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Thread: How do you finish applique leaf points by hand neatly?

  1. #1

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    My hands are a bit stiff and I have a quilt to finish - sixty four pointed leaves and ninety six small circles, holly berries. My points look more like stubs and the circles more closely resemble many angled boxes!!

  2. #2
    drgntatoo's Avatar
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    I am not sure, I try to avoid hand applique at every opportunity! Hope someone can help or just keep sticking with it.

  3. #3
    Super Member tealfalcon's Avatar
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    there are some great tutes on needle turn applique but i will try and explain....
    when doing a leaf you stitch up to the point....take a extra stitch at the point then you fold the seem allowance under straight across...so the leaf will look like its chopped off at the tip....then take another stitch in the same spot as the last one. then you start down the other side...when you turn under the seem allowance when you start this side you turn under and all the way up into the point...normally you just turn under this time you will turn under and rotate the needle up into the point, makes for nice crisp points. as for circles i use the perfect circle makers....but it is possible to make them just needle turn...i would suggest freezer paper for your circles if you dont have the perfect circle makers. hope this has helped some
    blessings

  4. #4
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    For leaf points, I sew right up to the tip. Sometimes I make an extra stitch, sometimes I don't. I fold under the seam allowance for the other side, then give my thread a little tug to pull the point out, then start stitching. It helps to pinch the fabric down a bit, to hold the point.

    I also try to not clip my seam allowance too narrow for the point. I have a tendency to use a narrow seam allowance everywhere else when I needle turn, so I'll use a slightly narrower allowance for the first side of the point, and leave a quarter inch for side two. I really stuff it under when I turn, and sometimes use a toothpick to make sure it's completely turned.

    For circles, I've tried lots of methods. I find that basting the circle first helps me. If I have a point I can ease it when I applique it down.

    Janet

  5. #5
    Super Member cabbagepatchkid's Avatar
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    Circles are easy!

    ~~Make a little cardboard template of whichever size circle you are making. Index cards are good for this or any kind of stiff paper that isn't too thick.

    ~~Trace around it on the wrong side of your fabric. Cut the fabric out approx 1/8-1/4" away from the drawn circle.

    ~~Sew a basting stitch along the edge of the circle of fabric--doesn't need to be perfect.

    ~~Now put the template on the circle and pull on the basting stitch to pull the fabric up around the template.

    ~~With your iron give it a little bit of heat to set it.

    ~~Remove the template and your circle is already to stitch into place. If you gathered the edge neatly, you should have a perfect circle to stitch.

  6. #6
    KR
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    Senior Member KR's Avatar
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    A lot depends on the fabric you're using. Thinner fabrics make for less bulk in pointy ends. Other than that, my hints would be:
    - lightly spray starch the fabric before cutting out the shape
    - trim a little closer to the fold line as you get to the pointy end
    - take an extra stitch at the point as already suggested
    - trim a teensy bit off the end if needed....even 1 thread is sometimes enough
    - lick a finger and dampen the tip a bit
    - turn under the tip so it looks like the point has a flat end as already mentioned
    - press well with thumb of non-sewing hand
    - trim another teensy bit....if only a thread it usually helps
    - this is when I use my Magic Stick to turn the fabric under....it's a manicure stick that is flat on one end and pointy on the other.....I lick the flat end and tuck the fabric under (I've never perfected turning the fabric with the needle but I love the Stick)
    - thumb-press again
    - keep thumbnail as close to the pointy end as possible holding it all in place, bring needle up from underneath and continue on with stitching.
    My two-cents worth for today! Have fun!

    Oh yes, circles.....highly recommend Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Circles templates!!!

  7. #7
    Super Member Tinabodina's Avatar
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    I am getting ready to take a class on just this subject so I will be watching.

  8. #8
    Senior Member thomp116's Avatar
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    Just took a class in hand applique, and learned most of the tips above. This is so much fun, although my biggest problem is the fact that I need new glasses!!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomp116
    Just took a class in hand applique, and learned most of the tips above. This is so much fun, although my biggest problem is the fact that I need new glasses!!!
    I use a lighted magnifier when I applique, or if the light is good I just take my glasses off - my close-up vision is better than the magnifier.

    Janet

  10. #10
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    I am right handed so I start in the middle right hand side of a leaf, stitch up to the point leaving less than 1/16, take an extra stitch right at the point then use my needle to swing the fabric into the leaf point, tuck, tuck and then continue down the left side...my circles I do before hand around a plastic template (no matter the size) and just gather the fabric around the circle, press and starch heavily, take out the plastic,,,perfect circle..easy to stitch...good luck

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