Some time ago I got the notion to hang several fruit fabrications (pun intended) up in the kitchen. Rather than a square or rectangular shape, something more intricate was called for. Therein lies the difficulty... anything firm enough to support the cloth is too hard to cut easily. Fortunately my husband has a band saw in the garage, and 1/8" thick hardboard worked just fine for the basic shape. The band saw is tricky because if you twist it the blade will break, so you have to nibble away at the shape carefully. A different type of saw might work better, even a hand coping saw, perhaps. (Real woodworkers, by all means add your suggestions in the Comments.)
Click on any of these images for a bigger view, by the way.
A pattern was sketched out first, which provided the outline to trace onto the hardboard. The loopy lines would serve to break up the shape of the apple. The reverse-fusible-appliqué technique used for the blue outlines of the apple is described in more detail on my web site here and here.
Once the various fabrics were fused into place, a thin batting and backing were added. (If memory serves, the batting was pre-trimmed to the apple shape to eliminate some bulk.) The piece was free motion stitched, then wrapped around the hardboard shape. Lots of clipping was necessary, then a fairly heavy fusible (Steam-a-Seam 2) provided the adhesive. It was pretty tricky to get all the fabric pulled around to the back and stuck down using one of those mini-irons.
This shows the back after gluing on a piece of black felt to cover the rough edges. The picture hanger is the type that allows some leeway in case it wasn’t centered exactly.
Both the apple and the pear (see below) came out pretty well. There was just one problem... they took a ridiculously looooong time to make. It was the cutting out of the shapes that was a bit much... sawdust everywhere... yuck. I gave up the idea of making more fruit to hang in the kitchen. Instead, they were given titles (Loop-de-Apple and Loop-de-Pear) and put into a sale to benefit the Orlando Museum of Art. The pear sold, so the poor little apple was left all alone and has been ignored in a corner of my studio.
But recently I got an idea for the apple. Tick tock, tick tock, how about some clock parts? Craft stores carry some cute fork and knife clock hands, so as soon as I get a round tuit, the apple will tell time.
An easier way to proceed with a similar project would be to find pre-cut wood shapes. Some of the craft stores are carrying 12" alphabet letters that would look nice with a little quilted upholstery. Frames would work, too. Just pick a shape that isn't too overly intricate.