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Thread: Your Favorite Applique Tips

  1. #1
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    Your Favorite Applique Tips

    Hi all! I'd really love to hear what tips you all have to share about applique -- of any kind. For instance, I'm awful at interior points (like the "cleavage" of a heart) and I'm hoping to see someone's pet trick for that. But meanwhile, here are some of mine -- even if they seem obvious, they weren't to me when I started!

    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.

    And just like in life, when you come to a curve, concentrate only on your next stitch. The stitches an inch away will get their turn!

  2. #2
    Super Member Chicca's Avatar
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    Excellent tips! My best tip always helps me.....do not just jump right in. Take the time and really look things over, read instructions and tips on patterns and play with fabric choices.
    Brenda

  3. #3
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    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

  4. #4
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicca View Post
    Excellent tips! My best tip always helps me.....do not just jump right in. Take the time and really look things over, read instructions and tips on patterns and play with fabric choices.
    No joke, I've wasted a lot of time fixing mistakes. I just LOVE ripping out stitches! Said no quilter ever

    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
    Welcome from Maryland! Very true. What are your favorites?

  5. #5
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    Fo needleturn applique I love silk thread and superfine needles. I use 2 layers of freezer paper as a template ironed on to my piece. I then use some liquid starch applied with a paintbrush and a mini iron to press my seam allowances down. I then remove the freezer paper and stitch it down http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvnqtxBeBj8
    For the pesky little inner points, I use just the tiniest little bit of elmers glue just to hold those few centre threads. Don't use too much as you wont be able to stitch though it.
    The biggest risk is the one not taken

  6. #6
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woody View Post
    Fo needleturn applique I love silk thread and superfine needles. I use 2 layers of freezer paper as a template ironed on to my piece. I then use some liquid starch applied with a paintbrush and a mini iron to press my seam allowances down. I then remove the freezer paper and stitch it down http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvnqtxBeBj8
    For the pesky little inner points, I use just the tiniest little bit of elmers glue just to hold those few centre threads. Don't use too much as you wont be able to stitch though it.
    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!

  7. #7
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    Use a wax on the thread it slides much better,
    Check your thread colour carefully so it disappears into the material.
    I like to star h the fabric before cutting it puts a barrier on fabric especially if you are marking the fabric for placement.
    Helpful to place applique pieces onto the fabric using a Pruitt stick to hold while you sew
    Finished is better than a UFO

  8. #8
    Junior Member J.M.'s Avatar
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    Oh, I love the starching before cutting tip - a great way to make sure the markings for placement come off much easier!

  9. #9
    Super Member PenniF's Avatar
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    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!!
    Of all the things i've lost, i miss my mind the most.

  10. #10
    Super Member jemma's Avatar
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    i use glue to hold my pieces now but for those who do not like to use glue 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

  11. #11
    Super Member Minnesewta-sam's Avatar
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    Jenny @ Missouri Star has a four part series on applique with an applique expert. It is really worthwhile watching in my opinion.
    Confirmed fabric-holic seeking 12 step treatment program or a storage building.

  12. #12
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    I love using YLI silk thread. It's wonderful stuff.

  13. #13
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woody View Post
    Fo needleturn applique I love silk thread and superfine needles. I use 2 layers of freezer paper as a template ironed on to my piece. I then use some liquid starch applied with a paintbrush and a mini iron to press my seam allowances down. I then remove the freezer paper and stitch it down http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvnqtxBeBj8
    For the pesky little inner points, I use just the tiniest little bit of elmers glue just to hold those few centre threads. Don't use too much as you wont be able to stitch though it.
    this is the same way i do it
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak THINK
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?


  14. #14
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jemma View Post
    =pin from underneath the work so no pin ends to catch the thread where you are working
    i love this tip!!!!
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak THINK
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?


