Needle Turn Applique - part 1

Needle Turn Applique - part 1

Tags: applique, applique stitching, hand applique

Many of our patterns at Arbee Designs include applique designs. Mostly I use fusible web applique but for many, you can also do the applique by hand. It's very relaxing and rewarding to do hand applique and you can take your project to do almost anywhere to work on the go. 

What do I need to get started?

Fabric, matching thread, applique needles, freezer paper or template plastic, and the usual items of scissors, pins, and marking tools.

Match thread to applique fabric
Match thread to applique fabric

I use very fine applique needles, you might be more comfortable with slightly bigger ones. I match the thread to my fabric, as close as possible. Using a slightly lighter thread is better than a darker thread.

Applique needles

Applique needles

Preparation

Start by drawing the templates out. I used freezer paper this time, but template plastic is ideal especially if you are making many of the same pieces. I'm starting with flower 4 on the pattern so need to draw two sections, the petal, and the center.

Trace template to freezer paper or template plastic

Trace template to freezer paper or template plastic

I pressed the freezer paper to my fabric - it doesn't move that way and it makes it easy to draw around.

petals drawn on fabric

petals are drawn on fabric

I then cut out each petal leaving a scant 1/4". Tip: If you plan on taking your project to work on, it's quite a good idea to have all your pieces cut out. I use a ziplock bag to keep them in and label it so I know which flower it is.

first petal cut out

the first petal cut out

Next, I traced the outline of the whole flower onto my background section.

trace complete flower onto background

trace complete flower onto background

I'm using a light background that the template easily shows through so I could draw the outline. If you have a dark background, you can use a lightbox to help see the design clearly. Alternatively, you could tape the pattern to your window and hold the fabric up to it for drawing - if you have a lot to draw though, your arms will begin to ache!

After the outline is drawn, I can position the first petal in place so the drawn lines match exactly to the outline on the background fabric.

Position first petal exactly on drawn lines

Position first petal exactly on drawn lines

I used a couple of pins to hold it in place. I'm now ready to start stitching. Tip: Only pin one section in place at a time. You will stitch that in place first before adding the next.

Secure with pins

Secure with pins

Thread up your needle ready to start and move to our next lesson: Needle Turn Applique Stitching

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