New Applique method SO easy, works GREAT

laurainsdcaJanuary 11, 2007

I first saw this method done on simply quilts and tried it last night. I've tried every applique method out there except needle turn (due to my fear of needle turn!) and of the ones that give you turned under edges, this one was the fastest and easiest so far. And yielded great results.

1. You trace your pattern onto freezer paper. Cut it out, on the like.

2. Iron the picture to the RIGHT side of the fabric.

3. Cut around it leaving seam allowance to turn under.

4. Use a water soluable glue stick on the BACK of the fabric in the seam allowance and edge of design.

5. Clip any curves.

6. From the front, fold the seam allowance back, away from the ironed on pattern.

7. Peel the pattern off the front and sew that puppy down by hand or machine!

The lady I saw on Simply Quilts (link below) only turns under parts that will be on top. If another piece is covering part of the applique, she doesn't bother turning under that part. She sticks them all together and when she's done, her picture is "free standing applique" and she then auditions it on different backgrounds.

Here is a link that might be useful: Simply Quilts Free Standing Applique Episode

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easystitches

Neat, I wonder if I can get her book from the library.

It's a good reminder for me that i haven't seen ALL the
simply Quilt shows. Jill

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 12:06AM
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kathi_mdgd

That's pretty much the way my teacher had us do it when i made my watercolor quilt.The only thing i didn't like and would do differently now is that she told us we could either leave the freezer paper in or remove it.I left it and have always been sorry i did.I could take it all apart and remove it,i suppose,or i could wash it and see if it gets any softer.

So i would say if you do it this way,remove the freezer paper b4 you finish the quilt,with it's backing and all.

Lesson learned for me!!

So Laura what are ya gonna do this on ,huh,huh,??
Kathi

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 12:22AM
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laurainsdca

Kathi,
In this method the freezer paper is actually on TOP. You are folding AWAY from it, using its outline as the guide, so you don't have any worries about it being inside the quilt.

Another method I tried before was to use a lot of starch on the fabric and iron it down over the freezer paper (in that case the paper was on the back and the fold cover it's edges. That method took a lot longer, didn't come out quite as smooth, and then I had to dig the freezer paper our of my design before sewing it down.

The idea of leaving freezerpaper in the quilt would start to weird me out too -- even if it eventually breaks down. A few specks of paper in the seams from paper-piecing I can live with. A whole piece of paper -- a little disconcerting.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 12:45AM
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shirl_uk

That looks a very neat method. Thankyou for posting it.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 4:59AM
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hoerlel

Thanks for reminding me of this method, Laura. I do remember seeing that episode a while ago.

I have a wall hanging that has been in the process for a long time. It has an all over pattern with some pieces that are only an inch long and the spaces inbetween, hardly a 1/4" wide. I wanted to do it in reverse applique and stopped working on it because it was so difficult. I think I will try this method since I think it might just work.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 7:44AM
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bonica

"I've tried every applique method out there except needle turn (due to my fear of needle turn!)"
My thot's exactly Laura!! I have this wonderful book full of floral bouquets all done in needle turn and all so beautiful and I've really really been wanting to do them. But there's that fear factor!! I will give this a try and let you know how it went..assuming I stay resonalbly sane that is ;)
thank you thank you thank you!!!!
Bon
:)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 8:24AM
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acanuck

Laura - that's awesome!

I have steered well clear of applique although I love the look due to the finiky nonsense of scooping it out of the pattern and skewing my pressing of the allowance.

Thank you for sharing - this makes so much sense that I cannot believe it is not a more widely used method.

Andrea

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 8:43AM
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msmeow

Thanks, Laura! My only question is about the WS glue sticks. Do you use one like you can get at Office Depot? The reason I ask is b/c I have tried to use those kinds of glue sticks on fabric before, and they are too hard or something and I end up stretching the fabric and unraveling the edges. So, is there a trick to using the glue stick, or have I tried the wrong kind?

Regarding needleturn - I learned how to do it by taking a Quilt University class on Hawaiian quilting. It's really, really, easy! You turn the edges under as you go, so you don't have to press and burn your fingers or any of that stuff.

Donna

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 9:48AM
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bozogardener

Donna,

As far as the glue stick, one that works well for me is one by Elmer's-Washable School Glue Stick-Gel. It is soft enough that it doesn't stretch the fabric. You still have to "dab", not "rub". The glue rinses out with water.