  15. #15
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    I'm working on my very first applique project, so I appreciate everyone's tips! I do have one of my own - don't be intimidated! I don't know why, but I was really intimidated by applique and thought it was going to be really difficult. (I'm doing needle-turn hand applique.) There are certainly challenges, but after all, it's just fabric and thread. If you mess up, take it off and start over. I'm having a lot of fun!
    Jenel Looney
    Assistant to Susan Mallery
    New York Times bestselling author

  16. #16
    Senior Member leakus's Avatar
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    I love applique in all its forms. Latelly I am basting the piece before appliqueing it. It is much better than having the pins that catch your thread. I haven't tried pinning from underneath! I guess i need to try.
    :-( I wish I was a full time quilter!
    Andrea (Margate, FL)

  17. #17
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    These are some great tips, everyone! I'm trying out a lot of them this morning - so cool. Thanks!

  18. #18
    Senior Member bunniequilter's Avatar
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    I always starch my fabric befgore cutting out the pieces, helps prevent fraying. I use Caryola washable markers for marking I need to do. I alos use a round wooden toothpick to roll under my seam allowance as stitching. The roughness of the wood grips the fabvric and makes turning under a breeze. The last itme I cant be without is my 3.50X magnifing glasses, so much easier when you can see what youre doing!
    Quilt outside of the box!

  19. #19
    Senior Member fien777's Avatar
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    love the tip of pinning from the backsite!!!!
    Gonna try that immediately
    greetz, fien
    http://quiltfien.blogspot.com/

  20. #20
    Super Member Sierra's Avatar
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    I glue, either with stick glue or Elmers School. Use just a tiny bit at each place. One of the neat things about using glue is you can make detailed things like hummingbird or flowers, or, in the case of one of my grandchildren, totem pole images of Raven or Eagle, etc. and get them exactly where they should be, and they'll stay until you sew. These all come completely out when washed.

    Hint for grannies: help a child find a picture s/he finds exciting (not toooo detailed); use tissue paper to make templates (we don't have a printer); go to your stash and choose bright plain colors and let them choose (provide guidance when necessary because you want the child to really like the outcome; teach how to cut the patterns, (for really young or unsure children it can be better to not have seam allowance, for older the can understand why); help them paste the cut pieces on to the chosen backing; and bingo, your little one has a wonderful picture to give Mommy or Daddy and they are so proud! AND you have used a bit of your scraps. I've never done it, but they could design quilts this way also and make mini quilts for their paperdolls or rungs for their doll houses, or.....

  21. #21
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    I'll add what I just learned today. I had accidently got Heat 'n Bond Lite fusible onto the top-side of my applique background and paniced out. I asked this board for help and several came to my rescue. The first suggestion I tried worked.

    I put my iron on scorching hot with steam on...held slightly above the spot and shot it with the steam for a few seconds. Then I quickly applied a cloth to the top and steam-ironed back and forth several times shooting the steam. I did the same thing 3 times and by the third time it was all gone.

    Needless to say I am very grateful to those that tried to help me and especially to the one that thought of doing it this way.

    Hope this helps if you are every as careless as I was.

  22. #22
    Super Member sniktasemaj's Avatar
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    I am going to subcribe to this thread. I would like to try applique and need all the help I can get.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Plumtree's Avatar
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    Thank you for all the great tips, I am marking this one so I can write these down later. :-)

    As a total noob to applique I can't wait to put these tips into practice.

  24. #24
    Super Member ccthomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minnesewta-sam View Post
    Jenny @ Missouri Star has a four part series on applique with an applique expert. It is really worthwhile watching in my opinion.
    Jenny and Jan Patek did a very good job with the four-part applique that covered many of the tips discussed and visual close ups. I purchased the kit but assumed the, "special thread" and a "special needle" would be included. I haven't found the needle and have yet to get the thread. So I have an applique UFO not even started.
    Carol

  25. #25
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    FAMOUS SEWING SAYING......"As ye sew, so shall ye rip" : )
    Quote Originally Posted by JulieR View Post
    No joke, I've wasted a lot of time fixing mistakes. I just LOVE ripping out stitches! Said no quilter ever



    Welcome from Maryland! Very true. What are your favorites?

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