In today’s post we are talking about hand applique or needle turn applique. The creme de la creme of applique techniques. The one everyone wants, but is too scared to get to. That one! The one on the pedestal, out of reach, and too time consuming, and only for the fanciest of people. You know which fancy people, the one’s with all the spare time and patience that never quits.
Now some of you younger quilters (though I’m not that young), will know exactly why I’m using the words I’m using to describe hand applique. It’s scary stuff. Some of you older quilters are probably shaking your head and saying, “What are you going on about, you clueless girl?”
I’m busting the myths today that have been with me for all the years I’ve been quilting!
Myth #1 – It’s surprisingly, truly, not that difficult. Once of course you have the routine memorized.
Myth #2 – It does take more time than raw edge applique, but it’s NOT that much more time. And it’s SO SO SO much prettier!
Myth #3 – Despite what you may think, you CAN do this. Yes, YOU! I am talking to you, dear Reader. Humans have been hand sewing for years and all the ones that came before us are not THAT different. You got this! Give it a try. Then give it another try because you might not like it on the first go, but once you try it again, something clicks, sounds melt away, you clumsy fingers find their own natural rhythm and all of a sudden you are doing the thing you thought you could never do. It’s liberating.
On a side note, if you hand stitch your binding, you’ve already got this, but maybe there are some tricks that I can how you to make things even easier. Maybe, maybe not, we’ll see. Let’s get to it!
These are the scissors I’m using in the video today. They are new to me, but I could say so much about that curved tip. They are very sharp, and have tiny little teeth.
● Great for cutting out shapes for appliqué
● Excellent precision, cuts all the way to the tip
● Perfect for embroidery, detail work and other projects
● Curved tip ideal for snipping threads in fabric
Use coupon code ‘SouthernCharm7’ and receive $7 off any $25 purchase.
How to hand sew
- hand sewing needle
- cotton thread
- aluminum foil
- cereal box for template
- First make your Dresden plate. Visit this page for a full tutorial for that.
- Decide the size you want your center to be using circular items around your house (bowls, cups, saucers, embroidery hoops, anything round)
- Trace your round item of choice onto your cardboard and cut out your circle.
- Choose a fabric for your center that is a minimum of 1/2″ bigger than your cardboard circle.
- Cut a piece of aluminum foil that is bigger than everything, fabric and cardboard circle.
- Layer: aluminum foil, fabric circle, cardboard circle.
- Fold everything into a circle using your cardboard as a guide. Smooth out any points.
- Press with an iron for several minutes on both sides.
- Let cool.
- Unfold aluminum foil and remove everything away from fabric center.
- Pin center on your Dresden plate.
- Hand sew as shown in video with a coordinating thread.
- Finish stitches on the back of your quilt block.
- The needle goes into your Dresden plate and background fabric behind the thread and then through the fold of your center.
- Your fingers will be clumsy if you’ve never done this before. Expect this and take your time. You WILL get better with practice.
- Wear a thimble, I’m wearing this kind in the video.
- Don’t expect your stitches to be completely hidden the first few times you hand sew. That kind of expertise will take many projects to achieve (a year and a half after learning you can still see my stitches). Give yourself a break and a pat on the back, you are doing great just by trying.
Thank you so much for reading!
If you need any other help on making dresden plates, please visit my Dresden Making page where I detail the whole process beginning to end with lots of different techniques and helpful tips.