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Applied Applique: Part I

I've started some new needlework projects because (1) it's useful to have some hand-sewing for events, or for when other people are hogging using the home computer, and (2) I'm still rethinking how to get a particular polymer clay sculpture to work and that's put me off the clay pieces for a while. The first project started is a pillow with applique, in the style of some Hardwick Hall hangings of the late 1500s.

The cover of this book is a good view of the style I'm trying to recreate:


Below is the current stage (click on thumbnail for larger photo). I've designed the pattern, sketched it out full-size, cut out templates for the applique, and cut out the applique pieces. They're in a dark green cotton velvet, nice and sturdy. The background material is also sturdy, it's an upholstery brocade in green & gold.

This next pic is a close-up that shows some of the wax, though that part will be snipped off when I'm stitching down the pieces. I haven't yet seen a well-documented source, but several otherwise good sites have said that candle wax or glue was found on the edges of some period applique pieces, presumably to help prevent fraying (though the glue could also have been used to hold the pieces in place for stitching). My candles aren't period, so I bought a small package of pure beeswax flakes from the local craft store.

I didn't need enough wax to warrant ruining a double-boiler, so I put the wax chips in a deep well of aluminum foil, heated some water to boiling in a Pyrex measuring cup, and poked the well of foil down into the water, wrapping some of the foil around the top of the cup to hold it in place. (If you try this yourself, make sure the pocket won't displace the water so much that boiling water spills over the edge of the cup!) The beeswax melted very nicely, and when the water started cooling I was able to remove the foil part, reheat the water, and put the foil & wax back again without much delay. A small cheap paintbrush was used to paint the wax on the edge of the fabric, applying it from behind along the back of the edge and very carefully along the actual edge. The velvet was thick enough that the front didn't show any stain from the wax except where the brush slipped too far over the front. The excess wax will be removed during stitching.


Next steps will be pinning in place and stitching down, and finally the cording.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 24th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
How nifty!
Apr. 27th, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm sure you'll see it in progress sometime. :-)
Apr. 24th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)

I envy your patience.
Apr. 27th, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
Oh m'dear, you have no idea how many unfinished projects I have around the house, and from how long ago! Most of the patience involved is that of those waiting to see if I ever finish something.
Apr. 27th, 2009 10:23 pm (UTC)

I know that too. One of the ways we judge whether a house will suit our needs is by the size of the Garage or Shed to house "The projects".
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )