I have read and enjoyed the blog written by Kajsa Wikman of Finland , so when I saw her book “Scandinavian Stitches” in the library I checked it out.
It features cheerful little projects with with a whimsical appeal. I love two of the motifs she uses in her books: leaves and apples.
Inspired by her “Sweet and Sour Apple Coasters”, I looked through my fabric for bits of red and green material. Kajsa’s method of applique uses paper backed fusible web, and machine stitching an outline on the shape in a straight line with black thread. I’ve done traditional applique with turned edges which is hand sewn with invisible, tiny stitches. The end result is beautiful but it is slow going. I’ve also seen applique machine stitched on the raw edges with a close zig-zag stitch.
I like handwork but I decided to try Kajsa’s method and use my machine to make a folk art look to my apples.
Paper backed fusible web is easy to use. I used a brand called Heat N Bond Lite. First you press the fusible web with the paper side up on the wrong side of the fabric. You draw your applique pieces backwards and cut them out on the lines since the edges won’t be turned under. Then you peel off the paper, place them on your background fabric, and press to fuse. You press down with a dry iron in one place for 6 seconds similar to bonding an iron-on patch.
I wanted to make a mug rug and two coasters. As most everybody knows, a mug rug is shaped like a rectangle and it large enough to hold a cup and a snack. For the coasters I used the sew and turn right side out method as shown in the book; for the mug rug I preferred to use binding.
The apples look plain and uninteresting without any stitching. I notice that fused applique looks flatter and less three dimensional than turned applique.
Looking better! I’ve only sewed straight lines before so it was hard for me to stitch the circle shapes, but the object was not to be perfect so I left my shaky lines. The stems are machine sewn with a wide, close zig-zag. I used the same fabric for both the strips in my mug rug and the apples in the coasters. Then I gathered my backing fabric and my batting. I used cotton batting for the coasters and Thermolam Plus, a polyester, for the mug rug.
After quilting the outlines, I wasn’t sure what additional quilting to make. I was using a regular foot and not a quilting foot and I don’t think my vine lines with leaves came out too well, but decided to leave them. I used bias tape for the binding because I didn’t have any black fabric on hand.
I inserted twill tape for hanging before stitching the sides of the coasters. My apples are more rustic Americana apples than Scandinavian.
Thanks to Kajsa for a fun project. I think I will make her Tomte (elves with a long red cap) when it gets closer to Christmas.