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This is a step-by-step on how I created an applique square for the 2008 Ratbone Rescues Quilt Project.
Date(s): 3/28/08. 1 - 12 of 12 Total. 3859 Visits.
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Step 1: choose a picture you want to use. Please notice that this image has only 2 colors. The primary color is white. The secondary color is black. We will ignore the collar & tags in this image, to simplify the design. It helps to print an extra copy of the image, to use as a reference in later steps.

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Step 2: cut out the entire image in one piece.

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Step 3: outline (trace around) the whole image on white fabric (you may use any color you like, of course). This is your primary color, and will be the base upon which all other colors are sewn. You can use an iron-on backing at this point, before you cut out the primary piece.

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Step 4: cut the secondary piece from the original print.

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Step 5: trace the secondary color image on a piece of fabric in whatever color you choose to make it. You may also use the iron-on backing for this piece.

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Step 6: trace the smaller elements (in this case, the eyes and nose) and cut them out. I do not use the iron-on backing on the smaller pieces.

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Step 6 (part 2): the inner ears.

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Step 7: combine all the layers of your applique piece, referring to the original image to make sure placement is correct.

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Step 8: tack down each piece in the image, using black embroidery thread and a "hemming stitch". This will insure that your pieces don't shift in later steps.

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Step 9: using black embroidery thread again, stitch around all the edges of the pieces on your image. This will keep the edges from fraying. You can use the same type of stitching to add detailing (note the toes and the line delineating the chest above the feet). Do not stitch the outer edges of the image yet; this will be done when you attach the image to your quilt square.

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Step 10: place the quilt square material in an embroidery hoop and tighten it down. Then place your applique image in the center and tack it in place with a running slip stitch. Stitch all the way around the edges of the image until it is completely outlined in stitches.

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Step 11: remove the embroidery hoop and carefully iron the quilt square.(If using felt, do not iron the felt, it will melt under a hot iron)
All done!

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