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Thread: Best Way to Applique and Why?

  1. #26
    Super Member weezie's Avatar
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    I have ideas of doing machine applique some day, but haven't yet. I also have some really cute machine embroidery applique designs that I haven't tried yet. Currently I am doing the Little Brown Bird blocks and it is chock full of tiny pieces; for these blocks, I'm doing a 'cheater' version of needle turn. I tried the iron-the-edges-over-a-template method (tried both template plastic & freezer paper) and I just loathe it, so here's what I do. I cut the template out of freezer paper, press it onto the fabric and use a cheap mechanical pencil to draw around the template, including enough fabric all around to turn under. Once the pieces are cut (numbered to correspond with the numbered pieces in the outline) I pin some onto the background fabric, turning under and smoothing the edges as I go. I usually pin a few pieces at night and sew them on the next day. This way, I can remove the pins and the edges stay folded under. I have no problems with unwanted lumps, bumps, or creases. At that point, without having to do much actual needle turn, I can sew something on very quickly and very precisely, removing the few remaining pins as I go. I also have a felt covered styrofoam board that figures large in this method. With straight pins, I keep my block outline and all the little block pieces there, organized and easily accessed.

  2. #27
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    I have learned to applique all the ways but I prefer needle turn because once you do it, you are through; no cutting freezer paper templates, no using glue to turn the fabric, no stiffness from iron-on fusibles. It is tedious to learn, but once you do master it, it goes very quickly.

  3. #28
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    There is no best way. I PREFER turn under and hand stitched. If you machine wash your quilts, I think you are best off with a machine applique of some kind - whether you do turn under or use a fusible of some kind doesn't really matter. My very first machine applique were some bears (Quiltmaker). They weren't very good. I didn't know about putting something underneath and got a lot of tunneling. but eventually, I got over it, matched them with some plain squares, made a baby quilt and gave it away. The 'baby' still has it and loves it despite its imperfections.

  4. #29
    Super Member terri bb's Avatar
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    what a wonderful thread! i enjoyed getting all of your opinions! i machine sew during the day but every nite i hand sew or hand quilt. i have started on a double irish chain by hand but the 6.5 inch centers i have done fusible and made flowers and leaves for each one. i am using a pretty sturdy blanket stitch (the biggest one my machine will do) and im finding it looks very 'country'. i am not liking the stiffness of the pellon underneath, but i am hoping after it is washed several times it will become softer. the rest of the quilt is going to be done by hand and then hand quilted. i find hand sewing is so relaxing at the end of the day! i would love to learn to do hand turn on more complicated projects. the flowers in the center are very simple because the recipient of this is a very simple country down to earth girl and i think it fits. i think that learning in person to do this would be better than a book or a youtube. i have watched some and just shake my head. ill post pics as i go for fun and please keep your fingers crossed im pretty new at hand sewing and i find i pull my stitches out and start over if they start to look not quite right!
    A rolling stone gathers no moss

  5. #30
    Super Member terri bb's Avatar
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    congrats on the apple core top being done!! i am 2 rows from my second being finished. congrats!! )))))
    Quote Originally Posted by IAmCatOwned View Post
    There is no best way. I PREFER turn under and hand stitched. If you machine wash your quilts, I think you are best off with a machine applique of some kind - whether you do turn under or use a fusible of some kind doesn't really matter. My very first machine applique were some bears (Quiltmaker). They weren't very good. I didn't know about putting something underneath and got a lot of tunneling. but eventually, I got over it, matched them with some plain squares, made a baby quilt and gave it away. The 'baby' still has it and loves it despite its imperfections.
    A rolling stone gathers no moss

  6. #31
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I find a satin stitch done on the machine incredibly washable, but have some concerns about the blanket stitch done recently. I'll have to keep an eye on my daughter's quilt. I would like to learn the needle turn method of hand applique. I do like a pretty satin done on a machine even if it's a little out of style.

  7. #32
    Suz
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    I taught myself needle turn many many years ago. Applique is my very favorite method of piecing/quilting. Recently I learned a new method which has become my favorite: back basting applique. I know there is a YouTube video out there but I do it differently. I'll do my best to explain the method to you here:

    1. Using a light box or window, trace your complete pattern to the wrong side of your background. Use a light pencil line or the new FriXion pen by Pilot (mine is navy).

    2. Determine which piece needs to be appliqued first (one that another piece will overlap). Cut a piece of fabric approximately the size required.

    3. From the wrong side of the background, stick pins at 3 or 4 places thru to the right side. Make sure your applique fabric covers the pins right side up. Hold up to the light and make sure your shape is covered.

