Welcome back! This is the final installment of my appliqué series. If you’re just finding me, here is part 1 and part 2. I hope you have enjoyed my mini tutorial on needle-turn appliqué and I hope it inspires you to try it if you haven’t already! This week, I will finish up with a tutorial on making stems and also how to stitch points and inside corners. Let’s get started!
Many, many appliqué projects have floral motifs that include stems. Some patterns have straight stems (left) and some have curved (right).
You can just cut straight strips and follow the instructions below to make stems if your project only has straight stems. But, if your project has curved stems you will need to make them from bias cut strips to make the stems more pliable. If I have a project that has both curved and straight stems, I just cut all my strips on the bias to save time.
Step 1: Cutting the bias strips. First, lay out your chosen stem fabric on your cutting mat as shown and align the 45° line of your long (24″) ruler with the bottom of the fabric (the arrow in the photo is pointing to the 45° line):
Now, using the rotary cutter, make your first cut. Then measure and cut out the amount of strips you need. If you need stems longer than the strips produced, you may have to stitch a few strips together before preparing them into stems.
Cut your strips 1/2″ wider than your desired stem width. For example, if you want 1/4″ stems, cut your strips 3/4″ wide.
Step 2: Making the Stems from Strips. To prepare the strips into stems, you have to fold in the strip on both long sides. You can do this by hand, but I prefer to use a bias making tool:
To use the tool, you slide one end of the strip into the wider end and pull it out the other end. As you are pulling it out, iron the strip to get the sides to stay folded over.
Here’s your stem!
- Optional tip: If I am making several stems for a project, I like to use a few dots of Roxanne’s Glue Baste-it to keep the sides folded over.
Unless the stems are on top of any part of the applique motif, it’s best to position them on the background and get them stitched in place first before adding any more of the design onto the background.
Below is my video tutorial on making stems.
Stitching Points and Inside Corners
When I am teaching an appliqué class, this is the trouble spot for most beginners. How do you stitch appliqué pieces with points or inside corners… or both? Since it’s not very simple to explain it in just words, I have this mini tutorial video to demonstrate stitching points and inside corners. Hopefully, this video will help you with this.
So, that’s it for this week! This is the end of the series. Next Monday, November 9th, I will choose 3 commenters over this whole series who will get my pattern Scrappy Gardens:
….and, there will be one grand prize winner who will receive my appliqué starter kit that includes needles, Roxanne’s glue and a Sewline pencil!
Leave your comment or question below to enter the drawing. You can comment on all three blogs and get 3 entries! Like I said above, the drawing will be on Monday, November 9th. ***We have a grand prize winner! Congrats, Kathy in WV. Also congrats to pattern winners: Janet, Edith and Christie***
Happy Quilting & Stitching!