Appliquéing the Giraffe
Hello, Quilters! How did your Flying Geese go last week? We’re sure that by the time you made your twelfth Flying Geese block, you had really mastered the process. This week Jenny is going to teach you a new technique – machine appliqué. We’re going to use this technique to make the giraffe for the quilt.
About machine appliqué
Appliqué involves building a picture out of fabric. Your cutting and sewing both need to be very accurate if you want the picture to look neat. Appliqué paper makes the process a lot easier. On the smooth side of the appliqué paper, you’ll draw the parts of the giraffe. The rough side will become sticky when ironed, and the glue on the appliqué paper will be transferred onto the fabric. You can then place the fabric accurately and sew it into place.
The giraffe you’ll appliqué.
Make the background
- First we need to join eight of the 8 ½” x 8 ½” grey squares (colour 1) together to make a background, similar to the pattern above. We’ll applique the giraffe onto this background.
- Sew the squares together with a quarter inch seam.
A background with eight of the 8 ½” x 8 ½” squares.
Tracing the parts of the giraffeClick here to download the Giraffe template
- The giraffe pattern is spread over three A4 pages. Print the pages and then join them up to make the giraffe. Please note that giraffe pattern is reversed, so it is ready to be drawn onto appliqué paper.
- Place the glue side (rough side) of the appliqué paper over the giraffe pattern and draw the giraffe out on the applique paper. Draw each part separately.
- Take note of the dotted lines – this is to allow for tucking the various parts under other parts. For example, draw the head part up to the dotted line on the nose, so that you can tuck the head piece under the nose when you start appliquéing. You will do the same for the ears, the neck, and anywhere else you see dotted lines.
- Roughly cut out all your applique paper parts.
- Choose which fabric variations you want to use for the giraffe. Choose one variation of the green (colour 1) fabric for the giraffe body, and one variation of the grey (colour 2) fabric for the nose, horn stems, mane, and hooves.
- Iron each part of appliqué paper onto the back of the fabric with the glue side against the fabric. The paper now sticks to the fabric.
- Cut out the pieces accurately on the lines.
Ironing the appliqué paper onto the fabric.
Making the mane
- Cut out the pattern of the semi-circle on the pattern sheet along the dotted line. Use this as a pattern to cut out 8 circles of material.
- Put the right sides together and sew around the curved edges with a quarter inch seam allowance. Keep the straight edge open.
- Clip the curve of the seam in a few places. This will ensure that it will lie flat when you turn it to the right side.
- Turn each of the mane pieces to the right side and iron them flat.
Putting the giraffe together
- Remove the appliqué paper from the back of each of the giraffe parts and you will see a glue layer has been transferred onto the fabric.
- Lay the giraffe out on the background fabric.
- Lay the parts out in the following order (bottom to top):
- Ear 2
- Horn stems, then horn tops
- Ear 1
- Insert the mane pieces just under the neck a quarter of an inch under the neck.
- When you are happy with your giraffe placement, iron it down.
Once ironed, the glue from the appliqué paper will transfer to the fabric and you can stick the fabric in place on the background.
Stitch the appliqué down
- Put your applique foot or open toe foot on your machine.
- Select a stitch – I like to use the blanket stitch for appliqué.
Choice of machine feet
Stitching blanket stitch
- If you don’t have blanket stitch, you can use a zig zag stitch with the stitch width set to 2.5 and the stitch length to 0.06 – this is called satin stitch. You may have to experiment with your machine to see which setting you like. The pictures below show the difference between blanket stitch and satin stitch.
Blanket stitch around the body.
Zig zag (satin stitch) around the ear.
- Start at Ear 2. Sew only around the edges you’ll be able to see. Leave the edge that is tucked under the head.
- Sew the horn stems – start at the point the horn stem meets the head and sew up to the horn top and then stop. Repeat for all four edges of the horn stems.
- Sew all the way around the horn tops.
- Sew the legs – start from the point at which they touch the hooves and stop at the body. Repeat for all of the long edges of the legs.
- Sew around the tail, stopping at the body. Sew all the way around the tuft of the tail.
- Sew just about all the way around the body, but stop at the head. As you sew down the neck, you will be securing the four parts of the mane in place. Take note that you’ll only sew the straight edge of the mane down – the curved edges fit up off the quilt like little flaps.
- Sew all the way around the head and nose.
- Sew the edge where the nose meets the head.
- Sew Ear 1.
- Sew on the hooves, sewing all the way around each hoof.
Wow, well done! Take a minute to stand back and admire your appliquéd giraffe! It’s going to bring Baby so much joy!
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We hope you enjoyed appliquéing the Giraffe. Next week we will be joining the blocks and getting ready to quilt.
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