Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sewline Pencils & Applique Tips

Good evening, friends and neighbors!

Hope all of you had a fabulous Thanksgiving.  I came down with a cold, but that just motivated me to relax for four days - woot!

I did get a chance to practice more applique - all practice but no completed blocks yet.  I've been trying various techniques: freezer paper on top, glue stick applique, regular needle turn, and freezer paper/starch.  I normally buttonhole but am determined to give this a try.

I'm finding that regular needle turn on large pieces and freezer paper/starch on the smaller ones seem to be my thing.  My friend Caroll has a great tutorial on freezer paper/starch applique (makes a darn cute Halloween witch with baggy leggings!).

So far, I've been given some great applique advice by different friends (sorry, I'm getting older - can't remember who said what!):

  • For the most part, you need to know more than one technique because the same technique won't work in every instance.  I like the flatness of freezer paper/starch on the small pieces, and it's less stressful not having to worry about shredding.  However, regular needle turn on large pieces adds a little poofiness.
  • Nobody is going to sit next to you comparing your project to the picture in the book.  Only you will know if you deviated, and, if so, who cares!
  • Make yourself an "applique kit" so, when you decide to add applique to your work, you're not scrounging around and trying to remember which needles, marking pencils and pins worked best.
  • (This one is from my own previous blog posts) When you do find a technique you like, write it out on a big index card so you can replicate it in the future.  Nothing is worse than having to "reinvent the wheel" each time. 
  • Buy a package of round toothpicks from Cracker Barrel.  They are a little thicker so they hold up well if, like me, you store it in your mouth in between stitches (I know - very bad). Wet toothpicks are fab for tucking seams into the right place.
  • My friend Lisa sent me one of these Sewline pencils from Maine for Christmas last year.  LOVE them!  They come in many colors, mark crisply, disappear pretty easily, and are very comfortable in your hand.  It wasn't, however, until I took this picture that I realized they are color-coded up near the clicker (the one on the far right is white).
This half-circle was my first attempt at "needle turn" applique.

Well, all for now, tomorrow is a work day, and it starts pretty early.  Do you have any more tips to add?

Happy Stitching!


  1. Great post, Elisa! Glad you are finding your applique groove:)

    I LOVE the Sewline everything! Those pencils are fantastic and just about the only thing I use these days.

    You did very well at your needlturned half-circle :)


  2. your learning lots as you go along..........thanks for sharing your tips........

  3. Great post! But I'll still never do it, lol!


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