Tamie

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 11:10AM
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msmeow

Thanks, Tamie - I'll give that one a try!

Donna

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 11:19AM
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lola99

This method sounds very similar to needleturn. A few weeks ago I posted a thread about freezer paper and it turned into a discussion about appliqué and I got some great advice from the needlerturners in this forum and I tried it and it WAS easy! I was extremely pleased with my results after just a little practice.

I don't know how to set up links, or I'd link to that discussion, but you can search for it under "freezer paper alternative" if you are interested. I also read the lesson about appliqué under quilterscache

http://www.quilterscache.com/StartQuiltingPages/startquiltingfour.html

I used the method that the author called, "Now the method I use." For those of you who have not tried it, I would highly encourage you to give it a chance. IÂm not sure why it seems intimidating (it did to me too) but it really is not hard at all.

Thanks again to the women who posted on my thread and encouraged me.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 2:05PM
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msmeow

You go, Lola! We'll all be applique experts one of these days!

Donna

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 2:10PM
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laurainsdca

Donna,

I ordered the glue stick from a quilting supply, but as long as it's "water soluable" I think that's all that counts, and like Tammie said - DAB, don't RUB. In a couple spots I had to go apply more cause I didn't "dab" enough.

QUESTION FOR YOU NEEDLETURNERS -- It sounds like it would be really slow going. Does it feel that way as you do it? For example, in my mind, it sounds faster to turn the edges under this way, use more glue to tack it in place, and then stitch it down by hand, than to turn the edges as you go.

I'm also thinking too though, for anything machine appliqued, this is a good way to turn those edges under first.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 2:15PM
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quiltdiva

Laura, I missed that program so I'm glad you tried it and posted. This sounds like something even I might be able to do since I'm very needle-turn challenged too. This sounds great and thanks!

Kay

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 3:14PM
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lola99

I found needleturning to be quite fast. I ironed the freezer paper on the top of my fabric, cut out the fabric about ¼ inch around the freezer paper, then cut little notches around the curves. Then I pinned it to my background and began sewing. I turned a few sections at a time. (Sandra suggested about 4 stitches worth on my "freezer paper" thread.) This seemed to work well for me.

I have not tried the other methods, so maybe someone else has a different opinion, but I would think that the other methods would take more prep time because they require an additional step, either ironing, or gluing the edges down.

My very first attempt was slow and frustrating because I cut the fabric way too close to the freezer paper. I did not have enough fabric to turn under. After I got the hang of the right amount to turn under (for me it was just a bit less than ¼ inch) it went very quickly.

The one area IÂm still not confident about is long, tapering points. I wasnÂt sure how to deal with the tip, particularly when the point was smaller than the amount of material I was trying to turn under. If anyone has any suggestions, IÂd love to learn what you do.

Thanks for your encouragement Donna!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 3:57PM
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quiltdiva

Donna, I know I know! I just saw this on Simply Quilts two days ago. Needleturn and stitch the first side like you always do up to the point. Take an extra stitch or two in place like you were tying off the thread, then flip up the unstitched side and trim the seam allowance close to the stitch seam a few stitches down. This gets rid of that extra bulk at the tip. Then start needleturning the opposite side. I thought this was such a good tip that I even tried it on a leaf and it works. I couldn't believe I actually got a nice pointy tip!

Now here's my dilemma with needleturning. I know how to do it and sew the stitches but when I finish appliqueing a piece, I look on the back side and the background fabric is all loose and floppy. I'm thinking the only way I'm going to have it all nice and flat on the back is to try to needleturn with the block laying on a hard, flat surface or else glue the heck out of the applique onto the background block. So far pinning hasn't worked for me.

Kay

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 4:34PM
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lola99

Kay, thanks for the tip. Your description makes sense. I'll try it!

I have only appliquéd small pieces. The largest was smaller than my palm, and most were the size of a post-it note, or smaller, so the pins worked well for me.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 4:44PM
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laurainsdca

Kay,

Any time I've seen people doing applique they were just holding the fabric in their hand -- but have you considered using a hoop to hold the background taut while to stitch on the applique?

