You’ll have to be really creative to solve the problems you create for yourself. Many, many moons ago I started this oak and berries appliqué quilt top. I did the appliqué on the center of the medallion style design. It’s easy to cut your fabric a little larger than you need it to be, then do your appliqué and after it’s done trim and true everything on a small block like this center piece.
But then come the borders. And the design for the large appliqué border that comes next after the flying geese and solid borders cannot be done in pieces because the design travels across the corner miters. Without pausing to think beyond that insight, I sewed on those borders with mitered corners, traced the design on and started doing the appliqué. Then this started happening:
Well now, this border pretty much has to be done this way. I suppose you could do it in pieces all except for the corners, then construct it, then finish off the corners, but that method has no appeal and I’m sure it would have presented equally thorny issues. So since we’re on this path, let’s go to the Internet and see what quilters recommend for stabilizing the raw edges of hand appliqué projects…
- Starch: too messy and can discolor over time and attract pests.
- Making the background bigger and trimming later is the standard advice but we already rejected that because of the design.
- Folding the raw edges and basting them down; that idea has merit, but the raw edge is still somewhat exposed plus that fold is going to get abraded and dirty and will never press back out.
Well, the Internet wasn’t much help but, wait, wait, could I baste bias tape over the edges? Yes, now I’m thinking: do I have enough purchased bias tape on hand? It would be a little bulky on that edge. Hand basting it on would be a pain. But while I’m mulling this over, I may as well go look for bias tape. On the way to the bank of drawers that houses bias tape…Hah! Light bulb moment! I have a product in there designed to stop raw edges from fraying that is 100% reversible and can be quickly applied by machine. It’s called Seams Great. And it is!!!
That problem is solved. Now how to stay motivated and finish this aged UFO. I’m in a finishing mood now, but tomorrow, who knows?