Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Journey to NEEDLETURN.....

A couple of years ago a saw a quilt made using needleturn....

"NEVER" ... said I ... "Far too Fiddly" ....

Never say Never

Wendy over at The Crafters Apprentice is challenging us to Learn something new and share it - so I had to take this up and try something new...... 

"Hey Wendy -  I present to you my LANT....."

I fell in love with Leanne Beasley's Butterfly Garden and I knew I really wanted Needleturn included ..........  so I have started my Needleturn journey...

There are a number of wonderful links - and I will just share a few that I have found helpful for learning needleturn....

Joanna at Applique today has a couple of great tutorials... One here on Preparation and another here on the Stitching....

This was relatively easy going and I rather liked the tuck and stitching......

I struggled with the little crease in the heart
and used a water soluble pen here so no marks after a spray
but the thicker lines were difficult to follow

  I found the pencil marks drawn messy on the light fabric - even after washing and small centre was difficult to do....

I tried this method here at One Piece at a Time using template plastic - mine was obviously not heat resistant as it buckled and bent but the method was easy to do.... so I used the same idea but using freezer paper as shown on Esther's blog - it is a bit fiddly and I did struggle to get the smooth edges as the paper can bend but I found I had a much better result.... (a toothpick was very handy to hold down edges whilst I ironed the starch)

and next time I am going to use a double layer of freezer paper to firm the template

I am going to add a bit of padding to the centre stars in my quilt... it will stop the other fabric showing through and give a little extra dimension....

I enjoyed going through all of Erin's Applique Lessons HERE and in this one she suggests using a double layer of freezer paper..... and a lovely BOM called My Tweets HERE - if I wasn't a learner I think I would be trying this one.....
Sue pointed out this tutorial at Fabric Therapy to me - she has used it with great results.  It is similar to the  I am doing but you place the freezer paper on the right side and use a glue stick instead of starch.....

I also tried a couple of different threads... a matching cotton ....

silk - light grey

  polyester matching the applique ....

I did enjoy the smoothness of the silk and the polyester threads

So many different ways, different threads..... in my humble opinion - try as many as you can until you find the one that gives you the best result..... for the moment I will be using the freezer paper and as close a matching polyester thread

I've made my plastic templates and cut out some freezer paper templates

attached them to the fabrics

and prepared some blocks.... I'm using dots of glue to attach the applique on the block prior to stitching

and last night this happened.....

Today is cold (Mr Weatherman tells me it's going to get to a whole 10 C) and it's wet ...

..... I'm not complaining - guess what I'll be doing!! .......

My Butterfly Garden Needleturn Applique has officially started!!!

If you Needleturn Applique I would love to hear your tips

Hope you can find your Happy Place today....


  1. Hey girl, I have a trick. Instead of using freezer paper or template plastic, use old cards (you know Christmas or Birthday). I love them. You do it like the template plastic. Just remember not to hold the iron on it too long and you can use it over again.


  2. I, like you have done lots of different versions. I agree the pencil is very dirty. Now I use freezer paper but in reverse to you. Cut out the shape, iron on the right side of your fabric, cut around the shape leaving about 1/8" to turn under all around the shape. Use the edge of the freezer paper as your guide. You can use glue to hold it in place. I have also done a reverse version when you draw the shape on the wrong side of your back ground fabric but it is far too hard to explain.

  3. You are doing great! Block 7 of My Tweets came out today. I am thinking it is high time that I start on them...I need time!!!!!!!!!

  4. Looking very good!
    I haven't done very much needleturn so I'll just read others' tips.

  5. Hey, I'm proud of you! I have always been nervous to try it, but with all the links you've given and I see what a great job you've done, maybe I'll be brave and give it a try. Nola

  6. The template plastic method you used...rather than template plastic try mylar...I think you can get it at is a thin heat resistant plastic product, comes in clear and opaque (easier to find little bits of opaque plastic on the table than clear!)....
    For thread...have you tried Auriful? It is awesome, cotton, gorgeously smooth and comes in the most amazing range of colours.
    And starch...Crisp or Best Press...makes a big difference...
    Oh, and do you have one of those little Clover irons...easier to use on small pieces than the tip of the big iron without scorching fingers...
    And the best tip I think (well it is just my opinion)...find the method/technique/materials that suit YOU best and that YOU are most comfortable with, regardless of what anyone else says you must or should or shouldn't do...after all, when it is all stitched down as long as you are happy with it what does it matter how you got to the end result...
    And...Have fun!

