In December, I made a knitting bag for a friend. At the time, I promised to show how I sewed the appliqué when I made another knitting bag for myself, which I have done.
So, here are some step-by-step photos showing how I sewed the appliqué.
I found images online and used them as templates to trace the appliqué shapes, including the ball of wool and the knitting needles. The oval is part of the Ric Rac pattern, but I decided to also make that an appliqué shape instead of embroidering two lines . You can appliqué any design you like.
You can also use any type of fusible paper you like. Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions. I used Vliesofix as it is readily available here.
Try to avoid getting the glue from the fusible paper stuck to your iron. Protect your iron and ironing board with baking paper.
Because I was making a bag, I cut over-sized pieces of fabric and batting and sandwiched the two together, and I cut out the pattern piece for the front of the bag only after I had finished the appliqué. This allowed me a bit of fudge room.
When I have made small quilts using this appliqué technique, I fused the appliqué pieces in place on the quilt top, sandwiched the three layers (top, batting and backing) together, and then started sewing the fused pieces in place. Quilting and appliquéing at the same time = no fuss!
Setting up your machine for free-motion quilting is where your sewing machine’s instruction book comes in handy.
As I was lining bags, I did not use a fabric backing. If this were a quilt, you would not see the batting; instead, the stitches would show on the backing fabric.
For the bag itself, I used Ric Rac’s work in progress bag pattern.
You can see two other examples of baby quilts I made using this technique here. (Look for the sheep and the birds.)
I find the magic part of this technique is that one wonky line of sewing looks wonky, but three wonky lines of sewing over the top of each other suddenly start to look deliberate and neat. The drunken scribbly lines seem to average each other out.
I would not use this method of appliqué for quilts that get a lot of wear and need frequent washing, but it works well for wall-hangings and things like a knitting bag, which I will probably only wash now and then – when it gets really grotty or when I spill my tea (or red wine) on it.