Applique really is fun. I know people are afraid of that “A” word, but if you have the necessary supplies and a well lit work space, my tutorial should go a long way in relieving that anxiety. This first post will talk about tools needed to do needle-turn hand appliqué.
The first tool is good lighting. I like a table lamp with a built in magnifier.
Task lighting directed right on the project helps you see your stitching and will aid in making small, almost invisible stitches.
- Needles and Thread
Next, the right needle and thread. I like to use size 9 appliqué needles. These types of needles are also called “sharps”. The size of the needle you use is a preference though. The larger the number the shorter the needle. If a size 9 is too long for you, try another size.
The thread I use is Mettler 100% silk-finished cotton.
This thread comes in a large variety of colors so you can match your thread to the appliqué piece you are stitching. Thread should match as close as possible to help hide the stitches. There are other brands of threads that you can use for appliqué. I like these because they are thin and silky and glide through the fabric easily.
- Appliqué Glue
When appliqué glue was invented, it was a great day! No longer did I have to pin appliqué pieces to the project and prick my fingers as I stitched. The glue, used in small amounts, affixes the piece to your project with no pins. Now nothing gets in the way of my stitching.
- Chalk Pencil or Mechanical Chalk Pencil
I use a mechanical chalk pencil from Sewline. Fons and Porter also makes one. There are also regular chalk pencils, like ones made by General, that are good for marking. These pencils are used to trace around your templates onto the fabric you have chosen for your appliqué piece.
You will need a pair of scissors to cut fabric and also have a pair of scissors to cut out the templates that are traced from your pattern.
Of course now you need to get your pattern and fabric and get started! My next blog post will cover preparing the appliqué templates, applique pieces and stitching. See you next week!