Wool applique – a few tips

Let’s take a look at how I do my wool appliqué?

I had intended writing about my trip to the Illinois Quilters Inc. today but I left a cable behind so I can’t upload my photos…

If you’ve been following my blog then you might have seen a few references to A Year of Butterflies. We started in January with an embroidery design, swiftly followed by the same design adapted for wool appliqué. I posted a new butterfly (it was a moth!) at the beginning of this month. This time I had the wool design ready too 🙂

There is a placement diagram. (You’ll need to go the tab at the top of the blog for the downloadable version)We’ll come back to that later. There is also a cutting diagram.That’s where you need to start!

I trace all the pieces onto a piece of freezer paper with an ultra fine permanent marker. (Freezer paper is available on a roll in the packaging section of the grocery store). I have a nice lightbox I use for this step. You should have the paper shiny side down so that you are drawing on the matte side.

Then I cut the pieces apart, leaving a 1/4″ margin around them and keeping pieces that will be from the same color wool together.Now I choose the wool pieces I am going to use. I press the shapes, shiny side down onto the right side of my fabrics, using a medium hot iron. I used milled wools from Sue Spargo for the butterfly in my pictures. You can choose which side you want to be the right side. There really isn’t a lot of difference.

(I use felted wool fabric. It’s a woven fabric that has been felted. Wool felt is a non woven product. It’s a lot flatter. My designs will work with both materials.)Now cut the pieces out on the lines, through the paper and the wool. I like to do it this way as I think the paper stops the wool stretching while I am cutting. I use a good pair of scissors with micro-serrations for an accurate cut.Time to look at that placement diagram to arrange the pieces on my background fabric. I’m using a polka dot linen fabric as the background for all my wool butterflies. I use little appliqué pins to keep everything in place.I baste everything down so that I can remove the pins. Each stitch is about the length of a pin. (Any thread that I’m not using for something else can be my basting thread!)Now it’s time to whipstitch. I use Ellana wool/acrylic thread and a size 24 chenille needle to get even stitches, round about an 1/8″ apart. The depth of the stitch depends on the weave of the fabric. Your stitches need to be deep enough to hold the pieces and not fray the edges. All stitched!Ready for embroidery and embellishment!I do enjoy wool appliqué. Use a good quality wool and it’s straight forward and relaxing to do the whipstitch around the pieces…

What are your favorite tips for success?

One Comment

  1. Jamie Moore said:

    I love your choice of colors and embroidery.

    February 23, 2018

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