Even though I still need to do the binding on "All Around the Town," I put the town in my rear view mirror for a while and looked ahead to the next UFO on my design wall. These chocolate bunnies from Anne Sutton's pattern "Bunnies Prefer Chocolate" have been calling to me for a while.
I started this project a few years ago, before I adopted my current favorite method of prepping hand applique. I'm a little embarrassed to show you the close ups, but in full disclosure I'm going to show you why I put this project on the back burner.
No matter what kind of quilting we do, our skills and methods evolve over time. There are no instant experts...in fact, I'm suspicious of anyone calling themselves an expert at any time. There is always something else to learn, even if the lesson is just that we don't know it all.
Look at the curves with my new method of applique prep on these letters. I never could have done this with basting, even though I did try. I tried this method on my Civil War Bride and was very pleased with the results.Lazy Gal Quilting).
I know I keep saying I will do a tutorial on this method, and I've started working on one (so you should see it soon!). Until then, I'll show you how I wash out the glue after doing the hand applique, since that is where I am in this project.
I use two kinds of glue, Elmer's glue sticks to turn under the edges of my pieces and Roxanne's glue baste to hold my pieces in place while I stitch (instead of using pins). Both of these glues are acid free, and there are those that choose not to wash them out. I like to wash the glue out, still convincing myself that maybe some of my applique quilts will still be around in a 100 years and I am ultra paranoid about putting stuff on my cotton.
Here I have plunged my appliqued backgrounds in a tub of water to soak. (I'm a fabric pre-washer due to sensitive skin, so I don't worry too much about colors running...you can snip a piece of a color catcher and throw it in the mix if you are worried...) The glue stick comes out pretty quick. Depending how long the Roxanne's has been there, it needs to soak a little to loosen. It is also important to note here that a little Roxanne's goes a long way. I try to do Ola's (no blog) "dot-dot-not-a-lot" method.
After I soaked and did a little gentle squeezing (and changed and re-filled the water a couple of times), I stretched out the pieces on a clean, old towel, rolled them up and did a little more gentle squeezing (not wringing!). Now my pieces are laid out and ready to be pressed (not ironed!) with a hot, dry iron.
Here you can almost see how the letters look a little 3-D...I LOVE that look (Weasley is bored with the whole ridiculous process...).