I recently made a fun fabric basket using wool appliqué with a design from Minki Kim’s new book, Zakka Wool Appliqué: 60+ Sweetly Stitched Designs. I’m sharing some tips for working with appliqué patterns, the free tutorial to make this basket, and at the bottom of the post you can enter for a chance to win your own copy of Zakka Wool Appliqué from Minki Kim!
Materials to Make an Appliqué Fabric Basket
- Wool felt scraps
- One scrap of solid color cotton fabric for base of appliqué (see basket tutorial below for fabric requirements)
- Fusible webbing
- Clear tape
- Iron and pressing surface
- Find the free basket tutorial from Minki Kim here (I left the handle off of my basket)
- Copy of Minki Kim’s Zakka Wool Appliqué (or use your appliqué pattern of choice)
- Sewing machine (I use a BERNINA 570 QE)
- Open embroidery foot #20
Minki’s new book includes lots of sweet patterns and project ideas, and I immediately loved the “Cat Says hi” design, featuring a cute cat wearing a little sweater. Here’s how I created the cute cat appliqué with wool.
I copy the appliqué pattern to white copy paper to trace the pattern. I’m using one piece of cotton woven fabric for the base of the appliqué design.
When I need to trace, I use an ultra slim light box from The Daylight Company. If you don’t have a light box you can use a window to trace your design. I use clear tape to hold the pattern in place while I am tracing to keep the layers from shifting.
First I trace the outline of the appliqué shape very lightly directly on the base fabric. This will help align the pieces in a later step. Once the pattern outline is traced on the base fabric, I can trace the appliqué shapes on the paper side of the fusible webbing. I decide that the cat will stand alone without the little “hi” speech bubble.
Because the paper side of the fusible webbing will become the back of the shapes, the pattern will need to be REVERSED (or flipped-over) before you trace. I flip the pattern over and use the clear tape to secure it to the light table.
I trace the shapes on the paper side of the fusible webbing in batches corresponding to the colors of felt.
Once I’ve traced the shapes, I follow the manufacturer’s instructions for fusing the paper backed webbing to the WRONG side of the felt. Then I can carefully cut out each shape.
I arrange the shapes carefully on the base fabric following the outline I traced. I use the pattern to help me put little shapes in the right place. Use a pressing cloth to do the final pressing in place to help keep those little tiny pieces from shifting around.
Now I’m ready to add all the stitching details to my appliqué with the sewing machine. I use Open embroidery foot #20 for these steps because the foot gives me a clear view of exactly where I am placing the stitches on the shapes.
I use a very narrow zigzag stitch to secure the shapes in place, stitch width 1.5 and stitch length 1. I use coordinating thread colors for each shape to help hide the stitches.
To add the details to the cat’s paws and face, I use black thread with a very short straight stitch, and sew the lines. I am stitching as I go, but you can gently trace the lines with a fabric marking pencil first (just be sure to test first with the felt to make sure the marks won’t be permanent).
To add some fun details to the cat’s sweater, I pick a fun decorative stitch from the machine. This is decorative stitch 142 in my B 570 QE. I stitch one motif using the Pattern Begin/End feature. This feature allows you to stitch just one of the decorative motifs perfectly! Find out more about this feature with this tutorial to use Pattern Begin and End from WeAllSew.
I finish off the sweater with a triple stitch at the top and bottom of the single stitched motif.
To create the basket, I use Minki Kim’s basket tutorial linked in the Materials section above, leaving out the addition of the basket handle to create a handy fabric bin.
I sewed the cotton fabric piece with the appliqué cat to squares of half-triangle patchwork. I used all vintage fabrics from my stash, created the HST’s to finish at a little larger than 2″ x 2″, sewed them together with the appliqué cat, and then cut the entire piece of patchwork to the correct size to make the basket. You can create any type of patchwork or combination of fabrics for the outside of your basket! Just follow all the directions in the tutorial to finish the project once you’ve created the outside.
It’s a great size to use as a scrap basket next to your sewing machine.
Or to hold a handful of sewing patterns, balls of yarn, fat quarter bundles, or other craft supplies.
And the bin even works well to catch and hold your four footed furry friends favorite toys!
Zakka Wool Appliqué Book Giveaway
The giveaway is now closed, thanks to our WeAllSew fans who entered. Congratulations to the winner of one copy of Minki Kim’s new book, Zakka Wool Appliqué WeAllSew fan @scooter!
All you have to do is post a comment below and answer the question:
“What is your favorite BERNINA presser foot for appliqué?”
The the giveaway is open through Thursday, August 13.
The giveaway is open to residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. One comment per fan. Comment must be submitted to the WeAllSew.com blog by Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 11:59 PM Central Time. Winner will be chosen randomly. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to contact to claim the prize.