Leather Appliqué for a Rodeo Queen

Rodeo Queen_Side Front

Last month I shared a bit about the leather western show jacket project I have been working on. Since I have now completed the jacket, Rodeo Queen, I wanted to backtrack a little to discuss cutting the appliqués from leather.

Leather is a stretchy material that comes in many different weights and thickness. Leather is classified by the weight quoted in ounces (oz). It can also be identified by the finish, tanning process and suppleness. For this project I worked with garment grade leather, specifically a 1.5 – 2 oz metallic foiled pig suede. As a reference, a 2 oz leather is about the same thickness as a dollar bill folded 3 times.

Metallic Pig Suede_opt

Like fabric, it needs to be properly stabilized for a successful cut on our machines. You can stabilize by applying a fusible product to the back or unfinished side, or by ironing on a heavy duty freezer paper. You can also cut the leather bare if you use a very sticky mat. The issue with just using the sticky mat is that the rough side of the leather will leave fibers behind when removed from the mat. It is also possible to stretch the cut unit out of shape if not removed very carefully.

Best results are achieved when using the Fabric Blade and the Extra Sticky Mat (Green Grid). For this project, the two colors of leather were slightly different thicknesses so I needed to adjust my blade exposure for each color.

20160712_095532_opt

Maxx Air Settings

Metallic Pig Suede

Pink, 2 oz: Force = 168, Speed = 250, Passes = 2, Blade Height = 13

Silver, 1.5 oz: Force = 160, Speed = 250, Passes = 2, Blade Height = 13

Materials

Metallic Pig Suede

Paper backed fusible web, paper was removed before pressing the leather on to the mat.

Fabric Blade

Extra Sticky Mat (Green Grid)

The use of my KNK Maxx Air allowed me to cut seventy of the delicate units, some as small as ½” to ¼” wide in one day!

Crop Back_opt Rodeo Queen_Side Front

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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.

5 thoughts on “Leather Appliqué for a Rodeo Queen

    • Thank you! The applique was done by machine using a button hole stitch. When sewing leather you should use a leather needle which has a diamond point that cuts through the leather instead of pushing through like a universal needle.

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