By special request

Here is a closeup of my little clump of fruit in the upper left corner. The dark green background was layer #1, then the stems of the berries, then the berries themselves, and lastly, they little patches on the blossom end of the berries.Right at this stage, there are four layers here.
Most of the Fatsia project is done with raw edge, fused applique. I will edge stitch eventually but at the moment, it is fused to a background of tearaway stabilizer. That is just what I had. It does not need to be tearaway. The main stem has a turned edge but the rest is simply cut and fused just now. More layers will be added soon. I am using Wonder Under as my fusible material. I like it. It is not too thick to stitch through when all of the layers are finally added, and it sticks well. I like the paper backing too so I can draw or write on it if need be-just like with Steam a Seam. I LOVE Misty Fuse because it is SO fine and SO flexible but it is a bear to cut out unless you have to make a big acreage of fusible fabric to cut from . With the Wonder Under, I can cut what I want and with so many different layers, that is a definite boon!
Here is the main stem with a turned edge. Note the staystitching and the raw edge of the little flange of seam allowance which will tuck under the berry that will sit on top of the stem here.

These two photos, above and below show closer up on the top left and top right berries. You can see where I will need to do some good stitching to cover some wee gaps in the lower photo. No problem! If we had not intended to be able to do that, god would not have given us zigzag stitches of varying widths!

Last but not least, the leaf! The background could have been lighter as I want light coloured veins. Once again, zigzag to the rescue! A nice satin stitch in a paler, limey yellowy green will do nicely.
The main trick to this is to study your photo carefully and choose your fabrics VERY carefully. Write LOTS of notes to yourself and DO NOT FORGET SEAM ALLOWANCES FOR TUCKING UNDER THE LAYER ABOVE!

And here is a little bit of How To...

I studied the photo, looking at the biggest berries. Here is my strategy. Yours may be totally different but this works for me!
Each berry is numbered and LOTS of notes are written on each one.
Before I cut them all apart, I mark the places where one shape over or underlaps another and I be sure to add seam allowances where appropriate. My red lines mark those spots.

We are looking at berry number 4 , dead centre in THIS picture
I take note of colour and shading and choose a spot from one of my fabrics and fuse the freezer paper pattern to the fabric. Then it is cut out LEAVING SEAM ALLOWANCES WHERE NECESSARY. There are TWO Seam allowances on Number 4.
The back side of Number 4. NB, some of this colour will eventually be covered up by the blossom end patch.
Here is patch number 4 set in place on the quilt front. Note that none of this will be fused down until I add fusible to the back of each patch and until I look at the overlaps making sure everything I want covered IS covered.
I hope perhaps this removes some of the mysteries you have been asking about and encourages you to try one yourself. Small suggestion- if you have never done this before, pick a very simple photo to work from!


  1. This is amazing. I've done a bit of fabric work but I'm not keen on it. I think I'm too heavy handed. I always end up fraying it. (I hadn't thought of backing it before I cut!)

    I'll stick to paper collage and painting. I can sort of handle that!

  2. wow, the top photo could be a work of art all by itself. Your details are amazing.

  3. What a lovely post, Carolynn. Meticulously worked out - thank you for this. I love your fabrics, such a pity that just wonderful colours will be covered in some places. I love the close-ups and the green photo is super. Your post is such that you could publish it in a journal and thousands of readers would be thankful. - And .... I am sure your photos when I saw them first in another post inspired me to my hot blueberry soup. my stitching for week 25 of Tast 2012 - on my blog