Part 4 - Points Inside and Out is where we needle turn the applique heart on our previously appliqued teardrop.
Part 1: Tools - a few of my favorite things
Part 2: Marking, Cutting and Basting Shapes
Part 3: Stitching Basics - Long Edges and Easy Turns
You can also download the "Teardrops of Love" PDF Summary and Shapes Template from my sidebar. It will be updated to include Part 4 in the next few days.
In today's post we will cover many of the same skills that we learned in Part 3 but in less detail. Specifically:
- choosing a thread color
- hiding your knot
- needle turn stitch
- easy curves
- making a turn at an outer point
- (NEW) making a turn at an inside point
- finishing off your stitching
Thanks to everyone for their great feedback on Part 3 - I love it when comments help me learn and grow (or make me blush).... Comments are the best -- thank you, thank you !!
Ok - Lets get started:
This is where we left off - the Teardrop was appliqued and the coordinating heart was marked, creased with the Hera marker, and pinned.
Baste the heart to the Background:
...as outlined in Part 2 - use YLI basting thread to baste your heart shape on the background fabric - in this case the "background" is the Teardrop that we previously appliqued.
Audition applique thread color:
... as we did in Part 3 choose a thread color that matches your applique piece (not the background). If nothing matches exactly lean toward using a slightly darker shade of thread - I think it blends better.
For the heart shape I decided to go with Aurifil Mako 50Wt Color #2000. The color worked perfectly...
Have I mentioned that I love Aurifil for hand stitching as well as machine quilting ? No?
Prepare your needle, thread, and Quilters Knot:
...As we did in Part 3, cut about 18 inches of thread from the spool. Thread with the "Ultra Fine" threader and tie a Quilters Knot. Need more detail - click here.
Bury the knot:
...bury your Quilters Knot by drawing the needle from the back of the applique fabric. Come through on the marked line to prepare for your first stitch.
...we're ready to start the wash (ha ha ha). You know what to do.... Turn, Crease, Stitch and Repeat...
Use your needle to turn the seam allowance under immediately in front of where the knot was buried. Use your marked and Hera creased line as your guide. Turn just enough to take a stitch.
... once the seam allowance is turned under, align the tip of your needle where the thread came up (from burying the knot), drop behind the applique crease, bury your needle through the background fabric, travel appx 1/8th of an inch and when the needle comes back to the top fabric grab "just a pinch" of the applique crease to secure it to the background. (Whew - that was a mouthful). If you need more review click back to Part 3.
- Now work your way down the side of the heart toward the point.
- Remember as you approach the point you'll want to take smaller stitches to begin to stabilize your fabric to turn.
- When you reach the point where you need to turn, take a stitch at the point of the turn, and then take another stitch to secure the point.
- At this point you'll want to trim any excess fabric at the tip of the point. When we stitched the teardrop there really wasn't any excess fabric. On the outside point of the heart there is.
- Use the Elan scissors and trim the excess - it makes the turn easier and allows for a smooth point.
- Now you're ready to turn the point seam allowance under. Use the needle to grab both layers of the applique fabric and turn both layers under the heart point.
- Note: The needle does not go through the background fabric here - it is only use to turn the applique.
- After you sweep the fabric under the point immediately use your left hand thumb to hold the fabric stable - now you want to get a stitch in there to stabilize the turned fabric. Celebrate !!
- Here is the first stitch going in after the turn - Yippee!
- Use the needle to turn the seam allowance under to the marked edge (the inside mark)
- Crease the turn with your left thumb and left hand fingers
- Place the tip of the needle under where your last stitch excited the top of the fabric
- Travel behind the background fabric approximately 1/8th of an inch
- Bring the tip of the needle through the background and grab "just a pinch" of the creased applique fabric to secure it.
- Now we're on that Turn, Crease, Stitch and Repeat roll - as you work around the curve be sure to take smaller stitches so your curve will be smooth and not choppy.
- Continue to to wash, rinse and repeat until you can't easily turn the fabric near the inside point.
- When you approach the inside point of the heart it will be necessary to trim the fabric. You'll know it's time when you can no longer easily turn the fabric under.
- Use the Elan scissors and trim to within a few threads of your marked line directly at the point.
- Continue by turning the near fabric under. No need to take any stitches at this point.
- Shift your needle to the fabric on the far side of the inside point. The needle should turn the far fabric under, sweep under the point and end at the near side fabric.
- This part is a little tricky but with some practice you'll get it. The key is to have both sides of the point turned under before you place too many stitches.
- If the first sweep doesn't turn the allowance under nicely, try again.
- If necessary use the damp toothpick or use your fingers.
- Don't work it so much that the fabric frays and becomes unworkable.
- Stitch your way toward the point now. When you reach the point your stitches will be so small they are nearly like "stay" or in place stitches.
- Slow, small, but sure!
- No need to over stitch the inside point.
- If you have fraying dampen your needle or a toothpick and gently sweep them under.
- Soon you'll find yourself coming up the other side of the point. Congratulations!
- You're in the groove now -- keep stitching -- taking small stitches on that curve so it will be smooth when you're done.
- Rounding the bend to the home stretch -- Wash, rinse, repeat !
- Keep going...
- When you use the a Hera Marker to crease your fabric it makes it easier to turn ahead - even on a curve.
- Turn ahead as long as you're not jeopardizing the shape of the applique.
- As you near the original starting point starting thinking about turning your fabric ahead all the way to the starting point.
- The more room you leave yourself to smooth the turned fabric the nicer the junction finishes.
- Continue to stitch past the starting point by a couple of small stitches.
- Push your needle and ALL of the thread through to the background.
- Make sure there are no loose or knotted or caught threads on the right side of the applique.
- Take 3 small stitches in place to secure the applique thread on the back.
- Now bury your thread by traveling between the background and the applique piece.
- Trim the thread flush where it exits the travel.
- Nearly done... snip a few sections of the basting thread and remove them.
We'll be back soon with a wrap up, Part 5. In part 5 I'm considering covering applique berries and stems -- let me know if this would be helpful.
Thanks so much for sharing the journey.
Until next time.