Tips for Needle Turn Applique

I am a newborn when it comes to needle turn applique. That is why I’m taking a block of the month course at Quilting Adventures to learn all the ways to needle turn applique.

In my first two months, I have learned some valuable tips from our wonderful teacher, Phoebe.

The needle matters

I first tried using Clover Black Gold Needle No. 9 and they were too short, and although the needles pierce smoothly through the fabric they didn’t turn the fabric smoothly. When I switched to John James Gold’n Glide Applique Size 11, I got great results.

Marking with a pencil works fine

This BOM is Carolyn Friedlander’s Collection quilt pattern and she bastes each piece then needle turns the fabric. Phoebe uses a pencil instead of basting and it works great. It is probably faster this way too.

Thread should match the applique piece or a shade lighter

I’m using 100 weight thread because I have a large assortment of WonderFil, but it its really thin and I worry the pieces might come off. So I might change to 50 or 60 weight Aurifil or 60 weight  Mettler.  I might try silk thread. I have a collection of YLI Silk Thread. I’m still learning.

Enjoy the process

I am using mostly scraps for my pieces and I’ve enjoyed picking out each little bit and slowly stitching them to the background.

IMG_7842

 

How to Stabilize your Quilts with Grosgrain Ribbon

Grosgrain ribbon is the best way I have found to stabilize my quilts, particularly a wall quilt. It will hang like a painting. You can use twill tape, but you might find more uses for the ribbon. It is one-eighth inch wide.

SEVEN EASY STEPS:

(1) MEASURE EACH SIDE OF THE QUILT

(2) CUT THE RIBBON TO THOSE EXACT SIZES

You should have (4) pieces of ribbon at this point.

quilt binding facing measure

(3) FOLD THE RIBBON IN HALF AND INSERT PIN INTO RIBBON

(4) FOLD THE RIBBON IN QUARTERS AND INSERT PIN INTO RIBBON

You should have (3) pins now on each piece of ribbon.

(5) REPEAT ON THE QUILT AND PIN AT THE HALF MARK AND THE QUARTER MARKS

quilt binding facing pins

(6) LINE UP THE PINS ON THE RIBBON WITH THE PINS ON THE QUILT AND ATTACH

I created a “little quilt” to show how to do this:

Liberated Quilt binding facing pin on pin

(7) USING A TOP STITCH FOOT, STITCH AROUND THE QUILT

(you could also use a walking foot)

quilt binding facing stitch

quilt binding facing corner overlap

This method works for double-folded binding and for facing binding. The ribbon won’t show. I used facing binding for the quilt in the featured photo above. I’ll share a tutorial on facing in another post.

Feeling stable,

Wanda

I’m linking up with Late Night Quilter’s Tips and Tutorials Tuesday.

By the way, I learned this method from the book, Intuitive Color & Design, by Jean Wells.

Template Tips

Sometimes you have to use templates. I’m making The Necessary Clutch Wallet, and it has templates.

Some options:

(1) CARD STOCK

This is a good option when you don’t need to fussy cut or when you don’t plan to use the template that often. Put it in the copier and press OK. But, remember to set on “Actual Size.”

(2) CLEAR PLASTIC TEMPLATE

This is a good option for fussy cutting, and it’s durable.

(3) NO MELT MYLAR

This is the best option when you are pressing your fabric around the templates with your iron. I used this method for making applique circles for my Vintage Moments quilt. It avoids needle turn.

Using your templates:

(1) STARCH YOUR FABRIC

If you use regular starch, you’ll get better results.

(2) CUT OFF THE TEMPLATE LINES

If you cut the template line just to left of the line, you will make room for your marking pencil/pen. That sliver of marking can make the difference in getting a perfectly cut piece. I’m not always consistent in doing this, but it is the best practice.

template marking

(3) CUT ON THE LINES

Cut on the lines — not to the left or to the right

template trim

(4) LABEL YOUR TEMPLATES

Some fabric has to be cut on the grain and the markings on the template are a reminder to do that. And, you’ll be able to find it when you want to use it again. I use a permanent marker.

templates2

I’m linking up with Tips and Tutorials Tuesday at Late Night Quilter.

Wanda