Saturday, January 11, 2014

Giving applique a bath

I got busy doing some prep for two applique borders before Christmas so I could sit and relax with some stitching. I feel like I've been productive now that two are done. The first is for my Baltimore and the second is for the Aunty Green.
The Baltimore border has lots of embroidered stems which I did using a wrapped stem stitch. You might be able to see if you click on the photo above.
I draw the pattern on the background with my special pens and I do use basting glue so my applique needs a good bath when I'm done.
I generally fill a sink with warm water, not too hot and leave the piece to soak for anything from 15 minutes to half an hour depending what else I'm busy with. I do swish it around in the water a couple of times and I'll only add a dye catcher sheet if I'm concerned about some of the fabrics bleeding. I don't need to use them to catch the ink in the pens. I pre-wash most fabrics but sometimes those reds bleed regardless. 
You can see how the water has changed colour from the ink,it's suspended in the water and has never affected my fabrics or run onto them. They are acid free and non toxic. Sometimes I steam press my applique with a hot iron and that doesn't even affect how effectively it washes out. I have left ink in a quilt for a couple of years and it still washes out beautifully. For more information, see this post.
I rinse a couple of times in cold water and then squeeze, not wring the excess out. I then flatten it out on a towel as in the photo above, roll it up inside the towel to get more water out and leave it flat to dry.
Once it's dry, I'll double a towel on the ironing board and give it a good press with steam. The soft surface stops the applique from pressing too flat and it helps to get the wrinkles out between the applique shapes.
 It's hard to get a good photo of long borders but you get the idea. I've left quite a bit of negative space to fit some nice quilting in and I also didn't want the border to be too busy looking. There's still more to do to turn the corners at each end but I can't do that until later when sides are joined.
I finished another border for the Aunty Green quilt and thought I'd show you more close up photos so you can see the fabrics. The above is the center section.
The right side
And lastly, the left. I have to do some math now and do some trimming before I join the last four borders to the center medallion. After that I guess I have to get on and fill the corner applique parts in. That could take awhile.
Until next time, happy stitching, Janet

48 comments:

Salley said...

You're a maestro Janet and so generous with your details. Totally gorgeous applique as usual!

Janet said...

What a graceful border and I love that gorgeous urn! The red buds on the Auntie Green are such an interesting shape along with the other whimsical flowers. 2 very different and interesting projects - your work never fails to inspire.

Patchwork and Play said...

You work is always inspiring Janet! The Baltimore border is gorgeous!

Rachaeldaisy said...

Your work is always such a joy to behold!! You really make flowers come to life on your quilts. I must admit I was a bit worried to see your border in a sink of coloured water, I'm glad there were no runs. Your Aunty Green is looking fabulous, and I must say you're making great progress on it.

Shirley said...

You are definitely the Queen of Applique in my book. Both projects are going to be simply stunning. As ever you come up with the research for us. Fabulous.x

Every Stitch said...

Your applique is sheer perfection! The roses look so real too- amazing. Must look up that embroidery stitch - great stems. Thanks for showing us your washing process.
Hilda

Susan said...

Thanks so much for sharing your very brave methods. Your appliqué is exquisite, I think they will both be magnificent quilts. How do you go about choosing all those small pieces of fabric so they look so good together?

Jess @ Scrappy n Happy said...

Your Baltimore border is beautiful! So is the Aunty green of course...I just have a thing for baltimore quilts! I adore the fussy cut leaves and those little blue flowers!

Jess @ Scrappy n Happy said...

Your Baltimore border is beautiful! So is the Aunty green of course...I just have a thing for baltimore quilts! I adore the fussy cut leaves and those little blue flowers!

Barb said...

Wow, your applique is an inspiration. The fabric choices are just perfect, so beautiful.

Barb said...

Beautiful applique Janet and thanks for reminding me of those pens.

Heather said...

Such beautiful borders! Those roses look so real. Did you use a printed Rose fabric to cut out the pieces? I am still terrified to wash my appliqué! Thanks for sharing your technique, perhaps I will get brave and give it a try.

Design Originals by KC said...

So happy I follow your blog and didn't miss this great post and finding new marking pens is a def bonus!
Your applique is absolutely gorgeous!!!
Kathi

Karen said...

I could be so happy with a quilt made with just that border.......sigh. Your work still blows me away. I think it's the stems that make such a difference. Great post.

Paula Hensley Murphy said...

beatuiful, I have a question. I'm working on a Roseville Album quilt, I almost have it finished quilted....I have used several hand dyed fabrics, washed them before hand, but like you say, they still run.....when I originally marked the quilt, I used the blue marking water solubable pen....I'm so conderned that they may run. do you think if I put like 4 dye cathers in the washer with it, they would catch the runs. Any advice would be much appreciated, thanks

Mimi said...

