Unleash Your Creativity with Raw-Edge Appliqué
Discover step-by-step instructions, tips, and tricks to unleash your creativity and create unique designs. Learn how to select and prepare low volume fabric scraps to create a beautifully quilted background then add raw-edge appliqué. Explore the process of finishing off your design with raw-edge appliqué techniques. Get ready to create your own festive Christmas tree quilt using fabric scraps and raw-edge appliqué. This quilted wall-hanging will make the perfect Christmas gift that will charm everyone who sees it.
Are you ready to unleash your creativity and bring a touch of artistic flair to your quilting projects with raw-edge appliqué? Once you give it a try, you’ll be amazed how you can transform your scrap fabrics into stunning quilts.
Follow the step-by-step process, from selecting and preparing the perfect fabric scraps to adding those touches that take your finished quilt to the next level. Remember these are simply guidelines I use for this project, but you’ll find the best ways that work for you. You’ll love the creative freedom in making your own festive Christmas tree quilt. So, gather your supplies, let your imagination run wild, and you won’t believe what you can create!
Create the Perfect Low Volume Fabric Background
Selecting and Preparing Low Volume Fabric Scraps
Choosing your low volume fabric scraps is about setting the mood or tone of your quilt. Using subtle, monochromatic fabrics create a subdued look which is perfect for making this appliquéd Christmas tree really stand out. Whether you blend multiple fabrics or stay strictly monochromatic, ensure all your pieces look well together. But how do you go about selecting and preparing these background fabrics?
When it comes to selecting low volume fabrics, the possibilities are endless. You can choose from a variety of colors, patterns, and textures, allowing you to customize your background. You will want to include fabrics with delicate prints, soft shades, or even subtle textures to add depth for visual interest.
If this is your first time quilting with low volume fabrics, check out my post What are Low Volume Fabrics for a more detailed explanation.
With your low volume fabric scraps selected, you’re now ready to move on to creating a beautifully quilted background. A quilting surface will add depth and dimension to your quilt making it very visually appealing. Get ready for some inspiring quilting techniques!
How to Piece Low Volume Fabric Scraps
With your fabric scraps gathered, you will want to consider how to piece them for your background. If your scraps are mostly strips, it will be easy to sew strip sets together that you can crosscut into different widths. Or, if your scraps are squares or smaller pieces, start joining them to create larger blocks. These blocks are then joined together and will become your background fabric. Here are examples of two different low volume fabric backgrounds that are examples of each method.
Creating Your Raw-Edge Appliqué Design
Piecing Your Scraps into the Perfect Layout
One technique to explore is the use of different fabrics and textures. By mixing and matching fabrics with varying patterns, colors, and textures, you can add depth and dimension to your appliqué designs. Consider incorporating metallic fabrics for a touch of shimmer, or experiment with textured fabrics like corduroy or velvet to add tactile interest. The combination of contrasting fabrics will create an eye-catching effect that will make your appliqué truly stand out.
Making Your Festive Christmas Tree Motif
There are multiple options to choose from to make your Christmas tree. The simplest is using a fabric design that looks like a tree covered with decorations. You can also gather larger scrap pieces that can be used to create a layered look. My choice is to go completely scrappy and use what I already have. In my post Scrappy Christmas Fabric, you can see how I pieced lots of scraps into a large piece of fabric. Then I cut a simple triangle for my tree and voila, it was finished!
Whichever method you choose, consider using patterned fabrics for a whimsical touch or incorporating metallic accents for added sparkle. Remember, the goal here is to let your imagination take over and create a quilt that reflects your own personal style.
Before cutting your tree to its final dimension, be sure to add stabilizer to the back.
Stabilizing Your Raw-Edge Appliqué Project
When sewing your raw-edge appliqué design, you will need to stabilize it first. This will prevent any stretching or distortion as you sew, plus it will eliminate excess raveling. There are a multitude of stabilizing options, and my preferred method is using Steam-a-Steam 2. It’s very lightweight and won’t make the fabric stiff. This stability is important to keep your fabric’s shape and creates a beautifully finished edge. You’ll appreciate how much easier your fabric is to work with when stabilized. The best part is that it is repositionable until it’s permanently pressed in place.
Remember when using stabilizers to always follow the manufacturer’s directions for the best results. Applying incorrectly can make sewing your appliqué difficult or even ruin your piece.
Sewing Your Raw-Edge Appliqué Design
How to Attach Raw-Edge Appliqué Technique
A favorite technique to consider is the use of decorative stitches. While traditional raw-edge appliqué often relies on basic straight stitches to secure the fabric pieces, incorporating decorative stitches can add a distinctive and intricate touch to your designs. Experiment with different stitch patterns, such as zigzag, satin, or feather stitches, to give your appliqué a more ornamental and decorative look. These stitches can add visual interest and highlight certain elements or details within your designs.
There are no strict rules when it comes to creating with raw-edge appliqué, so feel free to experiment. The beauty of this technique lies in the freedom it provides, allowing you to focus on your own unique style and vision.
Once you are satisfied with the placement of your tree onto the background, secure it to the base fabric using a raw-edge appliqué technique of your choice. Whether you opt for machine stitching, hand sewing, or a combination of both, the key is to take advantage of the imperfect, raw-edge finish that gives this technique its unique character. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different stitches or techniques to add visual interest and texture to your quilt.
The edge stitching you choose will direct focus to your design and bring it to life. The decorative stitches you select can add a touch of whimsy to your quilt, too. So don’t be hesitant about being creative and personalizing your raw-edge appliqué design.
