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Thread: Your Favorite Applique Tips

  1. #26
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maryjane View Post
    My tip is to buy the best needles you can afford. Either straw needles or superfine applique needles. What an amazing difference it makes in being able to make those stitches just disappear. MJ
    I agree...another thing I do constantly is starch lightly...helps with the fraying and turning under...on inside dips the one trick I found is to take a very tiny stitch into the top fabric, (not the base fabric) it seems to "roll" the fabric over and then I take the next stitch right at that point. nice flat valley.
    Retired and living in NE Michigan

  2. #27
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    LOL, I just started an appliqué class Tuesday. Many of your hints were in the class. So far, I LOVE it! I did find I had to go out and buy a magnifying lamp so I could see the stitches I wanted to make. Glad to say my stitches are tiny. LOL I had requested suggestions from the Board and I ended up getting one from Micheal's that was $99 with a 40% off coupon so it wasn't soooo bad. I didn'y know you could even buy 3.5 reader glasses. I'll have to look into those for class work!!
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  3. #28
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    I use fusible interfacing and then glue stick and iron the extra clipped fabric over the back. I also use a blanket stitch because I like the thread showing on the sides.

  4. #29
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    All great tips. Thanks to everyone.

  5. #30
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    I use the tothpicks from Crate and Barrel to turn the edges, also glue stick to hold in place.
    "Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver." Barbara De Angelis

  6. #31
    Junior Member iwillquilt's Avatar
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    "the very best tip[from Lucian Newman fogive the spelling]-==pin from underneath the work so no pin ends to catch the thread where you are working "
    Simple. Why couldn't I think of that. Thank you.
    "Do not clip outside curves for needle-turn applique. Not clipping avoids both points and fraying.

    When clipping inside curves, don't clip until you absolutely have to, when your next stitch requires it. This cuts down on fraying, too."
    Simple again. Thank you.

    "You know, I had read somewhere a while back about running the needle tip through a glue stick before sweeping the inner point, but I never have a glue stick (and never remember when I'm at the store). I do have a little Elmer's liquid though, I'll have to try it! "
    I will try this too! I am not a fan of glue and starch. I am too heavy handed then can't get my needle through.
    So many wonderful ideas to try. I love needle turn applique and will surely be thankful for reading this thread.

  7. #32
    Super Member Girlfriend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PenniF View Post
    Thank you JulieR for mentioning those interior angle Vs...and for letting me know that i am not alone.....i just cannot seem to get them to turn out right...and actually avoid any applique that has them because i feel like they "ruin" all my hard work. Really hoping someone can give the definitive "hint" on that!!
    This, by far, is my biggest challenge, also, PenniF. Here's a link that I've actually printed out and have next to my machine, because I don't do it enough to remember. Hope this helps.

    http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/techni...-tips_ss9.html

  8. #33
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    I took two classes on needleturn applique, one taught by Donna of Heartworks,LLC and a class taught by Karen K. Buckley. Both excellent classes. Lessons I learned - starch your fabric, use school glue with toothpick for V angles, Thread Heaven to prevent tangles and use silk thread. I also prefer KKB applique scissors and Tulip needles.

  9. #34
    Member maggiek's Avatar
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    I am a big fan of back basting for appliqué You mark the pattern on the back of the background fabric. Then pin a piece of fabric roughly the size (with some extra) of the item you will appliqué on the front and baste from the back using an obvious color of thread and a big needle so it makes good sized holes. Turn back to the front side, remove the pin(s) and trim excess fabric away leaving bought 1/4" or less to turn under. Now you can get out your favorite appliqué needle and thread. Take out a couple of the basting stitches, turn under using the holes in the fabric and background as your guide and stitch it down. The basting keeps everything in place with no pins in the way. Keep taking out a stitch or two and sewing down until you reach the end. This is very portable because you need no templates, starch or other tools.

    I also use fray check on the clipped areas. Comes in a little bottle and works great but best after the point has been sewn rather than before. If there are tiny whiskers sticking out, just drop a bit of this on the spot and sweep them under with your needle. Stays in place without a problem.
    Maggie

  10. #35
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    Do try to borrow or buy Pat Campbell's book on applique. She is a top-notch teacher--the best one I've ever had. Her pictures and explanations are great.

  11. #36
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maggiek View Post

    I also use fray check on the clipped areas. Comes in a little bottle and works great but best after the point has been sewn rather than before. If there are tiny whiskers sticking out, just drop a bit of this on the spot and sweep them under with your needle. Stays in place without a problem.
    I'm so glad to read this -- I just finished stitching a piece that had a ton of sharp interior curves, and I'm thinking about taking the whole thing off and starting over! I know I have some fray check upstairs... Thanks!

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by sniktasemaj View Post
    I am going to subcribe to this thread. I would like to try applique and need all the help I can get.
    How do you subscribe to a particular square?