BTW -- I think I saw the same episode as you on those sharp applique points but couldn't figure out how to explain it so well. I think they call that "cut away" applique and people often think you cut the fabric close to the seam line and then sew it down, but it's the opposite -- you sew it down and THEN trim your seam allowance. (Not that I've tried it yet...)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 4:48PM
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hoerlel

Okay, I just tried the freezer paper method with the glue. I probably put too much glue on because it soaked through the fabric and when it was dry, it was hard to get my needle through the glued part. I am guessing this will definitely have to be washed prior to finishing it off to get the residue out of the fabric. I am sure this takes practice like anything else does.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 4:57PM
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bozogardener

I have just the project to try this on! I have the pattern drawn and everything, from a previous failed attempt. I'm not going out this weekend since it's getting down to minus 20. Brrr.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 6:14PM
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quiltdiva

Laura, Yes I've thought of a hoop but wouldn't the stretching be just as bad? I'm not sure I could even sew the stitches in a hoop anyway. I'm also hoop challenged. HA! The lady that demonstrated her applique techniques on Simply Quilts kept her block on the table as she sewed. Maybe I could practice doing that and get the hang of it. She sure had some beautiful quilts.

Kay

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 7:02PM
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laurainsdca

Lucy,
Were you using a glue stick or liquid glue? I used a stick (somewhat sparingly) and didn't have that problem. I remember just one little spot that seemed a bit stiff.

Well, I'm off to try some more. Maybe I'll try some plain needle turn too and see what happens. Maybe...

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 10:49PM
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hoerlel

I tried my fabric glue stick first and that just stretched the edges. I tried the liquid glue next and I think I was too heavy handed. I am currently working on a hand stitched applique wall hanging that I will use both regular applique in the center and reverse applique around the edges (since that is what I have already started on this project). I guess there's no applique police either, so I am going for the mixed piece and see how it comes out.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 8:07AM
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kathi_mdgd

The ladies i know that use a glue use one called Roxanne's .It has a needle type tip and is very easy to use.My friend who used to teach all types of applique at the guild only uses this kind.Some of your LQS's may sell it,but i think she always got hers from Nancy's notitions or Clothildes.I think the whole name of it is Roxanne's basting glue,and it does wash out.
Kathi

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 5:59PM
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laurainsdca

I am "back from the field" with an additional report on my applique experiments.

I did try the ACTUAL needle turn, and I'm sorry to say, but NEGATORY, that is just NOT going to work for me. I found it very annoying and akward to try to turn that fabric under as I was working on it. In my case it took about 20 times the effort of the aforementioned glue method.

So, I'm sticking with that as my favorite. AND I have found a glue stick that I like the best. I bought some Scotch RESTICKABLE glue -- recommended in my painless paper piecing book (which I still need to try out...). I thought -- where would you find that? And then one day, in the school supplies section at Walmart or some similar store -- THERE IT WAS -- a "restickable glue" glue stick.

IT GLIDES ON much more easily than the regular water soluable glue stick -- it's like it's sticky but waxy at the same time. Hard to explain. But it doesn't stretch the edges of the fabric or get gummy and dry out or get my fingers as "gluey" as the regular glue sticks. But when you fold the fabric over, it sticks just fine.

SO, I put my freezer paper design on the right side of the fabric, flip it over and use the glue stick around the edges on the back, fold them over and then either hand or machine stitch it down. Ta-Da!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 2:46PM
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msmeow

Sounds great, Laura. I'll have to look for that type of glue stick. I like doing needleturn, but my current project is a wreath of holly leaves, and let me tell you, I am sick of all those stupid points! I only have 4 leaves to go!

Donna

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 3:34PM
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hayden2239

I'm gonna try this over the weekend on my dk gold redwork quilt's applique pieces. I am heartily sick of it now, doing plain old needleturn. Its hard! Will let you know if I have success with this new method!
Michele

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 3:58PM
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isamae

You can get that restickable glue stick at staples. I think it's made by 3M. works great! The hardest part for me doing the needle turn was my eyesight! guess it's time for glasses :(. Isamae

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 7:30PM
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maryliz

Laura, I have tried the method you described, and LOVE it! (Read my notes.href>) I have done some more needleturn, but I am waaay faster when everything is already held down for me.

The key to happiness is to find a glue stick that does not leave a sticky, thready mess. The one that worked for me is "Scotch Purple Glue Stick." Like you described, it has a waxy consistency, perfect for our task. I did note a musty smell, but it's not strong.

