Don't forget textured fabrics when considering your appliqué projects.Could a little furry fleece or even a velour print add 3D life to your project?Keep a stash of ⅛- to ¼-yard pieces of that spendy, but oh so soft, furry fleece on hand for projects that call for sheep or even for fuzzy little appliqué aliens!
Did you know that you can print directly on fabric using your printer (laser or ink-jet) without pre-treating the fabric?I use a temporary spray baste to stabilize the fabric with a plain sheet of paper and then feed it through just as I would paper.After printing, cover with a pressing cloth to protect your iron, and press to heat-set the ink.With this, you can use our scanner and wrapping paper (or any other pretty paper) to print your own fabric for use with designs or other projects.(Editor's Note:NEVER run adhesive spray baste through your printer. Instead, press your fabric to a sheet of freezer paper, cut to size - 8½"x11" for regular paper size - and run through.If any wax from the freezer paper happens to get inside the printer, it will act as a lubricant.Adhesive will gum up the inside of the printer.My printer tech friend gives you this advice with love!)
A healthy stock of fabric scraps is a great resource for appliqué on your embroidery machine.Keep an eye out at thrift stores and yard sales for packaged scraps.You only need a couple of inches to make all the difference in getting just the look you want to fill in that appliqué space.Organize your scraps by color groupings as you get them to help make a quick choice - mine even get arranged within the color groups into prints and solids.(Editor's Note:small, clear boxes and Ziploc bags are perfect for sorting scrap fabrics.)
Appliqué doesn't always mean you have to use cotton quilting fabrics.There are plenty of fun fabrics available that can add texture and dimension to your design.Take a stroll through the fake furs and plush fabrics at your local fabric store and start to imagine sheep and monster designs that touch you back.The price of these fabrics can be high, but if you only need ⅛- to ¼-yard pieces for appliqué, then it becomes quite affordable to play with.Take a friend, or group of friends, shopping to split and share those ⅛- to ¼-yard pieces into workable appliqué squares.You'll end up with a nice stash assortment for everyone for very little money.
The next time you’re dreaming about what to do with all those quilt fabrics and you just can't choose from a whole wall, try purchasing several ⅛- to ¼-yard pieces of your favorites to add to your appliqué stash.Also, be sure to think of appliqué when sewing friends are de-cluttering their sewing rooms.It only takes a couple of inches to cover an appliqué area.Great appliqué projects start with a variety of fabrics to choose from so that you are sure to get just the color and texture you desire.