I’ve been enjoying myself with some applique today, and because I haven’t got anything finished to show you, I thought I’d do a quick tute on one of the ways I do raw edge applique – using Bondaweb.
I thought I’d try and describe Bondaweb (I think it’s called Wonder Under in the USA), in case you haven’t seen it. At first glance it looks like a sheet of baking parchment or tracing paper, but on closer inspection you find that one side of the paper is rough – this is the adhesive side. It basically works like this – you put the rough side of the paper against the wrong side of your chosen fabric and iron the smooth side of the paper. This melts the glue to the fabric, but don’t panic, once the glue has cooled you can peel off the paper and – ta-da! – you have fabric with an adhesive coating.
I can hear brains ticking over with ideas already, and I don’t blame you, it’s *such* a useful product. Personally, although I wouldn’t use Bondaweb if I was making an heirloom quilt (fat chance!) or something, I think it’s brilliant for raw edge applique because it makes it really easy to cut out your motif, it stabilizes the edges of your fabric, and you don’t have to worry about keeping your applique in place as you sew it into place.
So here’s how…
Draw your motif to create a template. If you’re going to make loads of the same motif, it makes sense to make it out of card. It also makes sense to keep your template somewhere safe – who knows when you might need it again? I have a whole collection of templates I keep to use again (yes, I know, this is why I have a clutter problem).
Now draw round your template on to the smooth side of the Bondaweb. If it’s a motif that needs to come out the right way round, like here with my letter ‘Z’, you need to trace it BACKWARDS (I can’t tell you how many times I have forgotten to do this).
Place the rough side of the Bondaweb shape against the wrong side of your chosen fabric and iron into place using firm even strokes. Leave to cool. Don’t peel off the paper yet!
Now cut out the shapes very accurately, using the line you drew on the smooth side of the Bondaweb as your cutting line.
Position your motifs on your chosen base fabric, peel off the backing paper and use a damp cloth to iron the motif into place, pressing each section for about 10 seconds. Leave flat to cool completely before finishing your applique by stitching round the edge, either by hand or machine.
I’ve just realised that this blog post is now moving into ‘real time’, as I am about to dash downstairs to watch the TV and handstitch my applique. I’ll be back tomorrow with the end result! Hope you find this little guide useful and it helps you to avoid lots of sticky mistakes.