Monday, June 7, 2010

The Applique Chronicles: Diary of a Dumbass

At the beginning of July we will drive to Louisville, KY to visit with my husband's family. Since Louisville is just 3 hours away from Nashville, I am taking the opportunity to escape the in-law onslaught for a few days and head south to see my brother. I was hoping to have something made for him by then, not a whole quilt, but at the very least a pillow, with a motif that would speak of our special bond and the history that ties us together. It was gonna say: FUCK CANCER - MAKE PIE and have a cherry pie applique on it. The only stumbling block: I don't know how to applique. BUT THAT HAS NEVER STOPPED ME BEFORE.

I had found instructions for making this:


and it seemed simple enough. Cut out the shapes. Iron 'em on. Stitch around the edges. Of course, I forgot about the palsy that grips my digits every time I try to cut out something with scissors. (GIRLS! RUN! MOMMY'S TRYING TO FOLLOW A STRAIGHT LINE WITH SHARP BLADES!) Add to that the Steam-a-Seam I decided to use as my fusible web of choice. According to what I gleaned from not reading the directions, you are supposed to trace the shape you want onto one side of paper backing. Which side? Does it matter? APPARENTLY IT DOES. Then, you peel off the other side, place the now exposed sticky side onto the fabric, and cut out along the lines you just drew. Oh, and here's a major point: you're supposed to stick it to the wrong side of the fabric. Really. Trust me on this. I should have had visual aids for that particular goof up, but they are now travelling through the sewers, hopefully on their way to plug up something in the Gulf.

But here's the thing, when you start cutting, the paper that has your oh-so-carefully traced shape on it starts to shift around. So, when you're done cutting, the shape has become something all smeared and distorted, and the webbing is somewhere else entirely, like in your armpit, so you're left trying to mash it all back together and re-cut it. So THEN you suddenly remember from NOT reading the directions, that you have to use a little heat to make it stick before you can actually start cutting. WELL, OF COURSE. ROWENTA TO THE RESCUE.

Only, no. The directions don't say that at all, because then you have just melted the fusible webbing to both the fabric and the paper. Oh, and did you know that irons have heat settings other than REALLY SUPER FUCKING HOT? Me either. I tell you, everyday is an adventure for people like me.

Despite needing stronger meds, I did eventually manage to cut out shapes resembling the ones in the picture. Now, it was time to carefully lay down each piece to recreate the picture. With a sure touch, everything would line up perfectly. Or not, as the scissor seizures took over again:





And of course, I can't choose fabrics well, so there's not the best contrast, and it just kinda looks like I've been scrubbing the toilets with it:


I didn't even bother trying to do any stitching. I have far too much respect for the godless Chinese peasants who made my sewing machine than to insult their labors by shoving this mess under the needle. But apparently I have absolutely no respect for the good old Americans who made my package of Steam-a-Seam. Or whoever made those fabrics. Or you.

NEXT EPISODE: Heat Resistant Mylar Is Neither Heat Resistant Nor...well, okay, it IS mylar, BUT IT STILL SUCKS.

21 comments:

Gene Black said...

Ha ha... girl I am with you. I can mess up some applique too. I did manage to fuse some stars and stick'em down and sew'em down..but I don't know why I bought an applique die to cut stars. They just seem so pretty! Crap.

Sew Here We Are said...

OMG was laughing so hard, almost fell out the chair! Had to reread 3 times before I got thru it. You rock Megan, I don't care what you say! Love it all :-)

Tammy V. said...

It'll be OK Megan. I sent you an email about a cherry pie quilt. I even attached pictures. I sent the email to harperland@mac.com and dontdrinkandquilt@gmail.com. Let me know what you think - only if it's good though - I don't want to hang myself....
I forgot - the email was from jvine@bellsouth.net

Megan said...

Tammy - I wrote you back, but I just replied to the email and didn't use the jvine@bellsouth.net that was at the bottom. I just forwarded my reply to that email - so check all your accounts and folders - it should be there somewhere!!

Karen said...

I know the feeling about applique. But try Heat and Bond. It is very user friendly. It has paper on only 1 side so you can't screw it up. I always iron it on a piece of fabric first before I trace the shape. Seems to work better that way. Good luck. But you should go ahead and stitch this one anyway just for the practice!

Have fun!
Karen

Duff said...

FUCK APPLIQUÉ-EAT PIE.

thecraftyquilter said...

You are hysterical! I laughed so hard! I have made all of the same stupid mistakes. I even ironed my applique to the ironing board cover. Trust me it's very festive! haha;)

deborah said...

I say WTF..you tried and you succeeded in making the pillow:P
I call my days like that "Adventures in Ceredo" and usually announce them to all friends on facebook (I want to own up to my dumbassedness)

P. said...

Ha, I've been there with the fusible misadventures. Forgot that little step about removing the backing paper and thought I had fused a whole bunch of stuff, only to discover, you know...whoops.

How about if you just stitched around the pie crust area with a thread with a little more contrast for definition?

Sarah Craig said...

I agree with Karen about Heat-and-Bond - very very user friendly, as my ten non-sewers who learned applique found out! And P.'s idea about contrasting thread is a good one - it might make all the difference! Good luck!!

QuiltSwissy said...

You have inspired me not to applique. I too hate it. There are some cool things I will never do because I can't cut up a million little pieces.....

glen - just stop at the grocery store and bring your brother a pie.....

Anonymous said...

Washable fabric glue stick has saved me from cleaning the sole plate on the iron...if you know what I mean. You do need to sew around the glued pieces or the first time you wash the item the applque washes off !

Mary said...

I love it when it gets all over my iron and it is the only thing fused!!! The great question is why does the goo stick so well to the iron and not the fabric????? I swear everytime that is what happens>

Lori said...

any sort of applique requires 1-prozac 2-blood pressure medicine 3-emergency medical personnel used to blood.

BUY a pillow. ORDER a pie. Have a great laugh with your brother and order the t-shirt that says F*** CANCER!

Penny said...

Hmm. Now, I am hungry for pie. At least you accomplished that - thanks for the extra half a pound I don't need. :)

Chelley said...

HILARIOUS!!! I've done many of the same things! I like Lori's advice. :)

Lisa Marie said...

I think your applique could look okay if you DID do the stitching to provide more contrast. If you went around the pieces in a black satin stitch, it would give more definition. Just a though.
I use Pellon Wonder-Under, by the way.
And you had me *almost* laughing. But the almost part isn't your fault. =]

Traci said...

I feel your pain! I bought the purple Heat n Bond, because I liked purple! I didn't realize that you CANNOT SEW through the purple, it will REALLY REALLY gum up your needle.

Or is the red? Damm.....

BTW a fabric softner sheet will remove the fusible from your iron.

Traci said...

I feel your pain! I bought the purple Heat n Bond, because I liked purple! I didn't realize that you CANNOT SEW through the purple, it will REALLY REALLY gum up your needle.

Or is the red? Damm.....

BTW a fabric softner sheet will remove the fusible from your iron.

THE MOM said...

OMG Megan, LOMAO! I am actually wiping tears from my eyes right now. I swear I have the same affliction with cutting and measuring. It all looks so good on paper. What the hell, over?! Oh how I long to be Leah Day or even Crazy Mom - hey, did you know she was back? Good luck to you on project. Good Karma will shine on you, I am sure. Tina!

Traci said...

You might find this helpful, I know I did.

http://www.thequiltshow.com/os/lessons.php/classes_id/1010/teacher/alexanderson