Welcome back to my appliqué series… glad I haven’t scared you off! My purpose in doing this series and my mini video tutorials is to show that needle-turn hand appliqué is actually easier than most people think. If you get done with this series and still don’t want to try it or decide that you’ll stick with raw edge machine appliqué, that’s OK… no judgements! But, if I have converted a few of you to appliqué fans, then my time was well spent.
If you are just joining me, you can find part 1 of this series here and part 2 of this series here. This week, I will talk about how to make stems from strips of fabric and how to stitch points and inside corners on an appliqué piece. Let’s get started!
For floral appliqué projects you can have stems that are straight or curved. This project below has a combination:
You can cut straight fabric strips for the straight stems and then cut bias fabric strips to make the curved stems, but generally I just cut all my stems for a project like this from bias strips. The only time I will cut all straight fabric strips is if all the stems in my project are straight with no curves. Here are the steps for cutting bias fabric strips:
Step 1: To cut bias strips, first lay out your piece of fabric on the cutting mat and align the 45 degree line of your ruler with the bottom edge of the fabric.
Now using your rotary cutter, make the first cut and then cut strips on a 45 degree angle the width required for the design.
Cut the strips 1/2″ wider than the stems width you want. For example, if you want stems that are 1/4″ wide, you will need strips that are 3/4″ wide or if you want stems 1/2″ wide you will need strips 1″ wide.
Step 2: To make stems from these strips, the long sides of the strips need to be folded in 1/4″ on each side. I like to use a tool called a bias tape maker. Here’s what my old one looks like:
To use the tape maker, you slide the fabric strip into the wider end of the tool until the end of the strip starts to come out the narrow end. You will notice that the sides of the strip are folding in. Start pulling the strip through and iron the folds of the strips to crease them making the strip the stem width you want. There are different sizes of bias tools to make different widths of stems.
Here is what the stem will look like when you are done:
To secure the sides of the stem in place, especially if you are making a lot of stems, you can use a few dots of Roxanne’s Glue Baste-it on the wrong side of the strip inside the folds.
Like I discussed in last week’s post, stems are usually positioned and stitched down first when you have a floral appliqué project.
Here’s the mini video on making stems from fabric strips:
Stitching Points and Inside Corners
Most people just learning to appliqué, and even some experienced stitchers, have trouble with stitching points and inside corners. I found that is the question most asked when I am teaching an appliqué class. Because it’s often asked, I decided to make a short mini tutorial video on stitching that includes points and inside corners. It’s easier to demonstrate than to explain in words, so hopefully this helps you understand this part of appliqué stitching.
So that’s it for my appliqué series! I hope by reading these posts the last three weeks and watching my mini tutorial videos you have a better understanding of needle-turn hand appliqué and you want to try it! Leave a comment or ask questions below and you will be entered into the drawing for my appliqué prize kit:
The drawing will be next Monday, October 4th. Good luck! **We have a winner! Congrats, Sally Garon!**
Happy Quilting & Stitching!