Sunday, September 11, 2016

Back Basting Applique

Several of you had questions about back basting for hand applique. I'm sure if you google that phrase, you'll find many sources to check out.
I've taken pictures of the block I'm working on for the Pastor's Attic Quilt. This is block 24, Crossed Pinecone Variation. The 4 corner fronds are completed and I'm ready for the center. I mark the design on the back side of the background fabric with a black Frixon pen. Straight pins go around the design so I can see on the front the position of the applique. (The outsides fronds have been appliqued, but the cream colored thread doesn't show.)


I lay my fabric on top, pin it outside the pins on the back. Next I turn it over to the back; remove the back pins and then with a larger needle and a high contrasting thread, I basted the design onto the red fabric. 


After the fabric is basted to the front, I remove the pins. Using a pair of very sharp scissors, I trim the large piece of fabric from the design, making sure I leave a good 1/2" from the basting.


Then I very carefully trim around the outside of the design. Once that is completed, I very, very, very carefully cut between the curvy pieces.





Here is a blurry close-up photo.

There is a design in the center of the block but I won't trim that until I have the outside applique completed. I'm afraid the raw edges would fray too much.

I know this sounds complicated but it really isn't, it is just time consuming. I can't do freezer paper on the back of the design, too many problems removing it because of all the small protrusions. 

Some people will cut slits in their background fabric under the applique to remove the freezer paper. I won't do that. We've all seen old antique quilts with the applique  worn off. If there are slits in the back when the applique wears off, that quilt is ruined.  

I've tried freezer paper on the top of my design, but it never stays attached.

Some people mark the top of the fabric with the design, baste to the background fabric, then needle turn. That is fine too, whatever works.


Two sides completed.











The four sides completed.












Inside star is appliqued. This was the hardest part to applique on this block. Not the best of applique, but I got her done!








Back side of the block. Since I used red thread, you can see how it lines up with the black pen. I don't always stay on the line, but I'm normally pretty close.







All pressed and looking pretty for the camera.












What's next? I'm going to take a vacation from applique and quilt my little snowman wallhanging.

Linking to - Kathy's Slow Sunday StitchingQuilting is More Fun than Housework, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh QuiltQuilt StoryEsther's Wednesday WOW!, Sew Fresh QuiltsMy Quilt Infatuation, A Quilting Reader's Garden, Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Show Off Saturday

26 comments:

  1. Thanks for showing the back basting method you use. I have only tried back basting once and only a very small section. I like to try different methods but always go back to needle turn with the design marked on top of the fabric.

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    1. There is no right or wrong way to applique. We need to find what works for us and do it.

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  2. I love back basting... and I tend to not go back and 'cut out' the back. Your block is beautiful, as is your little snowman.

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  3. Thanks fir sharing your process. I will have to remember this.

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  4. I do freezer paper and starch but I'd never be able to make something this complicated with it; ( at least I don't think I'd be to able to prep that way for this block )

    Thanks for the post showing the process! :) This is beautiful.

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  5. I love back basting and it really helps to keep the piece in place. Looks wonderful!

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  6. I'm a back baster and I have to say - you do lovely work!!!

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    1. Thank you. This block was a very slow one to applique but when I finished her, I thought, "I did it!"

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    2. Looking great Gretchen. Like the colors you selected. Going to be a beautiful quilt!
      Back basting is another great way to appllique. I use it for large pieces. Have a great day!

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  7. I am still a little confused with your applique but that's okay. I will figure it out if I ever need to. Meanwhile your applique is really pretty. I also love that adorable snowman. I am looking forward to seeing how you quilt him.

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  8. I am in awe of your intricate work.

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  9. What a beautiful applique block! That is a ton of work! But so gorgeous!

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    1. This applique quilt is a very slow project but I think it is worth the time. Thank you for visiting my blog.

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  10. You are very patient! You appliqué is amazing.

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    1. I am not by nature a patient person but I find applique calming and relaxing. I have trouble falling asleep at night if I don't do my applique. Thanks!

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  11. Thanks for sharing your technique - always interesting to see exactly how someone else does it. Your work is beautiful!

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  12. Interesting process -- I'm such a slow worker on appliqué any way I'd probably never finish a project if I tried this method. Hum, I think I have something like 3 different appliqué projects going and only one (the newest one at 9 years old) has all of its blocks done! Yep, I'm a turtle.

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    1. Slow is fine, there aren't any awards given for speed except in the Row by Row project. Blessings!

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  13. Thanks for sharing your method, the result is beautifull!

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  14. Lovely and a good explanation of a method I also use quite often.

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  15. Great projects. Thanks for the explanation of the back basting. I had never thought of doing that. Your applique is wonderful!

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  16. Such a pretty block! I find applique challenging, but I did enjoy reading about just how you did this!

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  17. Thank you for the process post - nothing better than to seeing the applique appear. Love your snowman. And thanks for linking to WIPs Be Gone. It was great to come and see your progress.

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  18. Wow! Very intricate! I only Applique very basic shapes and I use the freezer paper method. I've tried every method but this one. I don't seem to have the patience for the prep work.

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