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Thread: Help please! hand applique bias strips for "vines" or stems"

  1. #1
    Senior Member borntoquilt's Avatar
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    I am making the fatcatpattern.com block of the month series called "Flowers" (go to fatcatpatterns-it is on the same page as the Baltimore Blocks so popular here right now!) There are 8 blocks there.(so far) I am hand appliquing them all. I am stumped as to how to do the flower "stems" on the first block. should I steam a seam it and go back later to use sewing machine? should I use heat and bond light? should I do a bias tape of my own fabric and hand applique? I would like to hand applique but don't have a clue. I know how to make bias tape but how do I get it the shape I want? I know there is someone out there who is a PRO at this... anybody know what Roxannes glue is? Looked at a bunch of tutorials and this was mentioned along with "bias tubes"... sorry this long..

  2. #2
    Junior Member sandiphi's Avatar
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    I am not a PRO at hand applique, as a matter of fact it is my worse technique, but I have done a few projects using this technique.

    I, personally would not use any type of bonding agent because it will make the stems a little too stiff, especially if you are hand appliquing everything else. Roxanne's Glue is just a glue that holds down fabric, it looks like Elmer's Glue, but it is for fabric. If you cut your fabric on the bias, you shouldn't have a problem shaping it the way you want it to be. If there are curves in the shape, snip the curved edge before tucking the fabric under to eliminate bulk and to help make the shape.

    Hope this helps some.

  3. #3
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    when I hand applique stems etc. I cut them on the bias and and with right sides together I sew them down the side. Then I have strips of plastic made just for stems etc. (found at most quilt shops) insert them in the tube I have made and iron them with the seam in the center so as to have it hidden on the underside as I hand sew the stem down. Once ironed of coarse you pull the strip of plastic out. I hope you understand what I am trying to say. Maybe someone on here has a tutorial they can show you. Marge

  4. #4
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    I would use the bias strips also...I've had lots of luck with them and your sides alway look much better in my opinion. Use lots of pins and you can get them to lay pretty much however you want due to the stretch with the bais.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    I was taught to sew the inside of curves first. The bias will allow the outside to then lay flat. If you do the outside first, there is a chance you will have excess to deal with on the inside curve.

    For curves that weave back and forth, I usually go from side to side with all the inside curves first, then come back and do all the outside curves. You can also do inside curve, outside curve, then move on to the next section. Use lots of pins.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mic-pa
    when I hand applique stems etc. I cut them on the bias and and with right sides together I sew them down the side. Then I have strips of plastic made just for stems etc. (found at most quilt shops) insert them in the tube I have made and iron them with the seam in the center so as to have it hidden on the underside as I hand sew the stem down. Once ironed of coarse you pull the strip of plastic out. I hope you understand what I am trying to say. Maybe someone on here has a tutorial they can show you. Marge
    Wouldn't you sew WRONG sides together ?

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    Senior Member borntoquilt's Avatar
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    wow! I KNEW you all would come thru... Thanks for all the information.... I LOVE you guys! keep the info coming....

  8. #8
    Senior Member KittyGram's Avatar
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    I'm not a pro either, but the way I do stems is, when I'm cutting out the pattern, on the inside curve instead of cutting 1/4" away from my stitching line, I just cut a lot of excess, like a straight line from the top to the bottom of the stem. I cut the outside curve scant 1/4" away, and then I pin it all down on the background fabric. That way, it's a whole big piece rather than a floppy stem. I then stitch the outside curve first, and when I get to the inside curve, I only cut maybe 2 to 3 inches at a time, at the scant 1/4" from the stitch line, and after that's been stitched, I move on to the next 2 to 3".

    I hope that makes sense. Bottom line is, you're working with a bigger, sturdier piece while you're stitching your first side of the stem, allowing it to lay flat and not move around like a flimsy floppy stem.

  9. #9
    Senior Member borntoquilt's Avatar
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    thanks kitty gram. makes perfect sense.... I have had it for today.. am going to the hottub and watch the birds....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    Quote Originally Posted by mic-pa
    when I hand applique stems etc. I cut them on the bias and and with right sides together I sew them down the side. Then I have strips of plastic made just for stems etc. (found at most quilt shops) insert them in the tube I have made and iron them with the seam in the center so as to have it hidden on the underside as I hand sew the stem down. Once ironed of coarse you pull the strip of plastic out. I hope you understand what I am trying to say. Maybe someone on here has a tutorial they can show you. Marge
    Wouldn't you sew WRONG sides together ?
    No, right sides together and when you insert the plastic strip you work the fabric so the seam is in the middle of the back, trim that seam to 1/8 in or less and press the stem down. Remove the plastic and and your seam will be on the underside of the stem. That way you do not have to turn it right side out which would be almost impossible because they are so narrow.

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