Clearly the applique bug bit this week, and fortunately it reminded me that I'm heading to Florida in a couple weeks and have not restocked my in flight project carry on.
This is what accompanies me on all trips:
I'm honing my hand applique skills on Piece of Cake Designs' Aunt Millie's Garden.
So last night, instead of stitching down the Fiesta motifs, or making a Checkerboard Hearts sandwich, or whipping out a Valentine's version of a Letty's Bag (I could go on, but I think you get the point), I was up until 3 a.m. with this:
I traced my current block onto freezer paper and cut it all out, neatly, and on the lines. And I even remembered to use the light box so I could do the right thing and trace the pattern from the backside. (oooh....I am getting good!)
And then I flipped it over to the right side and traced it on my background fabric.
The best thing about freezer paper applique is that when you iron them to the wrong (right) side of the fabric, you can just peel them up.
Once everything is pressed to the fabric, you cut around each piece and leave just shy of a quarter inch all around, which you are going to iron under.
Gently spray a bunch of spray starch into the cap of the can. (It'll be all foamy at first, but it will settle down into liquid). You're going to use this to brush on the edges around your freezer paper template.
Don't be afraid to saturate the fabric, and it's okay if the freezer paper gets wet...it can take it. You're going to iron it dry momentarily. You want the fabric wet so that it's pliable.
If you don't like what you've done, wet it again with the spray starch and start over. I never worry much about the 'points' as I'll adjust them when I'm sewing the piece to the background. But a good way to iron them is to first fold your point straight down from the top and then in from the sides (think napkin folding).
Once I've got them, I'll pin the groups of each type together (or if you do a whole motif at a time, pin the parts needed for each together). I work by piece, across the background so I don't have to change thread colors as often. When you're ready to sew it on, remove the freezer paper. Keeping the paper inside it until you use it helps it keep its shape.