Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Oh, How I love my Applique Mat...

Am I the only one who has fusible webbing that looks like this...?


If you're unfamiliar with fusible webbing and you want do any sort of textile work you should promptly introduce yourself!! It makes applique, fabric overlays and just about anything you want to hold firmly in place STAY PUT while you sew it.

It's like a huge sheet of hemming tape that you can cut to size. There are several brands on the market, and some are better at staying on their backing paper than others. The brand of the sample above is notorious for falling off the paper and tangling up. I don't think it should have been stored in a bag of interfacing scraps, somehow...

GADGET LOVE....
I love my applique mat because it allows me to use up every scrap of fusible webbing - with or without the backing paper. It helps the webbing to melt evenly over the back of the motif so that it will stick evenly to the base fabric. I can then stitch it into place without the slightest bit of movement. Lovely.


Here's how to use paper-less fusible webbing for fabulous applique!

1. Lay the webbing over the back of the fabric. (I've interfaced the fabric to stop the pattern on the base fabric from showing through). You can even use overlapped scraps of webbing to cover the fabric - nobody will ever know....
2. Lay the applique mat over the top of the fusible web and press with a hot iron.

3. Allow the fabric to cool and peel it from the mat. It will now be coated with a fusible plastic film on the underside.
4. Cut out your design - using a template, pattern or freehand cutting action (my personal fave!). You'll be surprised just how intricate a design you can create.

NOTE: For REPEAT MOTIFS you can cut templates in freezer paper and iron them to the front of the fabric while it is still attached to the mat (ie. before Step 3). When you remove the fabric from the mat, the freezer paper will be a stick-on template that you can cut around, peel off and re-use for your next applique piece.

5. With the plastic side down, iron the motif into place on your backing fabric. It will stick firmly into place.

6. You can use parts of a fabric print as applique motifs. Follow the above procedure to fuse a scrap of webbing to the wrong side of a fabric scrap....
7. Trim away the excess fabric to isolate the design you wish to applique...

8. ...and iron it into place. It will stick beautifully.

9. You can then stitch the pieces to the base fabric with a machine satin-stitch, blanket stitch or straight stitch, or you can (blow my mind with your patience and...) stitch it by hand!

I'll keep you posted on the finished applique. It's part of a WIP. The gorgeous print is from the City Blooms range by Benartex.

18 comments:

Honeybomb Bay said...

Thank you for posting this - I'm yet to try applique but I have all my supplies ready to go =D
You make it look so easy, I hope you're right!

Hoppo Bumpo said...

Oooh, lovely ... a tutorial. I must whip out my mat and give it a go, now that I know how to use it properly!

LizzieJane said...

I have fusible webbing that looks just like yours! I am glad that I am not the only one. I to love my little applique mat, I can fuse together tiny applique pieces before sewing, it's brilliant.
x

Di said...

I'll need to look for some of that and follow your tutorial!! I love what you made!

beccasauras said...

Love the fabric, and the applique flower. Will save this post for when I need it, definately! Thanks.

CurlyPops said...

I've never heard of an applique mat before. I always wondered how to use the fusible webbing with no paper (I usually use vliesofix)....and I love the tip for using freezer paper to repeat the applique!

Jenny said...

I also have never heard of an applique mat either-I use a teatowel-not quite the same!! Your work inprogress looks so bright and springy.

angelique said...

That is sensational. Might have to look into getting one of those. thanks for the little show and tell.

Holly said...

An applique mat! That's what I'm missing!

I have fusible webbing but it didn't come with paper so I don't really know how to use it. So with an applique mat I can iron it to my applique and then later iron the applique to the base material?

Where can I get one of these super duper mats from?!

~Holly

http://twocheeseplease.livejournal.com

Tinniegirl said...

Your blog is so full of useful information. It's like having access to one of your classes at all times. It's just wonderful.

Nikki said...

Holly - follow the link on the word "applique mat" and you'll see where you can buy one. Strangely enough (in the tradition of "I was so impressed I bought the company..") I sell them!!

Sophie said...

My applique matt(s) I have a couple were a revelation when I found them!! No more waste and no sticking to the iron or ironing board - and yes my fusible web always manages to get scrumpled like that too, no matter how careful I am...

Phyllis Sommer said...

i *knew* i was missing something!:-)

i am definitely going to have to get me one of these.

i use the leftover waxy backing from heavier fusible underneath but this looks so much easier and better. thanks!

MissyP said...

OK, I'm off to your store to buy one of those mats... Maybe even two. I can be a bit messy with the stuff (btw, it's my very favourite sewing aid). I'll need that extra mat to cover the ironing board also!

Katherine said...

I love doing applique and yet somehow missed knowing about this awesome gadget. Thanks so much for posting about this, Nicolette. I think an applique mat would be very, very handy to have!

mayaluna said...

I love your tutorials and always feel like I'm an expert just by reading them!! I have an applique project and am out of good ol fusible webbing. It's 4 degrees F out, so I might have to see what I can do. Can't wait to get all my supplies in order to try this the next time around. I find myself referring to your tips constantly. I keep a stack of sticky notes right next to my machine... my first post of yours that I ever read was that goody! Thanks for another classic!

chris said...

My fusible webbing looked exactly like yours, and yes, it lives with the interfacing! One of my tasks over the Christmas break was to clean out that drawer and put the fusible into a zip lock bag. Hopefully, it will stay attached to it's paper a little longer now. Oh, and the fusible mat? One of the best inventions ever! If I need a larger area, I use baking paper - not quite the same, but a good substitute.

Alison said...

I am using blind hem stitch and it just isn't nice and smooth, I can't seem to get the tension just right I have been moving the wheel mm by mm and no joy. I will have to have a tantrum now I have seen yours looking delicious!
I am a cheapskate and hold the bits in place but after your fantastic tutorial I am going to buy some fusible.