August 17, 2015

Back when the spring issue of 100 Blocks came out, I promised that I would post a tutorial of the way that I made my block, Scroll Heart.

The magazine published instructions for fusible appliqué, but I had actually stitched the block by hand, using back-basting and a combination of regular and reverse appliqué. I’ll show you how I did it.

You might want to start by reviewing the tutorial on back-basting hand appliqué.

Now for our Scroll Heart. I hauled my original pattern out of its file folder. Because it’s a 12″ block, the pattern was folded.

I ironed it on low, under a pressing sheet, just to flatten it out a mite.

Notice my pencil notation at the top, “rev.” That means that this is the reversed version of the pattern. I’ve learned to mark this when I file things away. For back-basting, you need to start with a reversed pattern.

I pulled fabrics for the block.

Julie suggested,“I would love to see it tone on tone, with the scroll being a bit darker shade than the heart.” After selecting the fabrics, I decided to do it the other way around, with the lighter red print being revealed for the scroll.

In back-basting, you start by tracing the pattern onto the back of the background fabric. Typically this marking delineates the appliqué turning line. In this case, I’m going to use it for two purposes. It will mark the turning line for the outside of the heart, and it will mark the cutting line for the reverse appliqué scroll.

Usually I use a water-erasable marking pen. This time I used a pencil, because I’m working with dark red fabric for the appliqué. Dark. Red. Fabric. Just sayin’.

Now for the reveal layer, which will appear under the scroll. Using a light box with the pattern underneath, I drew a chalk mark on my insert fabric, in between the scroll and the heart. This will give me the shape to cut out, which will cover the scroll but miss the edge of the heart.

On the front, lay the reveal fabric, aka secret layer, on the background square, over the scroll area. You can use a light box or hold the fabrics up to the light to make sure it’s well placed. Pin from the back.

On the front, lay the heart fabric over the background and reveal fabric, making sure it covers the outside of the heart with a little bit to spare. The heart fabric can be any rough-cut hunk or chunk, as long as it covers. Remove the pins from the reveal layer and pin all three layers together from the back.

This is the front, on the light box so it looks weird.

Same thing from the back.

Now for the back-basting. Use a bright or contrasting thread that is thick or fuzzy, and a big honking needle. You want the basting to make larger holes, to give the appliqué fabric a memory of where it should turn later, when you’re stitching.

On the back, along the drawn lines, baste through all layers around the outside of the heart and along the scroll. Remove the pins.

On the front, trim the red fabric to the shape of the heart, leaving a turning allowance outside of the basting stitches of about 3/16″.

The outside line is going to be regular appliqué, making the heart cover up the background fabric.

The inside scroll lines are going to be reverse appliqué, revealing what’s underneath.

That’s the only difference between regular and reverse appliqué. Regular covers up, reverse reveals.

I’m going to stitch the outside of the heart first, so that I won’t ravel the raw edges while I’m working on the interior. Removing the basting a little at a time, I’m hand stitching using traditional needle turn.

Starting on the heart.

Outside of heart... done!

The heart is finished, time to work on the scroll. To make sure I could clearly see the cutting line once the back-basting was removed, I went over the basting stitches with a white marking pencil on the front.

Stitching the scroll is going to resemble Hawaiian appliqué, or cutaway appliqué. I’m going to remove the basting a little at a time, cut the heart fabric only along the dotted line, and turn and stitch using traditional needle turn.

One side of the first scroll is stitched.

I’m turning under as little as possible, about 1/8″. The amount that you turn under doesn’t matter so much as that it’s consistent.

Once you’ve finished one side of the scroll, you’ll need to large-baste the other side, or else it’ll be flapping in the breeze.

Just keep removing the back-basting, cutting, and stitching your way around both sides of each scroll, a little at a time. I turned under such a small amount that I didn’t even have to clip any curves.

Stitchin' along, stitchin' along.

Keep on going around; it’ll be one continuous line until you come back to the beginning. So cool!!

Remove the large basting, press, and you’re done! Cute!

I hope this has been a helpful tutorial, and has shed some light on the mysterious subject of reverse appliqué.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop

Comments

5 Responses to “Scroll Heart tutorial”

  1. Quiltmouse on August 18th, 2015 9:52 am

    Thanks for the tutorial! This is definitely something I will have to study. Loved testing your block and look forward to actually making the block the way you designed it.

  2. karenlogcabinquilter on August 20th, 2015 8:50 am

    Thank you for the tutorial.

  3. Kay on August 27th, 2015 10:04 am

    You’re so welcome gals! Hope it will come in handy sometime. Another thing for your appliqué bag of tricks.

  4. Cheri Brown on September 16th, 2015 10:33 am

    A real light bulb moment! I first looked at just the photos without reading the text and thought you were using back-basting to mark the placement for a scroll made of bias tape. Now we have two more situations to use back-basting. Thanks for the great idea.

  5. Kay on September 17th, 2015 7:49 am

    Cheri, so glad the post served as a light bulb moment for you! When I figured out how to use back-basting for the scroll, it was the same for me!

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