Now that you have all the tools and supplies you need, it’s time to start that applique project. These tips focus on tracing the shapes onto fabric and preparing the applique for stitching.
Prepare the background for stitching. I like to apply Fray Check to the edges of the project I am working on to prevent fraying. As you are stitching, you are handling the background a lot. I found that when I did not apply the Fray Check to the edges, there was a lot of fraying that sometimes was not contained to the seam allowance. My project was misshapen and frayed badly when I was done.
Trace the shapes for your applique on the right side of the fabric. There is no need to reverse templates since the direction you trace is the direction the applique will be facing. Make sure the scrap of fabric you choose for your applique allows for seam allowances. Unlike wool applique, needle-turn applique requires a seam to turn under while stitching.
Notice above that the strip I chose for these flowers is wide enough to have a seam allowance on the top and bottom of the shape.
You also need to be sure to leave enough room between the shapes you trace for seam allowance.
As you can see, there is room all the way around for seam allowance. When you cut out the shape from the fabric, you want to leave enough fabric to turn under. Between 1/8 to 1/4″. Do not make your seam allowance too small because fraying will happen and you could lose your whole seam allowance.
The next tip in preparing the applique shape for stitching is clipping the seam allowance to make turning it under easier. It also helps you to keep it’s original shape. The curvier your piece is, the more clips you want. If you are working with a straight area, you don’t need as many clips.
The most important key here is not to clip over the drawn line. Just clip right up to it to remain in the seam allowance. Clipping over the line will alter the shape.
Here is my applique video tutorial that shows these steps:
So, now you know how to trace and prepare applique shapes for stitching. Next week, we’ll move on to making stems for a project. Since a lot of applique designs include stems, I have some tips for making those.
Leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing for my quilt pattern, High Prairie Blooms. As I said last week, the drawing will be Friday, October 4th once this applique series is done.
This pattern will allow you to practice the applique skills you are developing! ***We have a winner! Congrats, Ariel K.!***
Happy Quilting & Stitching!
June Alton says
Great tips for needle turn applique. I would love to make your High Prairie Blooms quilt.
Sue singer says
Thanks for the tips
Peggy Bourassa says
Thanks for yet another great tip session!
Karen H says
Love the tips! thanks for your blog – your patterns are great
Karen from Ohio says
I am learning many new things from your applique series. Looking forward to step 3.
The High Prairie Blooms pattern I would like to try with your helpful, appreciated tips.
Pat M says
Thanks for the tips!
Sandra C says
Love your High Prairie Blooms pattern and eager to read your stem tips! Needle turn is also my favorite way to appliqué!