Friday, March 9, 2012

Alabama Chanin again

It's been long, too long.  So long I had almost forgotten!  But I've been casting about for a new handwork project and I landed once again with Natalie Chanin.  In 2010 I shared a couple of projects made from Natalie's first book, Alabama Stitch Book.

I love it!


I refashioned this skirt to hide a bleach stain,

this Corner of my home

and made this pin cushion caddy that lives over the arm of our couch when the kittens aren't being naughty.

Alabama Stitch Book Pincushion

With reverse applique, you transfer a pattern on the top fabric.  Then, you layer a fabric underneath (in this case the purple) and stitch through both layers, following the pattern.  Last of all you cut away the top fabric just inside your stitch lines. That's the best part!  Jersey knit fabric is great to use since it doesn't fray like woven quilting cotton would at the raw edges.  I've also seen felted wool used for reverse applique by Maureen Cracknell

After reorganizing my "other" fabrics stash, I came across an aqua jersey toddler tee I'd saved to use for Alabama Chanin style reverse applique.  The front of the tee was stained, but the back still looked like new.  Aha... 2 new needlebooks it shall be!

testing, testing

This time I wanted to transfer the pattern with fabric paint, as Natalie Chanin often does, to get the effect of the painted border around the cut out applique.  I found these Tulip paints at my local craft store and set to work with sponge brushes.

Bloomers stencil take 1.  Yikes.

My first attempt was rather shoddy.  Even though I tried really hard to keep the stencil still, I didn't achieve nice lines.  Fortunately, this transfer was remedied with patient use of a fine tipped paint brush.

using 505 adhesive

For my next attempt, I used spray adhesive on the underside of the Bloomer stencil as recommended in Alabama Stitch Book.  That really seemed to help!  I didn't paint the inside portion of the leaves since they will be cut out eventually.

Bloomers stencil take 2

Still, transferring the stencils was a very slow process since I had to let the paint completely dry before placing the stencil in a different spot to create more of an all-over pattern.  It would be so nice to have a big stencil and a paint airbrush, like Natalie uses!  Now my two pieces are ready to work.  I'm taking them with me on a weekend trip with Brandon in celebration of our anniversary.  Looking forward to getting started on them!

16 comments:

  1. I remember both of those projects and I can't wait to see how these needle books turn out! I really enjoy any reverse applique project with wool felt, but I've only used it for pillow making (which we know is the last thing I need to make another of! LOL) Loving these needle book ideas, Rachel!

    Happy Anniversary to you and Brandon!! Is this ten years for you two?? Kevin and my ten year is in April, I can't believe it!!

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  2. Have an amazing weekend! I love the projects, you might want to try freezer paper for your stencil next time, you can iron it In place and won't have to worry about it shifting around.

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  3. This looks like a fun project! I agree with Courtney that freezer paper could really make this easier for you :)

    Happy Anniversary!

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  4. Happy anniversary! I imagine the paint will look so cool when you're finished. I can't wait to see how they turn out. Have a great weekend!

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  5. WOW! I love the results of this project! So clean cut and beautiful! xoxo Kim

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  6. i have great results w/freezer paper stencils on fabric, just a thought...

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  7. This looks great - especially the skirt!
    Do you have the second contrasting layer all over the skirt or just where the design is?? I have collecting some old T-Shirts the last month and didn´t know what to do with them .... now this is a PERFECT idea ...

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    1. For the skirt, the contrasting fabric is just under the applique area. It's even raw edged underneath. Works fine!

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  8. Yay for March anniversaries! We just celebrated ours too! Have a wonderful time & enjoy each other! BTW: The fabric paint is very cute! I bet you could've hand painted too, Miss Crafty! Xxo

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  9. I love applique! Haven't tried reverse applique yet but it is n the cards! Lovin' the skirt

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  10. Such a cool idea, looking forward to seeing the end result

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  11. happy anniversary rachel! i hope you guys have a great weekend! love these a ton rachel. i have used freezer paper before and it works like a charm!

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    1. Thanks for the freezer paper tip =). This stencil came already made in the Stitch Studio book, so it was convenient to use it as is. I wonder if the freezer paper would hold up well to multiple uses with a pattern like this cut into it?

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  12. Easy and lovely, great combination, I say! ~ Lynda

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  13. This reverse appliqué is so cool! It's definitely a skill I need to add to my arsenal. Thanks for sharing your cute projects! Happy anniversary :-)

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  14. You are a woman of many talents, Rachel.

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