Applique Links

I noticed, when making the midget blocks for the Week by Week Sampler, that I really like needleturn applique. It's a very relaxing thing to do.
However, when I did more and more of applique blocks, I noticed that my results got worse instead of better. I'm not sure why, but this is a little bit frustrating.

I appliqued four tiny hearts and the first two were okay, but the last two were wonky and a mess. So I decided to read some tutorials to find out if I maybe can find some tricks that I don't know.

These are some I found and really liked:

Needleturn Applique Tutorial by Joanna of Applique today.
There are many pictures in this one. And there's even a video showing how to turn under the seam allowance in concave curves. She shows the technique using a star as an example, with points outside and inside.

Here's a tutorial for "back basting" by Kay on her site all about applique.
I first found a tutorial about this on the blog "thee handworks" but it seems to be offline now. So I found this one. She does that very well, obviously. The curves between the fingers are very hard to do, I think - there is hardly any seam allowance to turn under there. Since the tutorial is only about back basting, there is no explanation how she does it.
I like the back basting method very much and use it all the time. I've bought myself some freezer paper, but it keeps coming off when I stitch the applique piece. Additionally, I don't want to pin the stuff to the background fabric, because my thread always gets caught in the pins.

Here's another one about back basting.

Kay also wrote something on clipping on inside curves and notches (my usual problem!)
She's also saying that you should leave less margin to turn under to avoid edges forming and poking out of the shape on outside curves. That's also a problem I'm having when doing those little blocks.

Some things I find useful:
I use a very thin needle. I've got gold eye applique needles by clover, which are so small that a regular sewing thread doesn't fit through the eye. And I have Prym size 11 needles, which are pretty much the same as the clover needles but a regular thread will fit through the eye.
I'm using a silk thread, which is very thin, by YLI - the advantage is that the thread is so thin that it fits through the eye of the Clover needles and it's nearly invisible, no matter what colours of fabric I'm using. I don't have to change the thread to match the applique piece. The silk thread is white and I use it on everything - it just disappears into the fabric.
Then I've bought myself a desk needle threader - also by Clover. This is very cool! Just pressing a button and the needle is threaded.

One problem I also have with my favourite back basting method is that you use the holes left by the basting needle in the fabric as your guide. There are no pencil drawn lines you follow,
and on some fabrics the holes don't show up well enough. They show perfectly on poplin and batiks, which are mostly dyed poplin fabric. But some quilting fabric doesn't work as well. Maybe I'll use a very light pencil line in addition so that I can follow that line if I don't see the holes made by the basting stitches.

If you know of a great tutorial on needleturn applique, please leave the link in the comments!
Jane Weston (guest) - 14. Sep, 19:03

Great Links...thanks!

distelfliege - 14. Sep, 20:03

you're welcome!

My favourite is the tutorial by Joanne, she did a great job and explained everything very detailed.

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