Appliqué and I have a love-hate relationship. I love the look of appliqué sometimes, and I’ve tried several methods, from needle turn to fusible and most things in between. No method is perfect.
And just to show that I really have tried, here are some samples:
Machine appliqué of these circles was done after the quilting, so the backing and batting acted as stabilizer
The petals were fused on with Heat’n’Bond, and then I buttonhole stitched around them after doing the rest of the quilting, again eliminating the need for stabilizer
The snowmen and noses were a combination of fusible appliqué and Eleanor Burns’s appliqué with fusible interfacing. I have washed this and it held up fine.
Sunbonnet Sue Visits Quilt in a Day was done with Eleanor Burns’s method using fusible interfacing to produce turned edges
So, when I wanted a space alien to go on a quilt recently, I gave the appliqué process some serious thought. This fabric is part of the background for a wonky star quilt I’m making, and I wanted one block to be a space alien to go with the theme.
Unfortunately, I have not saved the selvage from this fabric, so I don’t know who made it
Then I had an idea (drum roll, please). The folks at C&T recently asked me to be an ambassador for Kraft-Tex, and since I was already a Kraft-Tex user and had blogged about it 3 times, I agreed. They sent me some free Kraft-Tex!
I chose Marsala, Denim (hand dyed and prewashed), and natural prewashed for my free Kraft-Tex
Actually, I had already bought this black Kraft-Tex for another project, but I just want you to know that, for the first time ever, I have accepted a donated product for use in my blog.
I’ll have a tutorial on this whole quilt when it’s finished, but here’s an overview of how I used Kraft-Tex to avoid traditional appliqué . I cut out the alien’s head using one of my circle cutters and attached it to the block with washable glue stick. Then I cut the outline from black Kraft-Tex and put it over the raw edge, with the raw edge kind of centered underneath.
Here is the alien on my design wall
The eye stalks and eyes were cut from Kraft-Tex and all the Kraft-Tex was glued down with the same washable glue. That all worked well. I then machine-stitched near the edges of the Kraft-Tex using a size 70 needle and matching thread. Voila! I didn’t have to fool with fusibles, bias strips, or much of anything at all.
Kraft-Tex is washable, and I’ll be interested to see how it does in this quilt. It is stiffer than fabric, but I think that will be OK given the small amount I used on this twin-size quilt.
I can especially see using Kraft-Tex this way in art quilts very soon!
I’ll let you know how this all turns out!