  13. #38
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    I love to do hand applique. I make a finished size pattern out of freezer paper and iron it onto the wrong side. I then baste it rather than use the glue. I find that I can do inward and outward curves better that way. I do clip the inward points. I can then press it, and even use starch if I wish for a crisp edge. I also like to pin from the back side. As I applique, I take out my basting thread and remove the freezer paper before I finish the last stitches. With it pressed, the line of the applique is there when I take out the last of the freezer paper. I use, I think it is FRAY BLOCK, on points and anywhere I think I need a little help against fraying. It is the June Taylor one in the gray packaging and on the back of the package it tells to heat the tube under water and then to shake it before using. It goes on clear and dries clear, and doesn't have a shiny appearance when dry. It doesn't show at all that you used something, unlike some of the other fray stuff. I also use the straw needles.

  14. #39
    Senior Member AlaskaAlice's Avatar
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    Does anyone sew with water soluble thread and light inner facing to right side of applique pieces and turning inside out, pressing with lots of steam, and popping the inner facing off.. leaves lovely clean turned under edges. Martha Pullin taught this trick many years ago on PBS series.

  15. #40
    Super Member misseva's Avatar
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    I do a lot of raw edge applique using the buttonhole stitch & embroidery thread. Fray Check R my best friend. The kind I use dries clear and soft. After stitching I 'paint' fray check around every cut edge and it doesn't show & doesn't wash out.
    TwandasMom

  16. #41
    Junior Member J.M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolynjo View Post
    Do try to borrow or buy Pat Campbell's book on applique. She is a top-notch teacher--the best one I've ever had. Her pictures and explanations are great.
    What type of applique does she discuss in her book? And do you happen to know the title?

  17. #42
    Super Member Murphy1's Avatar
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    My goal this year is to learn needle turn appliqué. I hope by commenting this will be bookmarked for me. I wish I could figure out bookmarking on this site.
    Murphy1
    For our wonderful Golden Retriever adopted in March of 2010.

  18. #43
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    I used to needle turn everything. For a couple recent projects, I decided to machine-stitch my appliques to a lightweight lining (right sides together and then turn). Gloriously easier for everything except a design with lots of tiny pieces.

    For each applique, I make a template out of cardstock -- easy to print on my printer. Then before I trim and turn my applique I set the template on top the stitching lines so I can correct any boogers before turning.

    To sew those inner corners when using a lining, I'll put a pin in where the innie stops and just aim for the pin.

    The lined appliques can be blindstitched, zigzagged, or even straight stitched on.

  19. #44
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    Sometimes I stitch around the applique, just inside the stitching line, and then proceed to do needleturn applique. That way there is a row of stitching that keeps the corners from raveling and I have a line to follow.
    I will also sew a lightweight piece of interfacing or fabric , right sides together, and turn by cutting a small "slice" in the back of the applique. Then I press, and it's all ready to be appliqued, without any problems of fraying.

  20. #45
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maggiek View Post
    I am a big fan of back basting for appliqué You mark the pattern on the back of the background fabric. Then pin a piece of fabric roughly the size (with some extra) of the item you will appliqué on the front and baste from the back using an obvious color of thread and a big needle so it makes good sized holes. Turn back to the front side, remove the pin(s) and trim excess fabric away leaving bought 1/4" or less to turn under. Now you can get out your favorite appliqué needle and thread. Take out a couple of the basting stitches, turn under using the holes in the fabric and background as your guide and stitch it down. The basting keeps everything in place with no pins in the way. Keep taking out a stitch or two and sewing down until you reach the end. This is very portable because you need no templates, starch or other tools.

    I also use fray check on the clipped areas. Comes in a little bottle and works great but best after the point has been sewn rather than before. If there are tiny whiskers sticking out, just drop a bit of this on the spot and sweep them under with your needle. Stays in place without a problem.
    Maggie, Finding this technique for me was an ahHA moment. It has really fired me up to applique. My only problem is if i have too many pieces on top. Once you do one, i don't like to stitch thru many layers. Still not happy with the top ones, but I will persevere!
    Beth in AZ
    www.bzyqltr.blogspot.com
    Innova 22' with Lightning Stitch and Pantovision
    Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. Mark Twain

  21. #46
    Super Member applique's Avatar
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    I use the ladder stitch for my applique, about four threads at a time until I get to the innie. I use fray block (which is soft) not fray block (which is hard) to prevent fraying in the cut, and I reduce the stitches inside the inner most stitch to one or two threads per stitch. The inner most stitch is taken into the applique then into the background. If you turn the piece over it looks like a tiny running stitch. When doing multiple layers, I will applique the top piece to the next piece as though it is the background, only then will I trace and cut that piece to applique to its background. I can have a whole rose appliqued and ready to put onto its final background.
    Debbie
    Machine It

  22. #47
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.M. View Post
    What type of applique does she discuss in her book? And do you happen to know the title?
    Just saw on the internet that Pat died recently. She was a wonderful teacher and surely a great person. I took classes from her several years ago and shortly thereafter she had a stroke.

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