Preparing fabric pieces for applique can be a tedious process. Creating neat seams on round shapes is especially difficult. This instructable will show you how to perfectly tuck under the edges of an applique with very little effort.
The pictures I am using are for an Easter egg table runner so they are egg shaped. Other rounded shapes can be prepared in this way as well.
Step 1: Supplies
Paperboard (cereal boxes, for example)
Step 2: Preparing the Fabric
Create a template of the shape you need using paperboard or cardstock. This template should be the final size of the applique--do not add any extra width for the the folded fabric.
For each applique, you will need a piece of fabric that's approximately 1/2" wider than your shape around all edges. You can simply mark out the shape on your fabric or you can create a pattern from which to cut the fabric. The pattern is nice when you are making many of the same shaped piece. I like to make the pattern on freezer paper. Freezer paper is great because you can iron it onto fabric (wax side down), trim the fabric around it, and peel it off to reuse it again and again.
Step 3: Creating Neat Seams
Lay the fabric piece, right side down, onto a piece of aluminum foil. Then center the paperboard template on it.
Carefully fold the foil over, pressing the fabric down with it. Neatly work the foil around the curves. It works best if you fold opposite edges until the whole thing is covered in foil.
Iron the whole foil covered configuration. If you don't want to iron directly onto the foil, put down a piece of fabric before ironing. The foil will distribute the heat nicely to both sides so it's going to be hot.
Allow to cool completely and carefully remove the foil and template. For really crisp edges, it's nice to put a flat, heavy item on the foil until it's cool. When I made a kilt, I got a strip of thick iron to hold down the pleats as they cooled. However, a heavy pot can also serve this purpose.
Pin or baste the applique onto your sewing project and stitch down as usual.