Janet....seeing your lovely work makes me want to jump into another major applique project, but I am trying to resist so that I can get a ton of UFOs completed. I will just sit back and enjoy yours for now. Your work is exquisite. thank you for sharing.

Terry said...

Everything you do is so beautiful! And those roses are amazing!! :0)

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

beautiful - I look forward to seeing the quilts finished.

Staci said...

The border is just beautiful- I love looking at your applique work & embroidery.
This post was so informative about washing--thank you! I've always been afraid to wash sections of an unfinished top, but now I know it can be done sucessfully.

Nedra said...

Your applique is just stunning! Shows how inexperienced I am in this department: I didn't know people washed sections before sewing them into the quilt. Do most people do this?

Donna in SW PA said...

Beautiful work!!

Lori said...

Your applique is beautiful! Both quilts are going to be amazing!!

Marjorie said...

Absolutely fantastic! Makes me want to applique instead of working on my new year goal to finish of WIPs. Sigh.

Lina said...

WOW!!! I am speechless!!!! Amazing as usual !!! Happy New Year Janet!

Cissa K said...

As usual, everything is pure perfection. Thanks for sharing.

Marie said...

I just knew you were busy creating another masterpiece or two - both are spectacular and a wonderful inspiration. Maybe this year is the year that I take the plunge and try my hand at appliqué.

Ada Kopitopoulou said...

Beautiful borders! My mother-in-law taught me to iron embroidery and crocheted doilies on a towel!

Robin said...

Your work is stunning Janet! So inspiring and beautiful. Many thanks for the tips too! I'm curious-- the sink in the first pic looks a little sudsy-- do you use a soap/detergent of any kind when you soak? Or is it just plain water?

Aunt 'Reen said...

I love seeing your applique' work! You are so talented and inspiring. I'm just thrilled that you share your work with us here in blogland!

Sharon said...

Beautiful, thanks for sharing your process. Many are afraid to wash, but you have the process down.

Archie the wonder dog said...

Your appliqué is exquisite! Thank you for sharing how you bathe your borders!

tinac said...

As usual, your work is gorgeous. I'm blown away by your exquisite work. I've missed seeing your posts so I'm happy to see you back at it!

Raewyn said...

Your work really is beautiful and thank you for such an informative post.

Ramona said...

Love, Love Love your Baltimore border. Just gorgeous! You have quite a gift when it comes to applique and how wonderful that you share it with us. Thank you!

Judy Dietrich said...

What a gorgeous piece of applique border. Of course, there must be more parts of this quilt being worked on!! Thanks for the info on washing and ironing the piece after you are done stitching. I really like the idea to leave area for quilting and not filling up all the space. I learned something new today. YEAH

Sue SA said...

Wow love this beautiful applique, so detailed! Thank you so much for telling us about the pens you use, as I am just about to get back into applique and marking is one of my bug bears, so will try and buy some.

pandchintz said...

Your work is just beautiful, Janet! Thanks for the tips.

Nat Palaskas said...

So beautiful applique pieces Janet!
Hugs
Nat

Cathy Underhill said...

I agree with Salley...you are a maestro!! xo

Coach Tina said...

Really beautiful work-love the applique. You are a master of applique!

Thimbleanna said...

Wow Janet. Those borders are stunning! I've never washed applique before the quilt has been quilted -- thanks for showing us that it can be done!

Dixie said...

Your applique is beautiful, and I enjoyed seeing how you wash and press your borders. Happy New Year to you!

Doris said...

I haven't washed before quilting before; thanks for this info, Janet. As usual, your work is stunning!

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Seeing all those lovely pictures of appliqué I'm itching to get back to some of my handwork projects! Thanks for the inspiration!

Janet said...

Oh Janet, just beautiful. Your fabric choices and needleturn applique is perfection. Two heirloom quilts on their way.

Sue said...

Thank you so much Janet for your info regarding the pens. I was wondering after hearing so many differing opinions about various marking pens, what I was going to mark my Mrs Billings quilt top with. I have now ordered some of the pens you use. Also your idea of marking as you go is a great one. I will endeavour to do that also.
Thanks again Janet for all your inspiration. Your quilts are devine!

Mary said...

Gorgeous as always! THat red water would give me hives, though! Fantastic, Janet!

Carrie P. said...

oooo! scary! I wash my fabrics too.
glad to see that red pen doesn't affect the fabrics.