Neat Trick for Leather Appliqué

I am working on a big leather appliqué project, a leather western show jacket which will hang in a booth at the International Quilt Market and Festival. The leather appliqués I designed have two sections that must nest together, with some impossibly tiny points.

Cutting leather with our machines can be easily achieved if the leather is properly stabilized. In this case, a paper backed light fusible was used as I need to sew through the appliqués and do not want glue build up on my needle.

So the cutting and sewing is taken care of, but how do I get the parts of each appliqué aligned correctly before fusing to my project? If only there was something like the transfer tape that we use for vinyl, but heat proof so I can iron on it.  Wait a minute, there is! Rhinestone Transfer Tape to the rescue!

Materials

Rhinestone Transfer Tape

After cutting out my leather appliqués, I cut squares of the Rhinestone Transfer Tape about 1” bigger all around than the two-part appliqué. Peel the tape from its backing and lay down sticky side up. Position the first section upside down (right side of section to sticky side of tape).

Before and After

Start laying in the second section next to the first. Use a stiletto and tweezers to guide the section into place as you stick it down. If you need to make adjustments, lift the section and coax into place with the tweezers. Press down from the back on all areas to make sure everything is adhered.

Position_opt Adjust_opt

Flip over and replace the tape backing until you are ready to use the appliqué.

Completed unit

When you are ready to fuse the appliqué, remove the backing and press into place on your project. Iron at the recommended temperature and time for the fusible you are using. If you are fusing to leather like I am or any other material that might be damaged by direct contact with a hot iron, use a pressing sheet to protect your project. Carefully remove the transfer tape and sew.

Apply

I love finding new uses for the products I already have, and this trick will save me loads of time and aggravation!

Done

 

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About Candace West

Candace West is a multiple national award winning quilt artist and educator, whose art has been displayed at all major quilt show venues such as the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX, and the American Quilting Society show in Paducah, KY and many others nationwide. Her award winning quilts and garments have appeared in several major magazines. A love of teaching and sharing the techniques that can make anyone’s quilts show worthy, is her mission.

4 thoughts on “Neat Trick for Leather Appliqué

    • I have had limited success with freezer paper. But you need to use a heavy duty freezer paper, such as from C. Jenkins ( http://www.cjenkinscompany.com )
      The kind you find in the grocery store is too thin. The other variable is of course the leather, the thinner leathers work better with the freezer paper method as you need less passes. You can cut it without any stabilizer if you are willing to sacrifice a mat for the purpose. The issue with the mat only is the rough fiber side on the leather leaves behind a mess on your mat, and you have to be very gentle removing the cut piece so it does not stretch out of shape.

  1. Wow, this is awesome! I would think that this would be a huge time saver and hand saver, dense materials and a scissors can make for a sore hand.

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