Applique, step 3 - I finally get to sew

Well, all the prep work is complete and I finally get to start sewing pieces down. A note on thread; I read that if you don't have the exact shade, then base the color on the background. If the background is light, use a lighter shade. If it's dark, use a darker shade.

I've pulled a bunch of threads already, mostly greens. I'm lucky enough to have a bin full of threads to pull from. Mostly they were half price threads that I collected, thinking, one day I'll have a use for that mint green and now I do.

Here's where my transparent tracing of the pattern comes in handy. I lay it over the background, lining up the four registration points with the seams and I can lay the applique piece on the background and move it around with my finger until I get it right where I want it. The piece below has had its paper removed, but I usually leave the paper on for this step as it makes lining up just a little bit easier.

First, I trim the seam allowance down to an eighth of an inch. And, if there's a concave curve, I clip the seam allowance three times or more, but at least once in the center and once one each side. Then, I can start sewing down with the tiniest stitches I can make. I'm getting about 12 stitches to the inch.

And, I keep going.

Here, one piece overlaps another. I attach the first piece and position the second piece over it. I've left the edge of the first piece raw and will stitch along the overlapping edge first. That way, if I make a mistake and pull the piece a bit (and it happens) I'm not trying to stretch or pull pieces to get the overlap right. There's nothing more frustrating than attaching the whole other side and then getting to the overlap and it not fitting. I have the marked line on both the under piece and the overpiece, so I can get a very exact match of where the seam should be to get them to match correctly.

And, then it is down and I'm off to the next piece.

Have a great Thursday. We're off to the rodeo carnival. Yippee! Ride 'em Cowboy!


JoAnne said...

I love to hand applique, too, but I usually do the back basting method. About thread, I've read that some people to the entire project in a grey silk thread, but I usually use a matching cotton. You are doing a great job!

Cynthia L. said...

I just learned to do needle turn applique. I am follwing with great interest. You seem to always be working on something I want to do!

Elizabeth said...

This is how Lori Holt (the woman who's applique quilt patterns I love so much and am working on one right now) has you do appliqué with one exception; she has you use tracing paper for your layout rather than clear plastic. The clear plastic is positively genius! Love it!

xo -El

P.S. This quilt is so gorgeous! You're doing a really great job. I love hand appliqué. I find it so relaxing.