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Thread: Ugh. I am so frustrated

  1. #1
    Senior Member familyfun's Avatar
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    I have watched every video I could find on hand applique. It looks easy on line. I have practiced and practiced but it always looks terrible.
    What is the best way to applique small pieces ??
    I dont like the look of raw edge with light weight fusible.
    And turn under doesnt seem to turn out right either. I have tried putting the paper on top and turning on the seem.. I have tried to outline the pattern on the material and turn under, I have tried to pin it on and turn under. Every technique I try looks bad.
    So I am coming to all my helpful friends on the board again.
    Any Advice ?

  2. #2
    Super Member Vicki W's Avatar
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    To have nice and even hand aplique it takes practice. Lots and lots of practice.

    We might could be a bit more specific with help if you posted a few pictures.

  3. #3
    Super Member maine ladybug's Avatar
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    If you know someone who does applique' well and ask them to show you the way they do it, it may help. I have had several different friends show me their method and have taken what works for me from them. Other than that I agree that it takes pactice, pactice, pactice.

  4. #4
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    You might want to check out some of the advice on the Affairs of the Heart Cyber Sew main thread. Go to the bottom of this page and click on Topic list. It is at the top of that list. There is a kind of tutorial for alot of the blocks.

    Personally, I learned by cutting out the pattern on freezer paper, ironing it to my fabric, painting startch on the seam allowance and turning the edges under and pressing. I then stitched the applique to the background. I am currently trying to force myself to give up the freezer paper and learn to "truly" needle turn. I have found a couple of things that help me out-

    1. Most important- match your thread to your applique piece, not the background.

    2. Cut your seam allowance more narrow. I tend to want to leave them too big, which makes it harder to turn under and lumpy to boot.

    3. Take smaller, closer together stitches. Long stitches allow lumpy points on the edge.

    4. Take your time...I cannot do it quickly although I hope with more practice I'll move quicker.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Super Member Maggiesmom's Avatar
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    I do needle-turn applique mostly. I draw around my pattern on the top and then turn it in with my needle along my drawn line. The trick is not to try to turn more that a few threads at a time and make small stitches. While trying to perfect the needle turn technique I often used a toothpick with a washable glue stick and glued the edges in before I stitched them. That worked too.

  6. #6
    Super Member mommamac's Avatar
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    someone posted this today - 'cheater's applique'. did you see it?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ni__...eature=related

  7. #7
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Yes, thats what I came back to add.... use a toothpick almost as much as I use the needle! LOL!

  8. #8
    Senior Member familyfun's Avatar
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    That is so weird.. I was just watching that... I wonder if that would help until I got better.

    Quote Originally Posted by mommamac
    someone posted this today - 'cheater's applique'. did you see it?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ni__...eature=related

  9. #9
    Super Member cctx.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by familyfun
    I have watched every video I could find on hand applique. It looks easy on line. I have practiced and practiced but it always looks terrible.
    What is the best way to applique small pieces ??
    I dont like the look of raw edge with light weight fusible.
    And turn under doesnt seem to turn out right either. I have tried putting the paper on top and turning on the seem.. I have tried to outline the pattern on the material and turn under, I have tried to pin it on and turn under. Every technique I try looks bad.
    So I am coming to all my helpful friends on the board again.
    Any Advice ?
    Have you tried Reverse Applique?
    Look at my applique photo here, it's all done using Reverse Applique.
    Draw your shapes on the fabric first, then do a fat cut out inside your drawn shapes and cut little slits all the way to the drawn line of your fabric, then add your fabric from the bottom, not the top, (that's why it's called Reverse Applique)....., use a small dab of glue to hold the fabric applique in place, get your thread, good comfortable needle, and little scissors ( I use hand quilting needles for myself because the stitches come out smaller, just my preference there).

    Here are the blocks I was working on, and then the finished quilt.

    Reverse Applique
    Name:  Attachment-182453.jpe
Views: 40
Size:  22.0 KB

    Finished quilt.
    Name:  Attachment-182455.jpe
Views: 39
Size:  33.3 KB
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Super Member Susie Quilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mommamac
    someone posted this today - 'cheater's applique'. did you see it?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ni__...eature=related
    I just watched this and decided that I must try it. Thanks for sharing.

  11. #11
    Super Member BeeNana's Avatar
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    Under topics at the bottom of this page there is a large section with all kinds of information on applique. Recently I saw a site that does applique as I do and for the life of me I can't think of it.
    I do A with freezer paper under the fabric [ironed to the back of the piece that is going on to the background]. I trace the design on the freezer paper [dull side] and then cut it out. Iron to the back of the fabric and cut around the fabric leaving 1/4 or less of the fabric. The freezer paper underneath gives me an edge to turn under. I will A almost all the way around and am able to pull the freezer paper out with tweezers from a 1/4 opening or less. Then I finish off the A. I pick a spot to end the piece in an easy curve/straight area as it makes it easier to finish.
    I use the long straw needles {milliners], silk thread and toothpicks. When doing this method I have to remember to reverse the pattern if itís not symmetrical. So what I do is turn the pattern over and trace from the backside on to the freezer paper. Many times I will baste paper and all to the area of placement. Pins drive me crazy.
    I hope that I didnít make matters worse. Yes it does take practice. You can also google freezer paper applique and see what other options there are.
    I find it relaxing and able to get up and go with it.
    Good luck and do lots of google searches. You will find that you will get several techniques..............just practice and have fun. Believe it or not we were not born with a needle in our hands!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by familyfun
    That is so weird.. I was just watching that... I wonder if that would help until I got better.

