has some really great projects in it. I wanted the technique to be within my skill set, and when I read the instructions through again, I got it all worked out. So here's the secret to this project:
First, I realized that I needed to leave the border all around the "stained glass" cut-outs, which made the "leading" fabric more stable and easier to work with:
So the trick to doing the applique on this is to work from the back side. I pulled off the paper from the fusing medium, exposing the sticky side and laid it flat on my ironing board with a pressing sheet beneath. The pressing sheet will protect the ironing board, but it also allows me to move the piece around without disturbing my work.
Also, you'll want some sort of mini-iron for this task. This is actually the first time I've found a use for this tool beyond sticking hot fix crystals.
The instructions further suggested that I start in one corner and work outward and upward (or downward, depending on where you start) from there. When I drew the templates onto my freezer paper, I drew both the inner and outer borders of each piece.
First, I laid it in its spot to check for fit, then trimmed it so that it only covered half of the fusible "leading". I'll need the other half to fuse the adjacent pieces.
Then, I peeled off the freezer paper, and then carefully fused it, being cautious not to get the iron over onto the fusible.
Then, I flipped it over to see how it was looking. So far, so good. Now about those little black "whiskers".
I didn't do this for every piece until I'd finished the whole thing, but for purposes of this demonstration, I'll tell you that I used my curved-tip applique scissors to trim those away.
Then I went back to my pattern and crossed off each completed piece as I went, just to save myself from getting confused...which is very easy at this stage of the game.
The instructions suggested making all the templates at the same time, but I did mine one at a time.
While the first piece needed to be trimmed to leave room on the fusible for the adjacent pieces, it is okay for the adjacent pieces to overlap the first. In fact, the instructions claim that a little bit of overlap will make the piece stronger.
Still, you'll need to trim them away to make way for the piece that is adjacent to them, as I've done in the image above. The dark blue and the green overlap the lighter blue, but they are trimmed to reveal the fusible on the "leading" for the pieces that will come next.
When I had the piece halfway done, it looked like the image below.
You want to try to cover the fusible completely so that when you flip it over, there isn't exposed fusing medium that will get stuck to the surfaces below. I was using a pressing sheet, and so it wasn't crucial, but I paid attention as I went just to be overly cautious. Then I flipped the piece over and used my regular iron to give it a good pressing and make sure everything I'd done to that point was fused down tight.
And then I just continued on with the rest of the pieces to complete the upper half and the entire piece. When I was finished, it looked like this:
Cool, huh? It took me about three hours to get this far, and it was sooooooo much easier than what I was trying to do yesterday. At this point, I trimmed off the other "whiskers" that I could see, and from here I was ready to finish it in whatever way I choose.
I'm so happy that this has worked now that I've done it a different way. I really like the looks of this, and the book has some great projects in it. I bought the book for this cat project in the image below:
But there are some other projects that I really like. This one, for instance:
And this one:
There are still others in the book that I like too, but I think you get the idea. I will definitely be making more projects from this book.
So I decided to finish my piece off with a narrow border:
Now I'm in the process of top-stitching with a straight stitch right along both edges of the "leading" fabric. I have the quilt sandwiched, and so the top-stitching also serves as the quilting. I used that same dark blue for the back. Here's how it looks so far:
I still have quite a bit to do, but I should be able to finish the quilting tomorrow. Then I'll bind it in black, and it will be finished. I've decided to name this quilt, "Spring Fever".
It started out as a near-disaster, but it's finished up as a definite success. Can't ask for a better day of sewing than that.