Sunday, October 2, 2011

Backbasting Applique Tutorial

 If you have a lightbox the first thing that you do is lay the pattern on it, if not, tape it to a window. Place your background fabric , right side down on the pattern, aligning the pattern where you want it on your fabric. Using a pencil or whatever you prefer to use , trace the complete pattern on the BACK of your background fabric.  Identify the order that you will put the pieces of your pattern and beginning with the first this case, it was the body of the cardinal.. make sure the piece of fabric you will be using for the body is larger than the pattern , pin the fabric, wrong side down on the RIGHT side of the background in place. Using an embroidery needle and embroidery thread or a contrast thread and following the lines of the body  design, baste....using a stitch larger than a quilt stitch and smaller than a large baste stitch...approximately 1/8th in length....baste the body design.
I found if I basted larger stitches where the patterns overlapped,
I was able to distinguish where I needed to make smaller stitches when attaching.
 Trim the excess material off...leaving a tad less than 1/4 of an inch for a seam allowance. Clip any curves to the  basting stitch...don't cut the thread. Once the curves are completely clipped you can start clipping the basting thread and begin turning the seam allowance under using the point of your needle to turn it under. Remove  basting stitches as you work along and follow the line made by the basting stitches as your guide. Use thread the SAME colour as the piece you are attaching and using a small running stitch in the fold of the fabric, sew in can baste along portions that will be under another attached piece of the pattern.

To add the next piece of fabric , cut a piece a bit larger than the pattern piece you wish to add. Hold the whole piece up to a window or on a lightbox to make sure you have covered the whole pattern, Pin in place and then baste the same as you did the body portion, using a contrast thread for ease in following.

Make sure you trim the pieces to within 1/4 or smaller depending on the size. Clip curves again and attach with smaller stitches.

In this picture you can barely see the black fabric showing through the background. It covers the area that needs to be covered and will be basted in place before stitching.

You can also see the stitching along the body. As you can see it follows the pencil marks that define the pattern. There is no need to cut to remove freezer paper or  dryer sheets...It can be left as is and is easy to hand quilt through.

And here is the finished project. It amazed me how easy it is to applique and how accurate it can be. Much faster than freezer paper method and no need to create templates.

If any portion of  this tutorial is unclear to you , please comment and I will try to answer any questions you have. Hope you can understand my instructions. I would like to acknowledge the lady that showed me how to do this,....Judy Steeves from Sussex Vale Quilt Guild taught me this technique last week and I am so  thankful she did.


Linda said...

I love back-basting. That's the method I use now. My quilting buddy from the Marco Polo Guild in Saint John taught me.I love the results I get. So much better than before.

Linda H said...

Great tut Gail. It's all clear to me, and I dont even applique

theresa said...

Thank you for sharing.
Very interesting, I'll have to try it out.

Judy said...

Great tut, Gail. I might add, in case you have trouble finding your turn-under line as you applique, you can run a line of soap or chalk over your basted stitches before you start clipping them. The needle holes are not so visible in some fabrics. After awhile you develop an eye for the seam allowance.

bubbygigi said...

Thank you so much for spelling out this new technique. I'm going to try it this week. I just finished an applique block that would have worked out so much better had I know this technique.

Brenda said...

Thanks for this clear explanation, Gail. Love learning new sewing techniques; hope to get an opportunity to try this.