This was my first proper attempt at raw edge applique and free motion embroidery.
If you would like to have a go at trying your hand at these techniques I hope this guide will help.
All I ask in return is if you make one and upload it online, please link back to this tutorial :)
You will need :-
Lots of fabric scraps for the background (it's a good idea to keep these in a distinctly different colourway to the tree/girl/dress etc. so that they don't blend into the background).
extra scraps for the girl and tree applique,
a sheet of fusible web or other stabilizer suitable for applique.
some white fabric, scissors, interfacing, sewing machine.
Cut your background fabric scraps into squares and rectangles, mine were three quarters of an inch and upwards in width, until you have a nice big pile.
Take a piece of fusible web (iron on adhesive) the size you wish your applique background to be.
Start laying your squares, slightly overlapping them, on the rough side of the sheet (the side that doesn't peel away).
Continue until completely covered.
I did this on an old towel to avoid having to move it at the ironing stage.
Iron your scraps to the first side of the fusible web.
Carefully turn over and peel of the backing sheet.
Place onto your white fabric and iron your scrappy mosaic onto that.
Before stitching my background I iron on some light to medium interfacing on the back. This keeps your surface nice and flat for stitching.
This is the machine foot I do freestyle embroidery with, I have a Pfaff quilt expression 4.0.
I sew with the feed dogs down (that's the 2 longer parallel lines you see right under the foot above).
The foot stays in an upright position whilst I sew, so this lets me to move my fabric around at ease! My daughter also has a very basic sewing machine and she is also able to do freestyle embroidery, so please check your manual to see if your machine has this feature.
I sew around the edge of each of the background squares to secure them.
For the templates I have created a PDF just for all of you!! just click on the link below,
Note: the templates have purposely been reversed so that they will come out correctly in the end!!
Print your template sheet.
Place your template sheet under the fusible web so that the paper side of the fusible web is facing you and the rough side of it is facing the template copy.
Trace each of the template images onto the fusible web.
Find some suitably coloured fabric for each. For mine I used a brown fabric for the hair, a fleshy pink for the legs and face etc. go through your scraps and see what you can find suitable. I actually used some bits of background colour from printed fabric! the brown hair is from the munki munki lipstick print, the face and body parts were from munki gnomes on pink!!!!
The dress is cut from Kei honeycomb in aqua, again note that this is very different to the colours used on the background mosaic - this is important to note as you need the girl to stand out of the background.
Iron each fusible web shape onto the reverse of a suitably coloured fabric scrap. To do this, lay your fusible web template on your ironing board, rough side up, lay your fabric on top right side up and iron on.
When all are ironed on, cut out each of the shapes following the line of the template on the reverse of your fabric.
Peel off the paper side of the fusible web from the reverse of each of the shapes and following the picture above, one by one place each shape onto your background mosaic and iron on carefully. Take extra care with the smaller shapes like the hands. I would start with the tree first, then dress, legs etc.
Keeping the embroidery foot (see above) on your machine, thread up with black cotton thread or any dark colour you fancy. This change of thread is important to make your girl and tree images stand out.
Practice!!! the next bit onto practice appliqued fabric first if you are new to freestyle embroidery stitching.
You need to outline the edges of the tree and apples,
add tapering branches to the appliqued tree branches,
outline the girl, draw her face, dress collar, button tab, shoes and swing using your machine and thread (practice practice practice this first on scrap fabric).
The trickiest part of the machine embroidery is the face, if you find it is just too tricky you can always just hand embroider the face instead using the same thread you are sewing with.
Remember you are after a very sketchy free style of stitching, the stitching is not meant to be perfect by any means. The imperfections are exactly what will give your embroidery the character it needs.
To turn into a quilt you can follow the steps in these tutorials -
I hope you have enjoyed my tutorial! - It was a bit of an epic to write.
Please enjoy it and don't forget to link back here if you do.
If you enjoyed this tutorial, you can find more of my patterns here.