Week 3: Appliquéing Text and Maple Leaf

Week 3 Part Two: Using fusible web and attaching the Maple Leaf and the Text to your quilt. I am writing this post as if you never heard of fusible web or how to use it. There are numerous methods of hand and machine applying shapes to fabric but I am going to just cover what worked best for me. I chose using fusible web and the blanket stitch on my sewing machine to add both the maple leaf and the text. Use your referred method if you like,  but also please share why you like yours.

I like to use WonderUnder by Pellon and I used it to appliqué the Maple Leaf and the Text “Canada 150” to the quilt. If you have never used fusible web, it can be a bit confusing so you will be waking up your brain cells figuring out how to apply the shapes correctly. These are good instructions from Pellon on how to adhere the fusible web fabric. (nice video on making a cathedral window too). Instructions.

Once you know how to iron on the fusible web to the fabric,  move on to cutting out the shapes and placing  them on your blocks. Please note: Your pattern pieces are reversed in the pattern for good reason and there are two different sizes of shapes. The smaller shapes are for the pillow.

My steps for attaching the fusible web.

  1. Trace the letters for “Canada 150″ on the paper side of the WonderUnder. Leave about a 1/2” space around each letter and number when you trace them out. For the Maple Leaf trace the template pieces from the pattern onto a separate piece of paper with thick lines. You will end up with 1/2 half of the leaf. You will find it less confusing when it comes time to trace it.  
  2. Once you have all your shapes traced, cut each letter or number leaving at least  1/4″ from the edge of the shape.
  3. Move over to the ironing board and place you fabric WRONG side up. This was trickiest part for me and I still make mistakes. Apply the shapes to the Wonder Under using the instructions as a guide. (make sure you have kept that 1/4″ around your shape.)
  4. Now go back to Kindergarten and use your good cutting skills and cut exactly on the line around each letter, number and Maple Leaf. Last step score the paper with a straight pin and remove the paper backing from your shape. The sticky side remaining is the magic for applying your shapes. It’s also very important to make sure this side of the shape faces the right side of your block or you will be cleaning it off your iron. Not nice!
  5.  Placing the Maple Leaf is straight forward. Fold your block in half and mark the centre point. Repeat for the other direction.  Align the centre of the Maple Leaf horizontally and vertically and then apply the Maple Leaf with the right side of the fabric facing up. 
  6. The letters and numbers are a little tricky. Use a 12. 5″ x 24.5″ block (12.5″ running along the LOF).
  7.  Mark the centre points just like you did before. Use the measurements in this diagram below to place your letters and numbers. Click on the image to enlarge it. This layout will help ensure the the your numbers and text is positioned to fit when sewn into the quilt. Be sure to leave enough space between the letters and especially the numbers to finish the edges and for the big stitch hand quilting. I leave more space on the right to allow for triming the quilt when it is finished.  I use a Frixon pen for marking as shown in this photo but you will lose these lines when your apply the text and numbers. * Note: test your Frixon pen on a scrap piece of fabric and then iron it, to be sure the pen marks disappear*

I take the block to the ironing board with my numbers and letters so they are ready to be ironed on. Honestly I do but I forgot to take a picture. So this picture will show you what I mean. I have been known to use a little bit of glue to keep the shapes from moving when I press. I also take a picture to check the layout. Then I start gently pressing down on the shapes – just a little so they won’t move when I put a pressing cloth over the appliqué. Be sure you are happy with the placement. Those Frixon lines are going to be all gone when you are finished.

Last step: Finish the edges of your letters and numbers. My favourite is a blanket stitch but zigzag works. Either way you finish the appliqué, decrease the width of your stitch to match the scale of the numbers. Have fun!!