As colchas expostas são muito bonitas! Vocês trabalharam bastante!
    Seu tutorial é claro. eu não faço este trabalho e acredito que entendi.
    Hãããã...a impressão na impressora a laiser monocromática não sangra a tinta quando molhada. Ou eu estou falando bobagem?
    Seu card está no meu blog hoje.
    Um abraço e boas costuras!

    Do you have a shop? That's cool! The exhibited quilts are very beautiful! You worked hard!
    Your tutorial course. I do not do this work and I believe I did.
    Haaaa ... printing in monochrome printer laiser not bleed the paint when wet. Or am I talking nonsense?
    Your card is on my blog today.
    Hugs and good seams!

  19. Lovely pics of the shop :) Gorgeous mini spools, really love that block :)
    Thanks so for taking us through your applique process, I quite like the little zigzag :) - wondering whether with a wash rather than a soak the printer ink would be rinsed away instead of coming through onto the fabric- will be interesting to see how it all goes for you :)

  20. I am always amazed by your incredible productivity! You must be very hard to keep up with :)) I love the photos of the quilt shop. Even though I don't know how to quilt (yet) I think I could spend many happy hours there just browsing and dreaming of quilts I would like to make.

  21. The shop looks great, and I love your spool block! I recognized the Kim Diehl block, I have that book also and like the quilt very much.
    I don't know the water soluble appliqué paper, it sounds great without the printer ink!
    Happy quilting, Cisca

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  23. Wow you've been busy as usual! Hope the launch goes well! interesting experiment and i will no doubt look it up if I wander down this track one day!

  24. Your shop always looks a beautiful place to visit from yours and Leeanne's posts! I love the mini-spool blocks and your new applique block looks beautiful too. I read your experiment with interest, it's always helpful seeing how these products work!

  25. The shop looks great Raewyn. For a minute I thought with envy that it was your sewing room at home! Lol! Your applique blocks look lovely!.

  26. Thanks for sharing your info on the appliqué

  27. we you and your family in Farm and Ranch? I think I saw you there


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