Many years ago, Piece O'Cake Designs invented the overlay system for applique. It involves 12 gauge upholstery vinyl and eliminates the need to trace the applique pattern onto the background fabric. Yea! Thanks, Becky and Linda!
But sometimes patterns do not come with an entire block layout, which means it is difficult (if not impossible) to make an overlay for placement. So here's what I do.
I have long been a fan of Country Threads' designs. Last year, I acquired this pattern and wanted to make it.
Pattern pieces only. Luckily, I had worked on a much larger piece several years ago so I knew the drill!
After cutting out the appropriate fabrics for each piece, I started laying them in their designated spots according to the pattern front. Once you get them arranged "just right", you don't want to have to remove them and applique just a few at a time--because the next additions will be slightly different than you originally had.
The candles themselves were not a problem, as they did not cross each other. The "halos" and flames were a different story. After arranging them, I pinned them in place (the pins are gone in these pictures). Notice where the circles overlap? That's where the flap comes in.
You can see in this pic that I basted so that I did not catch the layers underneath. Now all my applique pieces are basted in place and this becomes a portable project, with no pieces to get lost!
Here you can see that the circle and flame on the left have been appliqued. The next piece to be appliqued is the circle on candle #3. The flap on circle #2 has been pinned back.
And the flap on circle #4 is also pinned back. Notice that the bottom of the flame on circle #3 is pinned up to allow full access to the circle! The circle will be appliqued all the way around, the flame unpinned and appliqued next. See the plan? Too cool right?
At this point I can applique circle/flame #2, or I can do circle/flame #5, then finish with #2 and #4. We always applique the pieces farthest away from us first.
Because I had used batiks for all but the background, the look was a bit more stained glass than country. So I eliminated the applique on the corners and opted for a bit different finish.
For those of you who are designing things as you go, this is a fabulous technique, as you can keep adding things, as long as you remember to leave flaps for easy sewing access.
So that's what all the flap is about!
P.S. We had another inch or two of snow today. And while I was sitting in the parlor this afternoon, two deer came up to the window!