Thursday, June 21, 2007
Reverse Applique Tutorial
Ginko Leaves in the Wind (c)2007 Pat Dolan
What IS reverse applique?
Applique is done by applying a new piece of fabric to the top of a fabric that has been chosen as a background. This process creates the design elements by the process of addition.
Reverse applique works in reverse…by adding fabric BEHIND the ‘background’ fabric, and then cutting away the top layer to reveal the addition below the surface.
Demonstrating this process is easier than explaining it!
Basic steps in reverse applique:
1. Select design
2. Consider what will be appliqued
3. Select fabrics
4. Create a fabric “sandwich” of top fabric, batting, and bottom fabric. The top fabric is the one that will be the major background color for all other elements.
I’ve chosen ginko leaves to be the focal point of a small piece. Here, the ginko leaves are laid on the fabric and the basic composition is determined.
Next, using colored pencil that can just barely be seen on the fabric, I trace around each leaf.
Then, I create the fabric ‘sandwich’ using two pieces of fabric with a piece of batting sandwiched in between. I use basting spray to adhere the two pieces of fabric (one on each side) to the batting material.
Here is the sandwich as seen from the back:
Next, the thread selection…
Using my sewing machine…
With the feed dogs dropped…
And using the darning foot...
I begin free-motion sewing (which is why the feed dogs are lowered) and carefully draw with thread over all the colored pencil lines which have outlined the ginko leaves.
The drawing is completely stitched - each leaf is individually stitched independently of all other leaves. Now it’s time to cut the top fabric and the batting away to reveal the hidden layer of fabric below. Special scissors are quite helpful for this…
After four of the five leaves are revealed, I decide not to cut out the fifth - and to do further designing embellishment with the quilting. Here is the piece, after some quilting.
The stitching shows much better on the back than on the front, at the moment.
I’ve decided to applique a white leaf to the top of this piece - here I’ve traced the leaf on fast-2-fuse® that is already fused on one side to white fabric.
The fabric leaf is cut out, laid on the work in progress, and ironed in place.
Then I do some top stitching on the fused leaf to the base unit using a free-motion straight stitch.
Detail of top stitching and quilting. This shows the difference in effect between regular applique to the surface and reverse applique.
Stitching completed - front and back views.
Reverse applique, then, is a process by which additional design elements are added from the back of the surface, rather than to the top. This provides more depth to the finished piece, as is seen here.
Presented by fiber artist, Pat Dolan of Manalapan, New Jersey, on behalf of the Kansas Art Quilter’s for the Sabatini Gallery, June 2007.
Patricia C. Dolan
Copies of this as a Power Point presentation are available for $10.00/each plus postage.