Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Needleturn appliqué tip #1

If you are doing needleturn appliqué, and have a shape with an area that is cut out inside it, do not cut this area out when you are cutting out the piece initially. Wait until you have completely sewn down the outside edge before you cut it out. Then cut out a little bit (maybe one or two inches) at a time. This keeps the piece from wiggling around and going all "wonky" on you when you are sewing it down. You can see from the photo that trying to pin down this leaf – if I had cut out the center – would have been like wrestling a little snake!

When you do this, you do need to be extra careful that you do not cut through the background fabric when you are cutting out the inside shape. I did this only once (and decided that the piece really needed a little berry right over that spot!) Use very sharp, small appliqué scissors and you will not have a problem if you are careful.

In the photo above, you can see that I have completely sewn down the outside edge, and I'm ready to start on the inside edge.

This is a leaf from block 5 of “Bohemian Bouquet,” my Mystery Block of the Month pattern. I will be posting more of my tips for needleturn appliqué with each block I release this year.

For more information on “Bohemian Bouquet,” see my Nov. 19, 2007 blog post, or go to my website,