So You Want to Applique?
Have you had a desire to appliqué? If so, I am planning to do a series of blog posts on needle turn appliqué. I learned to do this form of appliqué over 15 years ago and have loved it ever since. I have made it my mission to get more people to try needle turn appliqué! I've done some blog posts about this technique in the past, but it's been a couple of years. I thought I would start with the basics.
To make appliqué an enjoyable experience, you need to have one thing I have found absolutely necessary ..... really good lighting! A successful needle turn stitch is one that is barely visible on your quilt top, so to get stitches like that, you need to be able to see!
The other supplies needed are scissors (one pair to cut fabric and one pair to cut paper), a glue stick, card stock (or light cardboard), a fabric pencil such as Sewline, appliqué needles and thread. I generally use a #9 needle. The larger the number, the shorter the needle, so you can choose the size you feel comfortable with. My favorite thread to use in Mettler silk finish 100% cotton. You will want to match, as close as possible, the color of the thread to the color of your appliqué piece, not the background fabric.
The two items missing from the above photo are the pattern and the fabric, of course! So, once we have all these items gathered, it's on to the first step - preparing the appliqué templates and tracing out the shapes.
Preparing the Templates
The first thing you want to do is make a copy of the pattern pages that contain the template. You do not want to cut up your original pattern! You are aloud to photo copy these pages for your personal use. Once you have the copies, cut out the shapes outside the lines as shown below and glue that shape to your cardstock. Then cut it out on the lines.
The cardstock makes the paper template more stable, especially if you have to trace around the template several times.
Tracing the Shapes
Now that your template is ready, lay it on the right side of the fabric designated for this piece and trace around it using the fabric pencil. Once that is done, you will then cut out the shape with a seam allowance that is at least 1/8".
Now you are ready to appliqué your shape to the background! That will be the next lesson. So, find an appliqué pattern and get ready! If you are a beginner to this technique, I recommend that you start with a small project that has larger shapes. As you progress in your skill, you can tackle larger projects that have smaller pieces.
Come back later this week to continue! Meanwhile, if you want to receive notice when I release a new pattern or book, sign up for my notifications on the left sidebar where it says "join newsletter". My e-mails will be infrequent and I will not sell this list. I anticipate my first e-mails to go out towards the end of August when I begin to release my fall line of patterns.