Kathi from Design Originals by KC has asked if I can show a little more on how I do my needle turn applique for the Floral Fantasy blocks and just what is the white line that looks heavy on the fabric (white chalk) – so here goes – please keep in mind I am self taught – and what I do is the method that works for me – it might not be what is right for you. Also I was taking the photos myself as I was working so they are not perfect. Try holding a camera with one hand and the needle in the other LOL – I did rest the camera on the table for some of the shots.
Let’s first start with a sample – press and make sure all wrinkles are out
For practice purposes I cut out a square of freezer paper – for applique this would be the shape of the template that you need. Iron shiny side down and do not have steam in your iron. Freezer paper generally presses down fast and it just takes seconds really (just make sure the shiny side is on the fabric!) – if it seems to not stick your iron might not be hot enough. Just try it again.
Now all I am doing here is marking along the paper – the chalk pencil just rest right next to the paper and I mark on the fabric. I know that my sew line will be to the right of the mark so it doesn’t matter how wide the marking is – it will be turned under.
It could be a thinner line if you wish – I just don’t worry about it because I know it will be turned under. If a white marking wouldn’t be the right color I use a gray chalk pencil or yellow the line is always turned under.
Simply peel the paper away when you are done marking. If you feel the need to save your template in case you need to make a new fabric cut out later that is up to you. If your paper happens to stick too much which I have only ever had happen on batiks simply dab your hot iron on that section and it will come up. I usually leave the paper on until after I cut out my template – it gives me a firmer surface to work with.
I use Roxanne Glue Baste It to put little glue dots on the wrong side of the fabric and affix in place. A little goes a long way – you can see I have had this bottle forever
When I move into the living room or wherever I am doing my applique at I have a glue pencil also – Fons & Porter is the brand I use. If I need to reposition a piece that has been glue basted I gently loosen it up and then reposition and use the glue stick or a couple tiny applique pins. I find Fons and Porter glue stick doesn’t hold as firmly as the Roxanne’s so I normally only use if for short term.
On this section of the applique I fold over a portion of the leaf and start on the berry – I always take a couple stitches on the fabric that is under another piece just to make sure there is no fray available.
You can see that I have swept the seam under with my needle and I stitch right next to the white line so the line is under the fabric shown on the top. The white chalk rinses out when you wash your quilt. As you can see on the blue piece of fabric right next to the red some of the white didn’t get turned all the way under – I’m not worried about it. I always wash my quilts and the line will come out. If I know for sure that the piece will not be washed I would be more precise. (if you do a lot of serious handling the mark might start to come out while you are doing your applique if that happens just draw it back on) But we all know by now that I do this for fun and I don’t sweat the small stuff. That is why I say “this is how I do it” if you want to be good enough to enter your project into a show or contest then be more careful than I am!
This is the Fons and Porter chalk pencil – the white chalk is a ceramic chalk I believe it is firm but too much pressure and the lead will break. Refillable tubes of chalk are available. I get a lot of my supplies from Connecting Threads as I have no local quilt shop – this pencil can be bought there or at numerous other on line sources and quilt shops – I believe Hobby Lobby and Joanne’s carry them too but I am not positive on that. (there are other brands of some of these products also, I am not sure what the names are – something like Sew Line?)
“Practice makes perfect” as the saying goes – I get a lot of you complimenting my work and I do thank you – it is not perfect as one can see when a close up shot is taken (the stitches show up too much) but it is good enough for me and really when you step back you do not notice the stitches – it is just when you really look close that you see that. There is another stitch one can use for invisible stitches – the blind stitch – it takes practice to get it perfect and I won’t be on this earth long enough to bother – I just want to have fun doing what I enjoy so the tiny whip stich in matching thread is good enough for me.
Thanks for the question Kathi!