Raise your hand if you associate a stapler and a staple remover with quilting? I don’t . . . well at least not until now. Recently I enrolled in a BOM (Block of the Month) project through Acorn Quilts in Rockford, Illinois. The quilt is called Heart & Home by Heart to Hand.
This is by all means not my first exposure to applique. What made this project unique was the method used to affix the wool pieces to the background fabrics. Previously I had used fusible web to secure pattern pieces. Staples and a staple remover had never entered my mind.
Now that I have started the Heart & Home quilt I’ve learned that both a stapler and its friend, the remover, come in very handy. Leslie at Acorn Quilts taught me her method of applique. She led me through her steps one by one.
First I iron a fusible web to the reverse side of the pattern piece.
Next I snip away the excess wool, being careful to preserve as much of the unused portion as possible for future projects (hand dyed wool is very precious and costly).
Step three is to peel off the paper backing and place my pattern piece, right side up, onto my quilt square.
Now comes the strange part. Using your everyday stapler place the quilt square and the piece to be applied into the stapler and press down. Rather than ironing the pattern piece on you have just temporarily attached it with an ordinary staple.
Of course you definitely want to remember to remove it once you have finished stitching. I’m told that stapling rather than ironing adds less bulk and preserves the texture of the wool. Ironing can crush the beautiful nap of the hand dyed wools and who wants to distract from their awesome quality.
Having tried Leslie’s method I find it quite helpful. However, I can’t say that I will use it all the time. I still like the old standby methods of pinning or fusing.
So there you have it! A very simple technique for a not so obvious project.
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