Mini Dresden – Facings
I’m working on my Mini Dresden quilt and I wanted to share with you how I got to the image above. I will be appliqueing my Dresden circle shapes onto a solid white background. I needed to prep them for machine-stitched applique.
Using the techniques in Learn to Sew Easy Curves, I’ll show you how I did it.
Learn to Sew Easy Curves – Technique
First, pick a facing fabric. This is not interfacing, though it could be. I used old fabric from my scrap bin.
Place the pressed Dresden on the facing, matching right sides. Pin around the outside circumference and pin along the inner donut hole.
Use a 1/4″ seam allowance to stitch around the shape. Sew around the outside AND sew the donut hole.
Technically, your shape is a “sealed” tube at this point. That is ok.
The next step is to cut away the excess facing fabric. Trim the edges even with the cut edges of the Dresden.
((Sorry for the blur in that one!))
Now we need to bust into the sealed tube by cutting the facing a equidistant from each stitching line. Be careful to ONLY cut the facing. Check out the picture:
As with sewing any faced curve, clip around the curves. Make each clip perpendicular to the stitching line in the seam allowance. Cut TO but not THRU the stitching line. If you find that, once your shape is right side out, it is still lumpy, you may need either (1) more frequent clips or (2) to cut closer up to that stitching line.
NOTE: The tighter the curve the more clips you will require. The more gentle the curve, the more you can have space between your clips.
Now we’ve got to turn these babies right side out. The facings will be flipped to the wrong side of the Dresden and pressed.
But there’s a trick:
Whenever I’m “flipping to the wrong side” I always press the flip piece “up” first. I do this with facings and whole quilt bindings. Press it up like in the photo above, so that when you do actually go to flip the piece, the facing already wants to go that direction. It makes for less wrangling in the flip step.
Once it is pressed up, you can push the facing through the donut hole or around the circumference to press the facing flat on the back of the Dresden. Be sure to pull the facing ever-so-slightly to ensure it is concealed behind the main Dresden fabric. This “pulling” is called favoring the seam. I’m talking maybe 1/16th of an inch. Just a tiny bit. See it? – down there at the bottom of the picture below:
I do use spray starch to hold my facings firm and I also added pins to hold the facings while I work with placement of my shapes on my finished design.
Ok, one Dresden prepped and ready to machine applique. Just a few more to go.
The technique can be found in Learn To Sew Easy Curves. The book also has a variety of other curve stitching ideas & resources: everything from circles to gently waving lines.