Backside of appliqued piece to be cut out or not?

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Jutta Posted: Fri, Aug 28 2009 1:23 AM

After you have appliqued your motive to your background fabric, do you prefer to cut away the background fabric behind the motive or do you leave it intact. I would like to find out, what the pros and cons are for cutting away the background fabric behind an appliqued motive. Please share your thoughts.

Thank you.

 

Jutta, CA

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gini replied on Tue, Sep 1 2009 2:44 AM

jutta, i'll try to answer this, but mostly i think it is personal preference.    i do not cut out the back, most of the time.    i think the extra fabric behind the applique makes it pop out more when it is quilted.    but i have on accasion cut away the back. it depends on the weight of the fabric and the amount and kind of quilting you are planning for the quilt.  isn't that a wishy-washy answer.    some people don't like the bulk and want their piece to lay flat.   

    there is no right way to do it, it depends on what look you want.   it doesn't make the piece "weaker" to cut  the back away.    and it is more bulky if you leave it in, making it harder to quilt.      so this left everything as clear as mud, i'm sure.  sorry    gini

gini in north idaho

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Jutta replied on Tue, Sep 15 2009 5:33 PM

Gini, thanks for your answer. I had the impression that the back needed to be cut away and I didn't understand why that is.

I habe those funny looking applique scissors and don't even know how to use them...lol

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Alice replied on Fri, Sep 18 2009 6:54 PM

Gini and Jutta, whether one cuts away the bckground or nor depends somewhat on which teacher you are following.  Some cut away and some don't  depending on the technique they use.  Personally I prefer to leave it in, but then I usually work with small applique pieces that need the stability of a background.  It is necessary to cut away the background when doing glue stick and freezer paper applique to remove the paper and rinse out the glue.  I found this pretty messy and a bit scary since I don't prewash my fabrics.  Hope this helps a little.

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Thea replied on Mon, Sep 21 2009 12:10 PM

My opinion on this is that it depends on how you are quilting your piece.  I think the reason a lot of people cut the extra fabric away was that they were hand quilting and if you have a flower that is 3 or 4 pieces thick then you might want to cut those backing pieces away.

when I used freezer paper, I didn't cut the whole back away - just cut a nice little line in and then pulled the freezer paper out through that whole. 

I do not do any hand quilting anymore so do not worry about the layers - my machine needle goes right through them. 

I also do a lot of small pieces - one of my quilts last winter had window pieces that were 1/4" square - it ws fun to see me satin stitching them in place...lol

I had to satin stitch it all down though as everything I make has to have the ability to be washed... Oklahoma has tons of dust that come through the windows and no matter how i try to keep it out it gets on everything - so I like to spring and fall clean so my quilts all get washed for the season.

 

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Alice replied on Tue, Sep 22 2009 4:13 PM

Althea,

Linda Poole's method of freezer paper applique has the freezer paper glued to the seam allowances, but I've only done that twice.  Usually I use freezer paper on top of the fabric motif, trace around it, baste it down in place, then needle turn the edges.  When I used to use freezer paper on the bottom, I carefully took it out before the appliqueing was finished or slit the back like you do. 

It seems like the larger designs from years ago had the backs cut out.

You get it all in Oklahoma!  Dust, storms, tornadoes, snow!  House cleaning twice a year is a bummer!

Alice

 

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I like to stuff my applique before quilting to give it a 3D look.  I think it helps to stablize the extra batting if I leave the bottom fabric on.

quiltingdolly

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Thea replied on Tue, Oct 13 2009 1:46 AM

alice - I have tried that on several pieces that i have appliqued so that I didn't have to pull the freezer paper out - and then i found this wonderful water soluble stabilizer - it looks like fabric and you can write on it  - trace on it - glue it - and not have to worry as it all washes out - I had been using it for my machine embroidery and when getting ready to do the latest Beth Ferrier quilt - thought I would try it and it worked.

so found a new way...

 

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