  7. You are so clever! I haven't done needleturn before so no hints from me, just awe. Your start looks great!
    Well done.

  8. well done Fiona and i loved reading all Annette's tips (jindi's cottage)

  9. You are doing so well, trying all the methods, choosing the best ones, learning lots of tricks. When you're done, tell me which is best...I'm much too lazy.
    I'm still working on mine but it's certainly not possible to put close-up photos on my blog...Yikes!

  10. Well done on your needle turn Bubz, its looking great...and thanks for all the tip links...I am going to check them out....

  11. Well done Fiona! I love needleturn applique and it just takes practice and you seem to be doing just fine. When I have circles to do. I make a cardboard circle the size required and then sew a running stitch around in 1/4 inch seam area of your chosen fabric circle and pull the gathering thread up and press really well with a steam iron. Gently ease the cardboard circle out and pin or baste your circle in then have a crease to guide you as you stitch....hope this makes sense. Once you feel more confident you will love it.

  12. Very well done Fiona! Those hearts and flowers look adorable!!!

  13. I think it's GrEat that you are even trying something new! Well DoNe Fiona!
    Wish I was home to join in.

  14. Congratulations Fiona on L A N T! I'm glad Wendy is challenging us - you certainly stepped up to the plate! I haven't started mine yet - I'm going to learn how to install a flex frame in a little bag -- eeeeeeeeeeeeeek!

  15. You go girl learning something new.. and did a great job with it..

  16. Hi Fiona if you visit my blog i have a tutorial there on how i needleturn.
    I use double thickness of freezer paper & iron first as it shrinks. Happy Stitching,

  17. Your needleturn is looking great, my tip is to try ironing the freezer paper on the front, but I see Leanne has already suggested this so I wont go on(g), also the little clover iron is just fabulous for tiny seams etc, so glad I bought one for the miniatures, handy to have on the bench too, saves keep getting up and down to the iron, have fun

  18. Well done Fiona. I am always hesitant about trying needleturn applique but after reading some of the links on your blog I will give it a try. I want to make a Lynette Anderson quilt and she uses needleturn, and it looks really nice. Have to pluck up my courage!! Happy stitching.

  19. Hey, I'm so glad you joined in my challenge, and thanks for all the great links - I've added them to my tutorial page.

    You did a great job and got some wonderful results. Are you glad you tried? Are you feeling more confident to try other new skills now?

  20. It's so exciting to see you really getting in to this project. Looking great.
    I used Roxanne's Glue Baste - saved getting tangled in pins. Yes, use matching sewing thread. Don't use DMC as it is not strong enough.
    Glad you have found a way that works for you!

  21. You seem to be doing great. If there was one hint I would pass on it would be this: only snip the fabric a little at a time (maybe 3 hand stitches worth) before turning. This way the fabric tends to lie flatter. I am currently doing the needle turn method on the borders of my circle quilt. Have fun with it.

  22. Good on you Fiona - it's lovely to see you've started your BG! I'm still learning needleturn - at the moment I am tracing round my plastic templates with a pigma pen, gluing with a few small spots of Roxanns Glue Baste-It and then turning with needle and(lots of) fingers and too many thumbs. It still seems kind of clumsy the way I do it, but I'm hoping with practice it might improve. lol
    I'm also using silk mostly, but I find it gets pretty rough with my winter/farming hands, lots of rough, cracked skin catching and fraying the thread. Grrr!

    Have fun, and thanks for all the great links!


Thanks for coming by.... If you have time I would love to hear from you and I do love a chat so I reply whenever I can ... if you don't hear back from me you may be a no reply or anonymous.....

Related Posts with Thumbnails