I Have A Notion blog and store have moved to:

the store can be found at

There is a much easier to navigate store, with new items. The blog has its own page as well... new content too.

The blog is now at

Please come and visit!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Increase Your E-Notion IQ - Wash-Away Applique Sheets

Ok, Wednesdays post on Thursday....I don't think any satellites will fall out of the sky do you?
Beth Ferrier, Apple Wood Farm Publications, was doing a demo at Quilt Market in Houston for her Wash-Away Applique Sheets.   More Hand Applique by Machine, is a great technique and applique pattern book that Beth wrote and it was published a few years ago.   (Not much for Carol Merrill's but I don't recall there ever being a Carol Merrill in the world of you?)

Beth makes me laugh...she says she is a recovering perfectionist.  I'm not sure I've even entered the first phase of recovery so she is further ahead than I am!  Did you know you, even though she is in recovery you can still eat off her kitchen  floor?  That's because there is plenty of food on it....that's recovery for ya!   (Beth's words...not mine...but I also can eat off my floor :)

Having projects that are  portable  are appealing to Beth.  She has come up with some very manageable ways to do applique without getting poked with pins, loosing your pieces or fraying your small pieces of fabric.

This is an example of Beth's work and because it has not been washed, the fruit looks three dimensional doesn't it?
This one has been washed and the Wash-Away Applique Sheet has no three dimensional appearance.
Beth has been working on this applique border....good thing she is doing it...because I'd be the rest of my life attempting to keep all those pieces in one place.
This is the other end....isn't it beautiful?  I just love the layers and how neat and nice they lay.
We noticed some little black things on her flowers...I thought it was part of the design.  Silly me...nope....those are micro basting tags.  Yep, that's how Beth keeps all her pieces in place on her back ground fabric.  She uses Avery Dennison's Micro Tack Basting Gun.  It makes great sense to use the black Micro Tacks because they make it easier to see on bright fabrics. 
Look how tiny they are.  Beth said she has tried several basting guns and the Avery Dennison Micro Tack has the smallest needle and it doesn't leave holes in her fabric. 

If you decide to use the Micro Tack Gun, you need to put the needle through the fabric and back up you would a pin...and it will hold your pieces of fabric tightly.  The best part don't get picked by the end of the pins you would have used otherwise :)
To transfer your design, you can put the Wash-Away Applique Sheet into your ink-jet printer and the design transfers beautifully to the Applique Sheet.  You cut it out on the line and fuse it to your heard me is also fusible.  Oh yeah baby :)  Cut 1/4 inch around your paper template that you have just fused to your fabric. 
Here, Beth is demonstrating how she uses a glue stick around the edge of the template.
She then uses her thumb to press the fabric around the template.  I should probably tell you the Wash-Away Applique Sheets have some body to them so they aren't real flimsy....I think that is important...I wouldn't want the fabric to be so flimsy that I would have a hard time tacking the fabric around the template.

After she gets the fabric around the template, Beth goes back and smooths out the fabric around the template with her "magic wand."  For those of you without a "magic wand" you can use your Applique Pressing Tool or a cuticle stick from the beauty supply store. 

Another tool Beth recommends is this portable light box.  It is a Light Box Globox and you put your pattern on top of the box so you can get perfect placement for your applique pieces.

It is just 5 x 9 and it is lightweight so it is handy while working on airplanes, sewcials, workshops and classes.  The light box I use is gigantic so there is no way I could sit on the sofa or take it this was a great lesson for me too.
 You can see it lay your pattern on top and turn on the box and you can see where to put your applique pieces.  (Can you see me sitting in a plane trying to use the window?  That is just like me to do something like that....and then drop my damxx applique piece on the floor and have to bother the person sitting behind me to find it for me...LOL)

Since there was no electricity at the booth, she improvised....and it worked.  You can see how she laid the applique pieces on the pattern.
Being a visual learner, I wanted to stay and watch her do more pieces.  Here she had finished a part of the pear and then was adding the next piece.
Beth has numbered her pieces and many patterns have the pieces numbered so you can just print them onto the Wash-Away Applique Sheet and be able to find where each one goes in the pattern.
Then she joined one piece to the top of the next you can see here...that is how she gets them to lay so nicely and they appear perfect from the front side.  Then Beth puts it under her machine and stitches around each piece. 

