I’ve been working on the appliqué for a few days now. I started Sunday with getting the background piece cut out and printing and tracing the appliqué layout. I then used pressing bars to make the stems. I am so glad that I found out about that method of making the small, long pieces for stems and lines. I got a set of 7 bars for Celtic designs, ranging from 1/8” to 3/4”, and it is so much better to not have to turn edges or turn the pieces inside out after sewing. Saves fingers from getting burned too. These are cut on the bias and it’s amazing how much you can curve fabric that way.
I laid out the stems on the background where they needed to be and cut tiny strips of fusible web. Normally I wouldn’t use fusible on hand appliqué but I thought since the stems are doubled fabric (the seam is in the back trimmed to almost nothing), that the fusible wouldn’t be obvious at all on the front. I cut the thin strips of fusible into small sections, sometimes just a half inch like around the curves, and ironed them onto the background fabric within the lines of the stem placement. I didn’t do all of it, just small pieces spaced out over the length of the stems. I then pulled off the backing paper, laid the vines on the pattern, and ironed them in place.
It holds enough that I didn’t need to pin the stems in place to hand sew and stays in place without fussing with it getting out of line while sewing. There’s not enough fusible to make it stiff and it’s not stuck to the top layer of the doubled bias strip so there’s no indication from the front that there is fusible at all.
Someone ought to come up with a fusible for hand appliqué that will stick the pieces to the background for sewing and then will wash out like water soluble stabilizer!
I hand basted the seam allowance on the larger pieces because needle turn is just too tedious. It only takes a minute to do a big running stitch around a piece and I have more control of the shape.