Go Back  Quiltingboard Forums > Main
How do you finish applique leaf points  by hand neatly? >

How do you finish applique leaf points by hand neatly?

How do you finish applique leaf points by hand neatly?

Old 09-16-2011, 12:03 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 8

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!!
starryzar is offline  
Old 09-16-2011, 03:12 AM
Junior Member
drgntatoo's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 123

I am not sure, I try to avoid hand applique at every opportunity! Hope someone can help or just keep sticking with it.
drgntatoo is offline  
Old 09-16-2011, 03:18 AM
Super Member
tealfalcon's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Millbrook, Alabama
Posts: 3,340

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
tealfalcon is offline  
Old 09-16-2011, 03:39 AM
Senior Member
Hinterland's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
Posts: 941

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.

Hinterland is offline  
Old 09-16-2011, 03:50 AM
Super Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 1,775

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.
cabbagepatchkid is offline  
Old 09-16-2011, 04:05 AM
Senior Member
KR's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Where it's warm & sunny all the time :-)
Posts: 610

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!!!
KR is offline  
Old 09-16-2011, 04:17 AM
Super Member
Tinabodina's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Appleton, WI
Posts: 1,008

I am getting ready to take a class on just this subject so I will be watching.
Tinabodina is offline  
Old 09-16-2011, 05:07 AM
Senior Member
thomp116's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Southwest New York
Posts: 682

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!!!
thomp116 is offline  
Old 09-16-2011, 05:44 AM
Senior Member
Hinterland's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
Posts: 941

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.

Hinterland is offline  
Old 09-16-2011, 05:46 AM
Super Member
LindaR's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,891

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
LindaR is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
09-27-2016 06:26 AM
09-14-2014 09:18 PM
Links and Resources
06-22-2012 10:15 AM
Links and Resources
09-25-2009 12:07 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

FREE Quilting Newsletter

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.