    Quote Originally Posted by mommamac
    someone posted this today - 'cheater's applique'. did you see it?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ni__...eature=related
    this is nothing more than the method that Eleanor Burns has been doing for YEARS and Beth Ferrier also does this....
    My friend does it this was even the tiny pieces....then she trims most of the interfacing out to lighten the bulk on the layered pieces!

  13. #13
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Have you tried you tube tutorials?
    Sharon Schamber free you tube tutorials?
    Library books? :D:D:D

  14. #14
    Super Member BeeNana's Avatar
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    http://www.roserushbrooke.com/how-to-applique-1.html
    Found this on our tutorial page. I have ordered silk
    thread from her.

  15. #15
    Super Member margecam52's Avatar
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    Have you tried using freezer paper and a glue stick? You print one design (or as many pieces as will fit on a sheet of paper), Cut freezer paper to the size of the design page (or each cut out piece) & then you pin about 8 sheets of freezer paper (make sure they are all facing the correct way) with the design on the top of the shiny side of the freezer paper stack (reverses the design). Cut out the design(s) and iron them to the wrong side of the fabric. Cut out the fabric, leaving 1/4" seam allowances, or close to that...now take a glue stick, and run it around the edge of the seam allowance on the wrong side. Fold the seam allowance against/onto the paper, make sure to have the fabric fold right on the edge of the paper...seam allowance on the paper. On tips & corners...fold in the corners first then the sides...trimming the seam allowance if needed so it won't poke out. Before the glue dries...adjust any points, curves as needed.
    With this type of applique, you leave the paper in place until you have finished stitching the applique down. Be careful not to stitch the paper, just catch the very edge of the fold and then into the backing. Check placement & stitching...don't like it...take out the stitching and redo. Once you have the pieces all down, you turn the block over and cut out the layer of backing to within 1/4" of the stitching. dampen the paper (I use my finger) and pull it out. If you did catch a tiny bit of the paper, dampen it..count to 10, then pull it out. If more than one layer to the applique...cut one back layer at a time & pull that paper....next cut the part of the next layer to within 1/4" of the next stitch line and pull the paper...repeat until only one layer of fabric is left where designs overlap. Any small bits of paper will disolve in the washing of the quilt.

    Do one block and try this, I think you will find it's really a big help.
    Here is a link to Beth Ferrier's blog and if you scroll down, you will see how she has her pieces glued. She used an expensive wash away stabilizer...but freezer paper works just as well.

    http://applewd.com/blog/?m=200905

    Check all her 2009 blogs...I did the Now and Forever quilt...it was a great learning experience.

  16. #16
    Super Member margecam52's Avatar
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    This is the method Eleanor Burns uses. It's nice, but does not work well on really small pieces.

  17. #17
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    thanks for the link

    Quote Originally Posted by sandpat
    You might want to check out some of the advice on the Affairs of the Heart Cyber Sew main thread. Go to the bottom of this page and click on Topic list. It is at the top of that list. There is a kind of tutorial for alot of the blocks.

    Personally, I learned by cutting out the pattern on freezer paper, ironing it to my fabric, painting startch on the seam allowance and turning the edges under and pressing. I then stitched the applique to the background. I am currently trying to force myself to give up the freezer paper and learn to "truly" needle turn. I have found a couple of things that help me out-

    1. Most important- match your thread to your applique piece, not the background.

    2. Cut your seam allowance more narrow. I tend to want to leave them too big, which makes it harder to turn under and lumpy to boot.

    3. Take smaller, closer together stitches. Long stitches allow lumpy points on the edge.

    4. Take your time...I cannot do it quickly although I hope with more practice I'll move quicker.

    Good luck!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Summer Spice's Avatar
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    I think I used most of these techniques on my avatar quilt.
    I used whatever seemed to work on that particular piece, but you sure could tell the first block from the last, practice -practice-practice....

  19. #19
    Super Member hairquilt's Avatar
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    I use a square of used up Bounce sheet. Sew on wrong side & then cut small slit in back of bounce to turn it & press. Can't remember where I read about this but it is the only way I an do it now.

  20. #20
    Super Member trisha's Avatar
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    I envy everyone who can applique....I sadly amnot one of those!

  21. #21
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    And then practice, practice, practice.

  22. #22
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    You haven't mentioned machine applique. I use a very fine satin stitch to outline.

  23. #23
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Have you tried the Starch template method, you can also glue baste so you don't have to hold it in place

  24. #24

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    I have read thru all the replys to you question and have not seen anyone mention backbasting. I will not try to explain it here, but belive me you will get the results you are looking for. To find information and instructions go to www.google.com and put in backbasting. You will find several sits with instruction both written and with pictures. At least give it a try.

  25. #25
    saf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddy
    I have read thru all the replys to you question and have not seen anyone mention backbasting. I will not try to explain it here, but belive me you will get the results you are looking for. To find information and instructions go to www.google.com and put in backbasting. You will find several sits with instruction both written and with pictures. At least give it a try.
    I remember my grandmother using this technique about 60 years ago and I know that she learnt from her mother. I had forgotten until you mentioned it. Thanks for reminding me and all the pleasant memories.

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