Stabilize Backing Fabric

When you stabilize backing fabric before attaching your appliqué you give your appliqué a very professional look. It does this by;

  • making your stitches more even
  • preventing puckering of the backing fabric
  • reducing the amount of fabric the machine pulls up into the appliqué stitching

The end result is very pleasing.

There are several methods that can be used to stabilize your fabric.

Tear Away This can be purchased from your quilting fabric shop. I find this method less than satisfactory as it tends to pull the stitches when you are removing the tear away.

Plain Newsprint This as above has similar drawbacks to tear away. It is also another layer added making it difficult to manage while sewing.

Spray Starch This is my preferred method. Most supermarkets stock spray starch, making it readily available.

Spray Starch Method:

  1. Cover ironing board with an old towel or similar
  2. Using a dry iron press your backing fabric
  3. Spray starch your fabric on the right side both horizontally and vertically
  4. Dry iron till dry
  5. Repeat the above process till your fabric resembles light cardboard.

I find some fabrics only require 2 applications but others may require 3. By the time you have assembled your quilt top your spray starch will have all but gone. If you decide to add further appliqué once finished and need to add extra spray starch then spray this onto the wrong side of the backing fabric.

Great! With your fabric now stabilized you are ready to learn how to use steam-a-seam to make the sewing on of your appliqué design a breeze!

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