Monday, 18 August 2014

Needle turned applique: The Old versus The New

 I am teaching three classes at Lady Sew and Sew in September themed around Tracey Chevalier's 'Last Runaway' book ( she is giving a lecture there). All the classes are using traditional patterns and techniques, one is foundation piecing, one English Paper Piecing and one is Needle turned Appliqué. I am usually a bondaweb girl when it comes to appliqué, though I have done some needle appliqué, but on quite a large scale, small 'Baltimore' type motifs are new to me. I immersed myself in you-tube tutorials to size up all the available techniques. Liking a swift result, I was eager to find a 'fast' and nifty method of making the little motifs. Freezer paper is your best friend when making appliqué motifs but I have always baulked a bit at the cutting and removing stage of using paper, so removing the paper after pressing the turn under in position,  glueing the turned under edges then sewing appealed to me as a great technique- the removing tacking and paper stage is gone. Admittedly, I was not feeling well when I tried this over the weekend, I have a lovely sinus infection and my head was woolly and my eyes watery, but I soldiered on cutting my shapes, using paper templates to turn the edges under, snipping the edges to make them turn under neatly, then glueing them in position. Started sewing them yesterday, realised they were absolutely rubbish as the glue made tidying up imperfections with the needle as you sew pretty much impossible- and boy, were there imperfections! Decided to do it all over again the 'old fashioned' way this morning. I thought this would take way longer. Wrong. If anything, it was faster to tack the fabric onto the paper shapes, and boy, were the results better. I have a feeling the glue method would work fine for larger shapes, which I will be trying out later this week, but for me, for small shapes, the traditional method wins hands down- the photo says it all, stitch and paper on the left, glue on the right. There is a reason appliqué has been done the 'old' way for centuries...and it isn't only because the glue wasn't invented yet!

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