ok, so i’m really not an ‘expert’ at this – however, i have established a routine that works pretty well.  and i will admit that the very first fused sample i did was less than wonderful – to say the least.  as always, the method i use came thru trial and error.  so, if i can help anyone make fewer errors, i think that’s a wonderful thing. ^_^

the first thing i discovered in that first sample – you have to overlap those pieces just like you do for hand applique!!  they do not ‘butt’ up against each other!  very tough to do that with no gaps!!  trust me.  so, you still follow the numbering system that is there for hand applique (usually).  the pieces are numbered in the order they are to be ‘applied’ to the background.  in most cases, you are probably still doing applique – just not the needle turned by hand way.  once you have fused the pieces to the background, you will probably be stitching around the raw edges with your sewing machine – using straight, zig-zag, satin, or blanket stitches.  for that reason, my recommendation is you use either the “Lite Steam-A-Seam2″ – or something comparable.  the lite versions are easier to stitch thru.

the directions on the package are good enough, for the most part.  one thing i will add – on the package it is advised that if your piece doesn’t stick to the fabric well enough, to heat the fabric first with your ‘steam’ iron.  i have found that if i put my iron on the lowest setting (the single dot on my rowenta) and turn the steam off, it works well to just go ahead and press the pieces of paper onto the fabric.  what else i’m going to show & say here are just additional tidbits that might help. 

you will use the pattern for both tracing the individual pieces and for positioning them onto the background.  i pin my background to the front of the pattern, right side up.  i use a lightbox and turning the pattern (with background pinned onto it) over, i trace whatever piece i need next.  see below:

fusing-2

 

  fusing-11 so the first one is how it looks from the front, with most of the pieces already ‘stuck’ on. it’s on the lightbox so you can see where the pieces go – without having to trace the pattern onto the background. they will not be permanently stuck until all the pieces are on and i have ironed it with a hot (steam) iron.  the second picture is with the unit turned over – still on the light box.  this is how it is when you trace onto the paper – make sure you are tracing onto the right side of the paper (per directions)!  check each time as it doesn’t always stay consistent across the sheet.

fusing-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

as you can see, i have added what could be called ‘seam allowance’ but it’s just to make sure the piece will be ‘under’ the next one.  i use a #2 pencil and keep it fairly sharp.  per the product instructions – you will cut outside that pencil line, rather like another seam allowance.

fusing-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

once you have cut out the pieces, you will place them, sticky side down, onto the backside of your fabric of choice.  it’s here that i usually press them with that cooler iron.  sometimes i let the iron rest on the fabric while i am cutting, to heat the spot where they will go.  i have not had much luck without some amount of heat and/or pressing.

you are now ready to cut them out.  i have learned that it is best to cut them out ‘roughly’ – that is, to not leave any of the paper on the fabric.  as you can see, my piece of fabric is full of holes.  being a thrify person, and given i do lots of applique and can use small pieces – i would put whatever ‘swiss cheese looking’  piece of fabric that is left back into my stash.  if you cut on the line at this point, it leaves some of the sticky stuff on the big piece and is just yukky in your stash. (the paper falls off exposing the sticky stuff!)

fusing-5

 

 

 

 

 

 

so here are those petals which will now be cut out on the pencil line and then stuck onto the background in the appropriate position.

 

if you look at the first picture, you will see all the previously applied pieces.

once you have all the pieces on you will then press on high heat for the permanent applicaton (per directions).  until you do this, you can move those pieces around as much as you need to.  you can even put them down out of order. ^_^  unlike when you sew them down!!  until you “hot press”, you can just lift and slide under.

ok, that’s it.  hope it helps someone.  now it’s time to go get rachel.

love and beauty   www.artfullyapplique.com

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