    4. Move the pins to the right side and then baste from the wrong side all the way around your shape. Use 1/4" stitches being sure to have a stitch at a point (as in a leaf). Leave thread tails (do not use any knots because you will be removing these as you stitch).

    5. Using either the Pilot pen, the white Clover pen, make a dotted line between the stitches on the right side of the applique piece.

    6. Very carefully, trim the applique piece to 1/8" along the dotted line. (Scarey, but if wider, you will have trouble turning a nice curve.)

    7. On a straighter edge, begin to turn the edge and start stitching, pulling out 3-4 basting stitch ahead as you go.

    8. Take an extra stitch at the point of a leaf to secure before starting down the second side.

    NOTE: The Pilot pen and Clover pen inks will disappear with the touch of a iron. The Pilot is available at a stationery store although I purchased mine at the LQS.

    Also, where you can see there will be an overlap, you need not needle turn. Just baste is in place with your applique thread to keep it flat.

    Also, be aware of a negative/positive pattern. If you need to reverse the direction of a pattern, trace it first on tracing paper, turn over and continue.

    Needle turn applique makes you very portable. I also find that I no longer struggle to place my pieces exactly where the pattern says they should be.

    Hope this is clear. Ask, if not.
    Last edited by Suz; 08-18-2012 at 05:50 PM.

  8. #33
    Super Member cabbagepatchkid's Avatar
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    I've used the freezer paper method to applique but I've been thinking about trying the "back basting" method. Here is a short tutorial about it:

    http://www.allaboutapplique.net/2008...hand-applique/

    It looks pretty easy.

    ETA: Here's another: http://sentimentalstitches.net/instr...hand-applique/
    Last edited by cabbagepatchkid; 08-18-2012 at 06:57 PM.
    ~~Cathy~~

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by cabbagepatchkid View Post
    I've used the freezer paper method to applique but I've been thinking about trying the "back basting" method. Here is a short tutorial about it:

    http://www.allaboutapplique.net/2008...hand-applique/

    It looks pretty easy.

    ETA: Here's another: http://sentimentalstitches.net/instr...hand-applique/
    Will the back basting method work on really small pieces, or just larger ones?
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  10. #35
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    I have done several different methods of applique and for quilts that will see some use and washing I have discovered that the satin stitch or the blanket stitch with fusible wonder under (or similar) seems to last the longest. I sometimes incorporated several methods in one quilt if it seems appropriate for a better look. I have made 10 or so applique quilts for my grandchildren and most have been surviving quite well. I think they all use them on their beds. When I can I also use the Eleanor Burns method on larger pieces, but not on small ones.

    Trial and error were my teachers...each time I make one I do something a little different.

  11. #36
    Suz
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    Regarding really small pieces, i.e., a small circle. I have tried to use the back basting to make them and was not satisfied with the results. For these, I will use the template, yoyo, starch approach. It works for some other small shapes but a circle needs to look like a circle.

    Cabbagepatch, thank you for the tutes. I had not seen these two. Their illustrations are very good and should work better than the lengthy explanation I tried above. The one I had seen had basted on all of her pieces which to me was too confusing. I would rather work with one or two pieces at a time.
    Last edited by Suz; 08-18-2012 at 07:36 PM.

  12. #37
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    Used many methods of doing appliqué. The. One methods I did not like was using an invisible thread to machine down. It was the machining and the finished result. Also I felt this thread would not be suitable for a baby quilt/rug. I was also not sure about how long it would last with frequent washing. I usually hand turn but at present due to a wrist operation I have to machine or Elenor Burns method.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  13. #38
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    I make a lot of applique baby quilts and I hand applique. My favorite method is using fusible web. It turns your raw edges under so you don't need to do needle turn applique. If you want to know how - just send me a pm.

  14. #39
    Super Member janedee's Avatar
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    I am an obsessed needle-turn appliquer very relaxing to do and haven't had any problems with repeated washing only thing I will comment on if you want to wash any quilt with applique on don't use the fusible method whichever way you do it - enjoy

  15. #40
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    I do needle turn applique. I fell in love with all the gorgeous quilts that were appliqued, so I got some books and videos and taught myself. So relaxing. Have not tried machine applique.

  16. #41
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    I'm right there with you about the starch! I just starch the snot out of everything, cut it out freehand,sometimes use Elmer's school glue to stick it where it's supposed to go and sometimes just hold it down with my thumb and then (gasp!!) I raw-edge applique it!! Heaven only knows if it will stand up to much washing, but the project I'm working on currently isn't likely to be washed a great deal, some but not every week. I love cutting out crazy shapes and colors fors for wierd but exciting flowers. I've made some very exotic birds and it's all a LOT of fun with fabric. And after all, isn't that what we're all doing here.....having fun with fabric?

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