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When appliqueing, I think the idea is to do it
without puckering up, but I'm learning, so I puckered. This venture was attempt number two. You may have never heard of a
Challah cover, but it's what both Jewish & Messianic believers (me being the latter of the two) use to cover two yummy loaves of bread for the Shabbat, or "sabbath". I wanted to try my hand at making our own for our Shabbat table. Sounds DANGEROUS!! Things go crazy sometimes when I sew. I zig when I should zag and fly by the seat of my American Eagle jeans. That's half my problem...I don't like to follow patterns *argh* But honestly, if you're a sewer at heart, you take risks & sew dangerously sometimes. You cut right into beautiful fabrics and hope for the best. My results weren't half bad, but I wouldn't put it out for guests or anything. I'm hoping someone can give me some tips. I wanted this cover to be as low budget as I could possibly make it without it looking cheap. After scouring Wal-mart & Dollar Tree, I settled on a polyester stripey dinner napkin for $3.98 It was the perfect size! Including the fabric hand towel from Dollar Tree, the whole thing only cost me a little over $5! Next, how to applique on it... I've done one with a denim applique before, which was easy. I didn't even need the bonding stuff you can iron on. This time though, I picked up a weavy type of hand towel for the letters. They would have to be bonded firmly to the fabric or risk certain unraveling. So, that was kinda scary. The letters were unraveling at break neck speed. One of my letter tips even fell off on the trip upstairs to iron them on! I found it though and stuck the pieces together, ironed that bonding stuff on it and you can't even tell - whew.
What I'm wondering is, what technique can I use to applique without the base fabric puckering up? Here's the picture of what happened...

Is my tension too tight?? Any thoughts? "Toda raba"-Thanks a lot!

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Comment by MartiB on January 18, 2011 at 4:12pm

Did you use a stablizer on the letters?  I stabilized the fabric before appliquing.  Maybe that would help.  It does seem to keep it from pulling.

Comment by Ann Hirsch on February 1, 2010 at 5:24pm
I find it works best to back the applique fabric with a light weight paper backed stabilizer then trace the applique shapes(mirror imaged) on the backing. You can then cut out the shapes, peel off the backing and iron onto the base fabric. If the base fabric is lightweight put a tearaway stabilizer under the whole thing, or any kind of paper, then stitch with the appropriate decorative edging.
Comment by carol c on January 31, 2010 at 4:02pm
i use paper towel , coffee filters, or embroidery stabelizers (water) and also can use saran
style lunch sandwich papers.
Comment by Stacy on January 30, 2010 at 10:09pm
I use a backing between the fabric and feeder feet. I have used dryer sheets when a bind.

This can be stiff interfacing can trimmed or detached after you are finished with your applique or you could sew two of the shiny fabrics together after appliquing to 'hide' your zig zag stiches on the back.

As for issue with the is easier to iron your heat n bond to your fabric and then cut our your letters or objects before appliquing. This cuts down on the raveling.

I seen your work. I am confident that you will be able to conquer this project.
Comment by Sarah E Lloyd on January 29, 2010 at 8:56pm
i go along with the stabiliser idea, even putting a piece of copier paper behind will help, if you need it to be really cheap!, what does the word say please? I am a Christian and totally and ashamedly ignorant of Judaic text - is that the right word?
Comment by Carli Heinrichs on January 29, 2010 at 5:04pm
Hi Birdie,
It think that perhaps a lighter weight main fabric may work better. Making sure that both fabrics are actually similar. Maybe a rayon with another rayon for the symbols? Use the stabilizer and you should be fine.
Comment by Bonnie on January 29, 2010 at 1:58pm
Hi,Birdie! I like your cover ,puckers and all. I usually use a stabilizer called Totally Stable made by Sulky on my base if it's knit,satin,or any silky , slippery, or light weight fabric. You just iron it on and it's a temporary bond, tear off when you're done. I personally like HeatnBond Lite for the applique part; draw your applique or trace it on the paper side of the HeatnBond, reversing the letters so they are facing the right direction when finished; you could lay the whole word out, trace it,then cut it out(leaving a 1/2 margin around it) ,then iron the whole thing to your applique fabric, then cut the individual letters out ,peel off paper and iron each letter in place on your base. You will have no raveling letters doing it this way. It doesn't matter if you trace the word or individual letters but tracing the whole word eliminates some waste of the HeatnBond since you need to leave a little margin around your tracing, and the margin is what helps eliminate the raveling problem.
If you can't find Totally Stable stabilizer, you can use regular tear-away stuff and a temporary spray adhesive or even a kid's glue stick to adhere the tear-away to your base fabric.

I've found that when I applique on silkys or knits, the whole thing looks better it I decrease the density of my satin stitching. For my machine that means using my zig-zag setting rather than my built in satin stitch. I can set the zig -zag stitch however wide and dense I want it,and I get a better result .

Hope this helps you master applique;it's a quick fun way to make a plain thing special and creating the design is half the fun. Go girl!!

Comment by Kathleen on January 29, 2010 at 12:49pm
All the suggestions about stabilizer use are very good. I would love to see this from the back side to see the tension used. I do notice more puckering on the shine/satin weave stripe, so I wonder if starting and stopping the appliqué on the dull stripe would help some. I also might try using a regular embroidery hoop as I do each appliqué to keep the base fabric tight. This is a lovely idea.
Comment by Tooty Hallberg on January 29, 2010 at 11:04am
HI, I see there are many correct answers for you. You do need to use a stabilizer to keep the puckering from happening. THere are many kinds of stabilizers to use for this and they can be found at most any fabric store. Also use a good quality of fabric to applique and good luck Tooty
Comment by Cathy on January 29, 2010 at 9:50am
When I applique I use Steam a Seam 2 -Lite and a stabilizer - I love the Steam a Seam Lite- especially on childrens things. I do small samples with my stitches to make sure they are going to be the right size - There are so many stabilizers in the stores now it is hard to know about them all . I have a good cut - away and a good tear away that I use -Ibought my cut a way at a Viking dealer and mail ordered the tear away. Have been pleased with both types . Steam a Seam is also repositionable until you iron the design down and is not heavy like Wonder Under, Heat n'Bond.

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