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Techniques- Stained Glass

I’ve gotten a couple requests for a How to on the stained glass look for appliques. These instructions are for machine sewing.

I am a fan of light fuseable web (that’s the real secret). Heat’n Bond Light Weight Iron-On Fusible web (It’s in the purple package) is the brand I use. If you are doing a machine sewing, the lead lines are created with the widest machine zigzag it can handle. Mine is a size 6 or just about 1/3″ wide. The stitch distance is .3″ or as close to 0 as you can get without being 0. And you want to stock up on a lot of black thread. Your machine will eat it like there is no tomorrow. For the smaller detailed lines, I made them 1.5 width. This ensures that it will look much narrower like a painted line rather than a lead line.

I work almost exclusively in linen. I should probably own stock in it.

What you want to do is create an image the exact size that you want the end applique to be. You want to then print it out reversed. Make a couple of copies. If you are doing any layering, keep in mind the lighter color linen will need to be doubled or you will get bleed through. You will want to cut out your images based upon how you want to lay your pieces out. Trace the pieces onto the fuseable web paper. Do not remove the paper until you have cut everything out and you are ready to go. For the stained glass look, you will want to have a ground, that is bigger than the actual piece. You will cut this out later. shows the various steps.

Step 1: The pieces are a jigsaw puzzle. I have not ironed everything down, until I am happy with the placement.
Step 2: Iron down the pieces and ink in the details. Keep in mind everything you ink, you need to stitch or paint (with fabric paint)
Step 3: The big lines go down first. This holds the piece in place while you do the little stitching.
Step 4: The bird was done. The outer ring was pieced in the same method as steps 1-3.

When you go to attach it to a cloak, you will apply another layer of fuseable web, bigger than the applique, smaller than the ground. I recommend doing this from the “wrong side”. Don’t try to go through all the applique. It wont melt completely. Do this in small stages, depending on how big your piece is. Cut the art out of the ground and attach it to the cloak. As a final step, I applied the lead lines around the outer ring and went back over some of the other lead lines in the bird. It helps really secure it down. Otherwise you can get weird puckering.

That’s it. Let me know if there are any questions.

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Posted by on October 5, 2011 in Sewing, Technique


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