If you've been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I am hooked on Applique. It's a rather versatile craft so I thought I'd share today a concept that I've used quite a bit - making appliques free-standing or removable.
When I began designing my "Cupboard" series of wall-hangings for Children I wanted to make them interactive with removable parts. The method I used was to fuse the appliques onto felt, rather than fabric, a technique I saw in a gorgeous nativity quilt/advent calendar designed by Nancy Halvorsen of Art to Heart.
The felt is trimmed about 1/8 inch outside the appliques after blanket-stitching. You can see in the 'Pantry' the tins, bottles and packets which come off the shelves for play and then are put back in place to make a delightful wall-hanging:
The black felt showing just beyond the items in the 'Refrigerator; give a three-dimensional effect:
In the Country Cottage perpetual calendar, the days and numbers obviously need to be removable, so they have the same treatment. The numbers are on little birdhouses and the days of the week are clouds, so they have white felt, rather than black, showing beyond the outline:
When I came to make the 'Wardrobe' and Lily with her sweet little outfits, I didn't want black or any colour felt showing beyond the outlines. I found that I could achieve the effect I needed by carefully cutting the felt in line with the applique. The clothes on hangers are all removable:
and here's Lily dressed in one of her outfits:
The 'Lounge Cabinet' appliques are likewise all removable and these are on matching coloured felt so that it is hardly noticeable around the pieces. With the photo frame, however, it was something that needed to stand out, so instead of cutting the felt around the shape, I have cut a wider scallop frame as a feature:
An extension of this idea can be seen on "Hearts by the pocketful". The heart appliques are fused onto felt which is then cut into a scalloped shape. Sewing the lower portion of the heart to the background and leaving the top open forms a pretty pocket:
I hope that this has given you some new insights into the wonderful world of Applique!
I'm at various stages on five commissions at the moment. The construction is complete on three, samples need to be prepared for a couple, templates need to be refined, then the dreaded pattern-writing has to be started from scratch on two of them. I shared a sneak peak on Facebook of my favourite design out of the five:
That's plenty to keep me going in our gorgeous Spring weather, if I can stop my itchy eyes from watering long enough to focus. The wind is stirring up lots of seeds and pollens today but I'm not complaining - anything is better than Winter for me!