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June 07, 2011



A better bias bar to use is made by Clover. They are plastic and therefore you don't burn your fingers! You are on your way and I can't wait to see your progress.

Barbara Anne



Sandy (Strlady)

Here is a tip on reproducing the pattern on the freezer paper (FP). I learned it AFTER I had cut all my pieces for a blackbird design block. In the book When the Cold Wind Blows, the blackbird ladies suggested that when you have the same template to cut out several times, instead of tracing, say 4 apples, onto the FP, trace one and then layer three pieces of FP under the traced image when you cut it out. You will then have 4 of the same template with only one aggravated tracing session. I should have read the instructions before I plowed ahead and cut out over 10 tiny circles for my project (they are NOT round!).
I have those bias bars but I find that my seam is always wonky and getting the bar in is a pain. I like to use the bias maker instead and I end up with a bit less bulk under the stem because I don't have that seam there.
Love how you are just moving along! Can't wait for more.

Jayne Honnold

I'm not currently working on applique, but I do have 2 UFOs that are applique, so I will benefit from the work you post this week, Sandy. I appreciate your doing it. I really need to make myself get serious about applique because I love the look, and would like to have take-along projects that I could go to when in the car, or in a waiting room, watching tv, etc. Thanks so much for the "lessons!"


Wow, those Celtic bars are interesting. Never even thought of that approach. Can you tell I've done next to nothing in the world of applique?

Susan Ramey Cleveland

Ooooo! I covet those leaf templates. I have some of the bias bars. Are yours metal? If so, be careful or you'll burn your fingers. Mine are metal.


I took a class and the teacher had us reverse the image and copy on the dull side. She also had us iron that piece onto another piece (dull side) for more stability. That works well. Also, for the vines, rather than using the Celtic bars, we cut the desired length on the bias and folded them in half, wrong sides to wrong sides like binding is done. Then stitch the vine in place right on your piece of work so the width is correct from the folded side to the stitching, trimming if necessary. Then flip it over, press and stitch. Voila! I hope I explained that alright.

I can't wait to see your work. It's going to be beautiful!


Great idea with the leaf templates, Nicole! I love it when I remember I have just the right tool I need tucked away! I have both the bias bars and the clover bias maker -- I actually like the bias bars better - I feel they are more accurate - not burning yourself is the only key (and I learned that the hard way!)!


I trace on the shiny side which automatically reverses the template. It's only important if the pieces aren't symmetrical. Your apples will be fine either way. I use two layers of freezer paper. Make sure the ink is in the middle of the two pieces. I like to use bias strip makers instead of the bias bars - no sewing necessary!


Good tips! You're good at changing up methods to suit your desires, Nicole.

Robin Chapa

BIG QUESTION FOR YOU! Hi. Um.... I can't find on your blog where you list your tutorials.... am I crazy? I remember you had this REALLY GREAT way of making half square triangles...... 4 @ a time out of 2 squares of fabric. I have been DYING to try it but no longer remember how...... which post was that on? Do you remember? Thanks a million!
[email protected]


Love what you are doing! I think for the matte or non matte freezer paper has to do with the image you are tracing. The classes I have taken all say to trace on the matte side, unless the image is not reversed. Then you have the option of either tracing it on a light table or having to trace on the shiny side. Some patterns automatically reverse the design, but some meant for fusibles do not. Also, I think someone mentioned the doubling or even tripling of freezer paper. What you do is trace your pattern, like 1 apple if doing four of the same. After you trace it, iron the shiny side down onto another piece of freezer paper the same size. Iron shiny side to matte side, so you still have a shiny side underneath. Then you can either iron another piece and make it "triple strength" or just cut it out. What this does is make your freezer paper template stronger, giving you sharper points/curves. Plus, you can reuse it several times, elminating the need to trace every single piece. For circles there's a great tutorial on the Fat Quarter blog this week about using Perfect Circles. They would go great with your leaves! Have fun :)


I am no appliqué expert, but I always trace on the rough side of the freezer paper. Like your other tools, esp. the bias maker.


Oh, and one more thing - Beth Ferrier has a nice appliqué method. I took a class from her a few years ago and learned a lot! She stacks several thicknesses of applique paper so that you get multiples on each cut. It is a big time saver when you're doing a larger project.


Hi, You are doing great..keep it up! I think the reason for 2 sheets is to cover the ink so it doesn't get on the fabric and also it makes it easier. You don't leave in the paper after it is dry. Jillily has a great glue that is really soft when used. Janet

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