Final Touches to Your Raw-Edge Appliqué Design
There’s another step you may also want to take to complete the layout you want. What other embellishments or ornaments could be added to enhance your design? Think about hand embroidery stitches that might emphasize a focal area. Or adding embellishments such as small ornaments, buttons, or ribbons to accentuate the theme of your piece. There are no limits to what you can create so try some new ideas and add your favorite finishing touches!
Threads shown in image above (affiliate links):
Keep in mind that three dimensions items such as charms or buttons should be added after the quilting is complete. As it can be difficult to quilt around these little items.
Now it’s time to grab your fabric, needles, and thread and get inspired! Decide which final touches you want to add that will fill your Christmas tree quilt with holiday cheer.
Quilting Your Applique Wall-Hanging
Preparing Your Quilt Sandwich
Quilts generally consist of three layers. The quilt top is what gets the most attention, but the backing can certainly make a statement too. Think about how you can carry the theme of your design onto your backing. Whether it be by color, printed designs, or a pieced backing that enhances your overall piece. Make sure your backing adds something special to your wall-hanging, including a personalized quilt label.
Choose Your Quilt Batting
Between the quilt top and backing is the third layer which is usually some kind of batting. This is what will add the soft, puffed texture to your quit top when the quilting stitches are added. There are a multitude of options to choose from.
You’ll need to decide if you want a thick batting for a strong, defined quilted look, or a thinner, low-loft variety for understated dimension. Either batting will add the soft quilted feel we expect, but do we possibly need another layer? Perhaps a layer of interfacing may be needed to add structure to your finished wall-hanging, so it continues to hold its shape.
Choosing Your Interfacing
This is another layer that has many options to choose from. Ideally a simple fusible interfacing will keep your quilt secure, so it won’t stretch or hang unevenly over time. Choose the weight you want to give the desired stability depending how you’ll be using your finished wall-hanging. It’s very easy to apply, simply fuse it to the back of the quilt top according to the manufacturer’s directions. It will become part of the quilt sandwich and keep all those layers even and square. It’s definitely worth the effort!
Another interfacing option is to use fusible fleece. This handy product takes the place of both the batting and interfacing. The fleece side is equivalent to a low-loft batting. The adhesive side creates a strong grip holding everything together in one step. If you’ve not used it before, be sure to check it out next time you’re out shopping.
Prepare Your Backing
Keep in mind that the background fabric plays a supporting role, so choose one that allows your appliqué designs to shine. On the other hand, I made this quilt only from scraps and leftover pieces from other projects. That’s why I chose to use a simple square cut from an old cotton sheet. It works perfectly and the price is right!
Before you begin quilting, press your backing fabric removing any wrinkles. This will ensure a smooth and even surface for your quilting stitches.
Assembling Your Quilt Sandwich
Creating a Beautifully Quilted Wall-hanging
You’ve chosen fabrics that you love, appliquéd a perfect design, and now it’s time to quilt your finished project. This step not only keeps all those layers together, but the quilting provides depth and dimension to your appliqué designs.
Now it’s time to decide on the quilting technique that best suits your design. You can choose from a variety of options such as straight-line quilting, free-motion quilting, or even experimenting with different quilt motifs.
Another option is echo quilting which is continuous rows of quilting around a single object. The concentric rows of quilting stitches will draw attention to your appliqué designs and create a cohesive and visually stunning quilt.
Whatever quilting design you select, you’ll be adding another layer of visual interest to your finished quilt. Let your creativity guide you as you determine the quilting style that will best complement your appliqué designs.
Adding Finishing Touches to Your Raw-Edge Appliqué
Adding Decorative Elements
This step can be as simple or complex as you like. You may choose to begin quilting your finished piece at this point, or you may want to add some decorative elements.
Think about how you can enhance your quilt with additional details. Perhaps it’s more appliqued designs or attaching embellishments like decorative fibers, ribbons, beads, or buttons. Consider adding small ornaments, twinkling lights, or even a star or angel on top of your tree. You may need a needle and thread to attach some of these final touches. These extra elements will bring your quilt to life and add a whimsical touch that will make your Christmas tree quilt shine with holiday cheer.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different fabrics and textures for these finishing touches. Velvet, metallic, and glittery fabrics can create a stunning contrast against the more traditional quilting cottons. Play around with different shapes and sizes, and let your creativity guide you as you bring your vision to life.
Once you’ve added the finishing touches to your Christmas tree quilt, step back and take it all in. You’ll be amazed at how these small additions can transform your quilt.
Take Your Quilting Skills to the Next Level
Now that you have mastered the basics of raw-edge appliqué, it’s time to push the boundaries of your creativity and take your quilting skills to the next level. Continuing trying new techniques and finding what inspires you. There are countless other quilting techniques, such as piecing, embroidery, and quilting motifs that you can also add to your quilt designs. Find what you enjoy by giving these ideas a try. You’ll gain more knowledge and experience with every new challenge and find countless new possibilities in your inspired quilting journey.
Adding raw-edge appliqué to your quilting projects is a wonderful technique for bringing in lots of design interest. You’ll have a brand-new perspective towards your fabric scraps.
Get inspired and let your imagination go wild as you begin raw-edge appliqué for the first time. Go ahead and push some boundaries to try what you’ve never done before. Experimenting with fabrics, colors, and designs brings lots of new ideas that will excite you to get started. Remember, with this technique you can turn ordinary scraps into amazing quilts and heartfelt gifts for your loved ones and friends.
Now it’s time you take the leap and unleash your creativity. Give raw-edge appliqué a try. Challenge yourself to use different fabrics, colors, and patterns. Push out of your comfort zone. Experience the joy that comes from watching your quilting skills grow and improve.
Remember that quilting is not just about fabric and thread—it’s about the stories our quilts tell, the happiness they bring, and the love we pour into every stitch. So, grab your needle and thread, and let the magic begin.