Completed this little top today, Valentines Day 2022. It was fun getting back to some hand stitching (just healing up from a finger injury). The top is approx. 25" x 26". So probably big enough to tuck into a car seat or stroller. The bear block is 9.5" square. It will be quilted using a light batting with flannel backing to finish. I decided to embroider Hula Bear this time and use fewer appliques. She's bright and sweet. The prints are mainly Trendtex fabrics from Hawaii.
I like making the appliques using sew in interfacing. The results are a flat applique with edges turned under. I learned this method from a tip in an old Quilter's Newsletter Magazine. I've used it when possible ever sense. Below are pictures of what that process looks like.
1 - Trace your shape on to light weight, sew in interfacing. Pin to the right side of applique fabric. You can see through it to position your applique.
2 - Thread needle with water soluble thread.
3 - Shorten stitch length to 1.5 or 1.6.
4 - Sew around your shape just outside the drawn line.
5 - Trim leaving a 1/8th to 1/4" seam allowance outside the line.
6 - Clip any curves if needed.
7 - Cut a slit in the interfacing only and turn the shape right side out. Use the straw and chopstick method to make this step easy.
8 - Use the chopstick or a bodkin to smooth the seams and press shape.
9 - Spray the back of the applique lightly with fabric sizing.
10 - Following instructions on the can, make sure sizing is absorbed in fabric.
11 - Turn the applique right side up and press moving iron back and forth until shape is dry.
12 - Lift interfacing away from the fabric and you have a nice flat applique shape with turned under edges. The interfacing lifts off because the water soluble thread melts away. Magical...
Above is the back of Hula Bear's skirt applique and the interfacing that came away when it was pressed. Nice smooth turned under edges.
Above is Hula Bear in progress. For me, not always, but a lot of times, applique prep this way is faster than using the starch and paper method or other. You still get a nice flat applique. Also, if you want more body to your applique, use regular thread in the needle and leave the interfacing in.