Bree Reetz is a familiar face at Modern Textiles. But what you might not know, is that Bree is also an illustrator. When she's not here at the shop, she spends most of her time drawing. Her illustrations have been featured in everything from posters to children's books. You may have already seen her work scrawled on our chalkboard signs or recognize her style from our very own Smart Girl t-shirts. And we're excited to share that soon you will be seeing more of Bree's work featured in the shop. Bree has created some whimsical animal illustrations for her new line Muse for Modern Textiles. We've had them printed on high quality 100% cotton panels and we can't wait to share them with you! Modern Textiles T-Shirts Designed by Bree! Our first release of Bree's animals includes a fish, dog, cat and bison. This is just the start of the amazing things Bree has in mind - watch for more animals coming soon! What to make with them? These panels are perfect for quilting, appliquéing, and sewing into stuffed animals! Since they are printed on 100% cotton they can be easily integrated into any project. We recommend machine washing them on warm or cool on a gentle/delicate setting, using phosphate-free detergent. Today we would love to share with you a simple method for appliquéing the panels using the cat and bison. Connie created a Linden Sweatshirt for her daughter, then finished it off with an adorable cat appliqué. The pillow on the right was made using Shetland Flannel and an invisible zipper. Our tutorial below will walk you through the basics of raw edge appliqué. Stop in the shop for some Heat-N-Bond and a panel and you'll be all set to try these projects on your own. Be sure to stop back tomorrow for more project tutorials featuring the dog and fish! Part 1: Machine Applique - everything you need to know We are using the raw edge appliqué method. If you'd like a more finished look, you could needle turn appliqué. Iron-on adhesive - what to get: * If you have any plans to sew over the appliqué absolutely DO NOT BUY no-sew adhesive. It will gum up your sewing machine, break thread, and just all around frustrate you! * Make sure you purchase a double sided product. Iron-on stabilizer or interfacing will not work for appliqué. * Choose the appropriate weight for the item you are making. Feel the different product choices and read the labels for recommendations. * Key words such as 'light-weight' and 'flexible' are great for clothing or blankets. We carry Heat-N-Bond Lite. The key word is Lite! This is the sewable option and what we recommend regardless of the brand you choose. If your project is ever going to be washed or handled you will want to sew the appliqué to the base fabric to reinforce it. If you don't plan to launder the finished project, it's possible you might not need to sew the appliqué down. The 'lite' sewable version still works great for these applications. Make a sticker: Cut a piece of adhesive larger then the finished size of the appliqué but smaller then the fabric. (For the bison pillow we cut the adhesive 1" smaller then the panel.) Center the adhesive on the image. Be careful you don't have any adhesive beyond the fabric or you will get the glue all over your iron and ironing board cover. Using your highest setting on your iron, press the adhesive to the back of the panel. Either cut out the animal like we did for the sweatshirt, or square up the panel if you plan to keep the white border as we did for our bison pillow. If you are squaring up the panel, use a clear ruler to help you keep the animal in the center of the rectangle. Now you have a sticker. Peel the back off your 'sticker' and center it on your project. Using your iron's hottest setting, press the sticker in place (try not to move your iron around, focus on pressing in one area at a time to avoid creating wrinkles). Lastly, sew around the edge of the appliqué. I usually use about 1/4" seam allowance and slow down around the curves to keep it as neat as possible. I prefer the look of a straight stitch around the appliqué, which after a few washes will have an interesting frayed edge. You can also use a tight zig-zag for a different look. **When making a project with appliqué: First cut out all the pieces to the project (in this case the sweatshirt pattern pieces or the pillow). Then attach your appliqué. Lastly, sew your project together. This will ensure that the appliqué items are centered correctly an that you can still reach them to top stitch the animals in place. Shop all of Muse by Bree Reetz HERE! And come back tomorrow for more tutorials!