Monday, December 18, 2017

New Favorite Applique Tool

Applique: love it or hate it. Most quilters have strong feelings one way or another, and I think most love how it looks, but don't like the process of making it.

I like applique, though I'm choosy about what I'm willing to do. I've tried hand applique, and dealt with small pieces, but I'm not willing to spend the time on that anymore.

My favorite applique technique uses fusible interfacing. I love the smooth edges that are possible after sewing, then turning the interfacing/applique piece. Seed Mix and Unlimited used this technique.

But when pieces are too small, I have the choice of turned-edge applique, or fusible. The decision of which to choose is ultimately decided by what the purpose of the final quilt is. Wall quilt, not much handling - fusible is great. Kids quilt, lots of handling - turned edge probably better. Would definitely be a bummer if those edges peeled up after a few washes.

Personally, I opt for turned-edge if possible. It's that smooth edge that I like! And how to obtain that smooth edge? Well, it requires turning and pressing the edge over a template, usually with the aid of starch.

I used to apply starch via painstakingly brushing it on. And then I discovered these: thin needle dispensers.- what a time saver!

fine needle applicator bottle

This little needle dispenses just the right amount of starch quickly and easily, saving time and not drenching the edge.

So much easier than using a brush! It certainly helped speed up the applique prep for Santa's Helper, and - hint hint, the new project. Plus these can also be used to make a fine line of glue, to hold pieces in place.

If you do a lot of applique, give these thin needle applicators a try - check out the link I gave above (no affiliation), and also search 'thin needle applicator' for several other brands. 

Oh! Now that's there's a red clue above, any more guesses on the new project?

Happy Quilting!

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  1. Oh my goodness, this would be a great tool for applique. I've used the brush method too and it is a bit tedious. This would make it much easier! Thanks for sharing!

    1. You are so welcome!! Brushing took forever, and leaves a load of starch. This is the perfect amount, and quickly.
      Ask Santa for a the thin needle applicators in your stocking!

  2. That is a great idea. I have a few that I use for oiling my machines, but had not considered it for applique.


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