August 13, 2010

If At First You Don't Succeed...

With very little effort, I've been able to find those elusive instructions for learning needle turn applique'. I popped over to the local sewing center and found this great, informative book by Alex Anderson. (Loreen had to cancel yesterday, so I needed some alternative expertise.)

Her book offers multiple methods for applique' (which I actually might prefer over needle turn!), and has photographs to illustrate each step of the process for each type of applique'.

One thing I learned from all the images is that, if you're new to the process, make your first applique larger than a postage stamp. (The leaves I'm trying to turn are less than 3" long!) I would definitely suggest novices start with larger HUGE pieces.

Another source for information (why didn't I think of this sooner?) is YouTube. I especially liked this video, offering a different method for accomplishing the perfect edges I always see on needle turn pieces.

Jeanette White from Salt Lake City, UT produced this helpful clip. She has an interesting technique that uses hand basting to assist with the turning. Take a minute to see what she does. I've decided to try it myself.
I made 3/8" wide bias strips for the stems and attached them to my base fabric, then I basted the leaves in place. Here's a closeup...
I'll start turning the edges today while I have the benefit of daylight. Makes for less strain on my eyes. I sure hope it works! If you can see the lines behind my background fabric, that's the pattern on my light table that I used to line up the design. It's not lined up properly in this photo, but you can rest assured I lined everything up before I started the basting. I actually used a temporary glue to hold the leaves in place and then went back to do the basting.

When I owned my needlework shop, I always stressed to my customers that they should enjoy the process. If it isn't fun, why do it? Well, I'm finding myself contemplating that advice. So far, I'm not exactly enjoying myself. Perhaps it's because the pieces are so bloody small. But, you know me...I'm not going to give up just yet. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

Either I'll be entranced with this form of applique' by the time I finish this block - anxious to start the next - or, I'll finish this block and decide to make it the centerpiece of a pieced quilt using all those yummy, sherbet-colored fabrics. I'm learning a little more about myself with this square. This technique is not for the faint-hearted, or those who seek instant gratification (like you-know-who).

Hoping to dream about finished needle turn quilt squares tonight. Tomorrow, I'll be sharing more about my Polyglott Bible. It seems appropriate for a Sunday entry - and a day of rest.

9 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

mya said...

Well, it looks like it is coming along quite nicely. It may present some problems now but later you will be the pro.

DeeDee said...

hey Donna...you go with that..this is not for me...I tried this a few times now....it is so beautiful thou...your piece will be just lovely..your hand work is unbeatable..

Also thanks so much for my ATC card..I just love it.

Carol said...

Your work is so amazing that I am surprised that you don't know how to do EVERYTHING. Once again you are inspiration to all.

Tina Eudora said...

As always Donna your work is gorgeous! I always struggle when learning a new technique and to make matters worse I have never been able to abide a thimble (maybe because I am left handed?)So I have many battle scars on all my fingers...:)
I also have to thank you for the beautiful card Donna! It got here in yesterday's mail and I was just floored by the work you put into such a small, but beautiful thing! One day soon I will have to make something for you! Happy sewing!
Tina xo

Marydon said...

G'day Donna ~ Not that it did me a lick of good but I did watch the film ... you gals are amazing. I'd be so frustrated by now ... beautiful work.

Have a lovely summer weekend ~
TTFN ~ Marydon

Michelle May said...

You're doing great. I knew you would. :)
xx,shell

Brenda@Cozy Little House said...

I use to love doing applique. But then I liked hand embroidery too. I so enjoyed sitting down and immersing myself in the work.
Brenda

Vintage Sandy said...

Donna...anxiously waiting to see finished product I'm sure it will be lovely, love the fabrics you picked...
Hugz

MosaicMagpie said...

I watched the video and it is a very interesting way of doing things. I was visiting Hawaii, and took an applique-echo quilting class. It was needle turn applique, even then I needed magnifier glasses to see. The tips of the leaves where the trickiest. I remember she said to work ahead and turn that part under before you got to that area to stitch. My leaves got better as I progressed and I did enjoy it. The echo quilting was fun as well. The pillow top made for a nice rememberence of the trip.
Debbie

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