February 28, 2013

Hawaiian applique set-up - Tutorial

Wow! One week without internet is so strange... In the meantime, I am working on Hawaiian appliques and thought you might enjoy the tutorial.

My first projects with Hawaiian themes were made back in 2005. It has been a while so I decided to revisit the book I bought in a quilt shop in Maryland, from which I got the patterns for the first projects. Usually, Hawaiian applique patterns are provided as 1/8 of the design, so you must fold the fabric properly before placing the pattern onto it. Otherwise, after cutting it, you might end up with eight pieces of fabric, instead of a cutout like the one on the picture at right.

As you can see above, I prefer using prints for these appliques, as opposed to the traditional solid fabrics. I am using silk thread for the needle turn (also called turn edge) applique.

Here are the steps to set this up:

Place a square of fabric (I am not referring here to the background fabric) wrong side up and fold it in half as shown above.
Fold it in half again, bringing right edge onto left edge.
Fold it in half on the diagonal (grab the right top corner of the square and bring it onto the bottom left corner).
Cut out the pattern you are using...
... and place it over your fabric, pin it in place so it won't move as you trace around it on the next step.
Trace around the pattern (I used FriXion pen). I was not so concerned with making neat lines, as they were going to disappear after I ironed the fabric. However, I was very neat when cutting them!
Remove pins and pattern. Using very sharp scissors, cut out the design. You will be cutting through 8 layers of fabric... so go slowly. Invariably, the edges on the last two layers will not look as nice, but any problems can be fixed when you applique.
Lay cut out onto your background fabric, pin and baste the entire design, about 1/4 inch from the its edge. The basting will be removed as you applique the project.
As for the book I am using: Hawaiian Applique by Vicky Fleming (you can find it here).

Now, you are ready to have fun appliqueing it. I have prepared 9 blocks, so this will be a 'long term' project. It is very portable, particularly because I am using the same thread for all of the blocks. I will leave it in my bag and will work on it any time I have to be in a waiting room, when I travel, when stuck at the carpool lane at school, etc.

Next, I will be working on my Nancy Drew quilt project for the Nancy Drew is the Clue Blog Hop that starts on March 6th. How about you, what are you working on this week?


  1. Muito legal sua explicação,adorei.Sempre faço com quatro partes,e quando não dá certo...Tenho alguns começados eu amo virada de agulha.Vá postando quadro a quadro por favor.

  2. I hope to give this a try someday... thanks for showing me how! I'll be following along.


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