I like to have handwork on hand – something to work on while I’m waiting for kids, at a guild meeting, or watching TV with the family. The problem is taking the time to prepare it – I like to have seams turned because I never know when or where I will be working. I randomly came across a YouTube video a few days ago about a technique to prepare applique. I modified it to work better for me. Here goes!
Pre-press four sheets of freezer paper (freezer paper shrinks a little when you press it which will cause it to ripple a little if you press it together without pre-shrinking – so I pre-shrink). Then layer them one at a time and press them together to create one four-layered sheet. Cut out a circle that is the finished size of the applique.
Cut out the circle fabric about 1/2″ larger than the finished size.
Press the fabric to the waxy side of the freezer paper template. Lightly spray with starch.
Place the circle on top of a piece of foil.
Holding down the template, pull up on the foil easing the seam without pleating. Then push down the foil (about 1/2″ in from the edges), rubbing it smooth. Don’t worry about the extra foil in the middle.
Make sure the edges are smooth. If not, just smooth them over.
Run the edges of the circle under a hot iron – be careful the foil will get very hot. Set it aside to cool down while you work on more circles!
Once it has cooled, pull back the foil and remove the circle. If you have more circles to make of the same size, leave the foil as it is (don’t flatten it). Then it will work kind of like a making a covered button, just push the next circle in and it will save you some time.
Peel off the freezer paper (you can reuse it over and over) and you are ready to applique – either by hand or machine.
If you are working on circles of varying sizes, you can stack them and then spray them with starch – the starch only needs to hit the seam allowance. This method will work for any convex shape – any shape without inside corners or curves. I hope you like this method as much as I do!