For the final installment in my needle-turn applique series, I will give you tips for stitching the design, including stitching points and inside corners. I have lots of photos for demonstration and also video tutorials. By the time you finish reading this post, you should be able to pick up that needle and stitch!
You should have all your applique pieces cut out and the seam allowances clipped (this was covered in part 2). Now we move on to placing the applique onto the background (or the piece you are stitching it to). To hold it in place, I use small dots of Roxanne’s Glue Baste-it as we talked about in part 1. Only use small dots…. this glue is strong even though it is water soluble. You don’t want too much on the piece because it could bleed through to the front of your applique piece.
Notice how I’ve also kept the glue dots away from the edge to leave room for turning under the seam allowance. Once you have the glue dots on the back, place the applique where you want to stitch it and allow the glue to dry for about 30 seconds.
Start the stitching by using your needle to turn under the seam allowance where you want to stitch (see photo below). It’s a good rule of thumb to start stitching on a straight area of the applique. Also, do not start on a point or inside corner. Of course, if you are appliqueing a circle, you have no choice but to start on a curve.
Now, bring your needle up from underneath the project catching the edge of the fold created by turning under the seam allowance:
Then bring your needle back down right next to where you came up but only into the background. By doing this, the stitch looks like a little “dot”. If you put your needle in a little forward from where you came up, the stitch will be more noticeable, something we’re trying to avoid.
The photo on the left is the needle going back in, and the photo on the right shows how the stitch is basically invisible because it’s just a little dot. That’s also the reason why I like to match the thread color to my applique piece.
Keep your stitches close together to avoid puckering on the edges of your applique. I recommend no more than 1/8″ apart. Continue working your way around the applique piece until it’s completely stitched in place. When done, you can trim away the excess fabric that is behind the applique piece. This was covered at the end of last week’s post.
Below are two video tutorials for you. The first one is a demonstration of the applique stitch described above. Sometimes it’s hard to learn from still photos and descriptions, so I made this video for that reason.
The second video tutorial is demonstrating stitching points and inside corners which tend to be the most difficult part of needle-turn hand applique.
I hope these blog posts and video tutorials on needle-turn hand applique have helped you with your applique technique or have inspired you to try! There’s still time to enter the drawing for my pattern, Sweet Harmony.
The drawing will be Monday, October 21st. **We have a winner! Congrats, Barbara Blair!**
Would love a chance for the pattern.
Thank you so much for your tutorials. they are most helpful
barbara blair says
Thanks for the applique tutorial. I have not done much of it by hand, so very interesting. Love your patterns!
I always enjoy your tips and tutorials. This one has definitely been informative, educational and will be helpful. Thank you for sharing so much of your knowledge.
Janet S Jones says
Thanks so much for your tips and patterns.