I will look for the 3M brand glue stick as well.

Oh, and I did find it helpful to use a needle or wooden toothpick to turn the outer corners. Place your piece freezer paper side down on a table top. Hold down with one finger, and use the toothpick to press down the edges. You can make ruffles, which results in a smoother edge. Or else you can make one fold at the tip. Fold right at the edge of the freezer paper. Add more glue. Make more folds, adding a tiny dap of glue stick where needed. This worked better for sharp points.

On really tight outer corners, it helped to make a few small notches that went to within a couple of threads of the edge of the freezer paper.

Inner curves you have to clip. Make your clips perpendicular to the edge of the freezer paper, to within a thread of the edge.

Of course, take a bigger bite into the fabric when hand sewing these areas to your background.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 7:28AM
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laurainsdca

Maryliz,

Thanks! Somehow your other thread escaped me. Great directions and pics!

I have seen the Scotch Purple Glue stick but I was afraid it would not wash out with water. I was all confused with many that I see because I bought one early on that said "Water Soluable" but most of them say "washable" -- well what does that mean? You can wash it out, or it's waterproof???!!!

Anyhow, someone else posted about elmer's school glue washing out so I became less concerned. I bought some big glue sticks at Big Lots -- 3 for 88 cents! They seem to work *almost* as good as the re-stickable one, but have a very funky smell. Which I HOPE will wash out!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 12:34PM
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marti8a

Thank you Laura!!!!! I have been wanting to do applique but keeping that edge under has been so hard for me. I think even I can do this. Where do you get the water soluble glue stick?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 10:51PM
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laurainsdca

Marti,

I bought one that was labeled "water soluable" off the internet, but that actually did not work as good as the 3M Scotch Restickable. And Maryliz says the scotch "purple glue stick" works great too. I would not worry about the water soluable part -- I think they are, but regardless, the glue does not show through the fabric in any way.

I see the purple glue stick all the time with school supplies (binder paper, etc.) So any store like Office Depot, target, Walmart, K-Mart, a drug store, etc. should carry at least one of them.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 2:58AM
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maryliz

Today, I left to meet with some ladies. We sit and crochet, knit, or--in my case--sew and quilt by hand. Half way there, I realized that I had forgotten my glue stick. Emergency! I stopped in at the drugstore on the way to our meeting. They only had Elmer's brand glue sticks. There are several different types, all made by Elmer's. The one that seemed closest to the one I like is Elmer's "water soluble." It was also called "purple disappearing," so that was reassuringly similar to what I already have. It turns out that the Elmer's water soluble purple glue stick worked just as well as the Scotch Purple Glue Stick. So there is another brand to try, if you don't find the 3M or the Scotch. There was also a "gel" version, but I dared not try it. Yet.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 9:25PM
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maryliz

Update: I tried the Target brand purple glue stick, and that was NOT to my liking.

I found a place online that sells a spray that is supposed to be easier to use than the glue stick. Have not ordered yet. Maybe someday. Anyone else familiar with this?href>

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 9:15AM
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maryliz

I don't want to see this great thread fall off the end of the forum, especially because my latest applique projecthref> seems to have some people interested in trying the glue turn method.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 3:20PM
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laurainsdca

Funny you should bring this up to the top MaryLiz, 'cause I was just thinking about it. I have used this method to make a lot of birthday blocks this year and I just love it so much.

My favorite type of glue stick is one that says "restickable" glue. It glides on easily and doesn't get all over my fingers (as much).

I am putting links to pictures of some birthday blocks I made with this method. I sewed most down by hand but the last one I used the sewing machine and I DID have a lot of trouble with the needle gumming up from the glue. But once I figured that out I just kept stopping and wiping it off. It's still much easier/faster than trying to do needle turn as you go. (I simply do not have the dexterity/talent/patience for that!)

Below is a link to a slide show of applique birthday blocks I made using this method. Only the chickens below were made from a pattern (piece-o-cake designs). The others were just pictures I found on the internet or Microsoft Word Clip Art that I traced. What's great about that is I make them any size I want on the computer.

PS -- I cheated and used steam a seam fusible applique on some tiny parts onthe chickens and snowman.

GinInMN -- there is a Rippette block in there for you, so don't peek if you haven't received it yet!!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: My Favorite Applique Method

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 4:45PM
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