Afterwards, I was thinking about wall hangings.  I don't wash mine, I just shake the dust out.  If I wanted to do a wall hanging and have parts of it look dimensional without doing trapunto...but flat dimensional....I could just wash the background pieces and after it dries, I could sew another layer and keep the Wash-Away Applique Sheet in the fabric so it would look like the pieces were popping.  Either way...I really like Beth's is right up my alley.

Here you can see Beth has printed some hexagons on the Wash-Away Applique Sheet and has fused them to fabric and she is using the sheets for paper piecing.  No need to remove the just washes away :)

I found it interesting that Beth had to samples of paper piecing.  She did a whip stitch on the first one and the second one she did a running stitch.  The running stitched one looked so much nicer from the front.  (e-mail me if you need pix for proof :)
Check out what else Beth has done....
Foundation paper Piecing too!
I'm sure there will be more uses for the Wash-Away Applique Sheets.   There are always new uses for products that we don't think of until we are in the middle of a project wondering how we can accomplish something and we need just the right tool.

A quick recap for ya...Wash-Away Applique Sheets
  • Can be used with an ink-jet printer for applique templates or foundation piecing patterns
  • Transparent enough to trace your applique designs onto
  • Washes out for a soft end result or can be left in and it gives a dimensional look (it does soften over time)
  • Can be used in paper piecing-you just fuse the first piece on and then you don't have to rip the paper off...just wash it away :)
  • It gives a crisp clean edge for applique stitching

Now you know why it takes me so long to get all my posts up!!  I download all the pix...organizing them...watermarking them...uploading them...and then writing the post...spell checking...a tiny bit of editing I'd appreciate it if you'd not talk behind my back about how I claim to do a Wednesday post and then post it on Thursday....:)

Giggling and Smiles,
Now it's back to all that Floriani thread!!!  Oh yeah....Don't forget the Pre-Holiday Beam N Read Light Giveaway going on now...leave your comment Here for your chance to win :)


  1. That is some neat stuff! Certainly looks like it makes life easier. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I do use the wash away and like the stiffness for machine quilting.
    I got a bunch with coupons, great way to stock up when I have extra coupons to use up;)


  3. I love Beth!! I took a class with her last year and she was so awesome. The wash away sheets are great and make nice looking applique possible for the, um, less perfect of us out there.
    I'm afraid I don't fit the perfectionist mold, though I am critical enough of myself to be one!

  4. Great tutorial! I saw another tute using this wash off paper and saw in my LQS the other day, so I did pick some up. Can't wait to use it!

  5. OK, that is amazing. I was already thinking how great it is for applique but then I saw the hexies. I do random applique but I always have a hexie project going on and the wash-away applique sheets would be so easy to use with English paper piecing. I also love the idea of using the mini tack gun to hold the appliques in place. My family is always laughing at me for stabbing myself with pins.

  6. That looks like a really neat tool, Kelly. Don't you DARE feel bad about putting your Wed post on are a busy woman!!

  7. Great tutorial. I am not an applique person but that makes it look easier than I remember.

  8. Thanks for all the great insights Kelly.


  9. Thanks for all the wonderful photos of Quilt Market. I would love to win one of the lights.

  10. On my list to try .. I love applique.


Thank you for reading the IHAN Blog. I love getting and reading every comment that is left here; however I may not be able to respond to all comments left during giveaways. There are times when I am juggling many tasks at one time and may not reply to all comments. Please e-mail me at if you need a reply quickly. I thank you for your understanding and-
More Later-Beth


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...