Kim Diehl’s Tips for Centering Appliques

A few quick prep steps before beginning to sew results in a more efficient—and more pleasant—experience. Here are some tips from Kim Diehl's book Simple Appliqué.

As you begin each new appliqué project, take a moment to evaluate how the design is positioned on the block or unit to be stitched. Very often, you’ll see designs centered, whether from side to side, top to bottom, or diagonally, but occasionally you’ll have a design that requires measuring from a given point or simply placing the elements to create a visually pleasing design. Before you lay out your design, pressing creases into the cloth act as registration marks to simplify the process of positioning your appliqués.

When adding creases to serve as registration marks for a block background or unit, press the creases using a hot, dry iron. (Using steam can make creases difficult to “un-press” after the stitching is complete.) Pressing the fabric with right sides together produces inverted creases, making it easier to position and stitch the appliqués, as opposed to folding the fabric with wrong sides together, which produces raised creases with peaked centers.For nearly all appliqué projects, adding one or more of the creases described below can be helpful when laying out the design.

Vertical design. If the majority of your design is based on a center vertical position, crease the block through the vertical center.

Horizontal design. For designs that are based on a horizontal position, crease the block through the horizontal center.

Vertical and horizontal design. For designs that feature  vertically and horizontally centered elements, crease the block through both the horizontal and vertical centers, refolding the cloth as each crease is added.

Diagonal design. If the project features a diagonal design, fold the cloth in half diagonally and crease the fold, and then unfold and refold the cloth in the opposite diagonal direction to add the second crease.

Combination. For designs that include all of the above elements, press horizontal, vertical, and diagonal creases, unfolding and refolding to add each new crease.

(Excjavascript:void(0);erpted from a review by Jenny Wilding Cardon that appeared in “Stitch This”, the Martingale Blog.

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