I was asked about making sharp points in applique. I've actually picked up pointers from many different persons and sources. I have learned personally from Rita Verroca and Margarete Heinisch, friends and awesome hand quilters. My Mom taught me so much when I was growing up as well. I have also learned from videos by Karen Kay Buckley and Liuxin Newman. If you have a chance to find or watch any of these women, do. I searched online for some free videos. There is a needleturn youtube video by Gay Bomers of 'Sentimental Stitches' that appears to be good but I have not had a chance to watch [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IklE59k6giU]. I did look at this one - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aky_kXDrAEg on applique points. It is quite good and very short. I use a similar method although I do not 'pre-prepare' all my applique pieces. I did do this once, but got lazy! The pieces in this video appear to be starched - I dont starch my applique pieces [I have - but again..lazy!!] I usually transfer pattern both the the piece being appliqued and the background. I then crease the applique piece with my fingernails - kind of carefully, because you dont want to stretch the piece. [I will try to remember to take some in progress pictures tonight when I put another corner together.] This is the order I work in...
1. transfer pattern to applique piece and background
2. trim applique piece within 1/4" from design
3. crease design onto marking line with fingernails [if you make a template either with template plastic or copy onto freezer paper and iron another piece of freezer paper onto the pattern one before cutting out the paper template - you will have a hard edge that you can fold the fabric over with the edge of your fingernail to make a sharper crease]
4. position the applique piece to the background and 'weave' it in place with at least one pin...what I mean is I use just one longish straight pin usually
5. using your needle or you finger, make sure you have about an inch of where you first slip your needle into the seamline that is pressed into place. you can place a pin here - you just want to keep the line/crease in your applique piece aligned with the pattern on your background.
6. When I get to a point I do this....
a) take a few stitches closer together - usually one directly at the tip of the point and bring my needle back a few threads, take another stitch, put it into the fabric to anchor it momentarily
b) carefully pick up the part of the 'leaf', etc I have sewn down and clip the seam allowance back near the point I have sewn to reduce bulk.
c) ...this part takes practice.... remove your sewing needle and sweep the point that is left of loose fabric under the applique piece toward the sewn seam with the tip of your needle
d) keep doing this a few strokes until the fabric is nicely 'buried' and as flat as possible. If it isn't flat, you may have left too much fabric in your seamline or in the part that you are sweeping - you don't need a full 1/4"
e) when you are happy with the result - and while pinching just below the corner to submission on the unsewn side, take your needle [which should be a few threads from the corner you have stitched into already] take another stitch - exactly in the corner point... if you have the exact color thread, you can even take a tack a short thread or two up from the corner point.
f) continue down the other side.
now ... another tip - you should check your point a few stitches after you make the point. If you want it sharper, go back to it and pinch the point together, first with your fingers, then by running a stitch back and forth through the point from side to side....just a couple of times.
Hope this all helps!