Now that you have your pieces all prepped from the Prep Tutorial, you are ready to stitch those beauties down!
First, some things to know :) Remember, this is called needleturn for a reason - you use your needle to turn the fabric under, and we will be focusing on that a lot here.
Secondly, the color of thread you use should match the piece of fabric you are appliquing as closely as possible. If you have nothing that even resembles it, then try to match to the background. But always try to match the applique piece first. In this example I used a slightly different color so you could see the stitches better.
Thirdly, this is how I hold the needle...front view...and what's going on underneath... The middle finger that you see - it has the eye of the needle resting on it - does the hard work of pushing the needle through. You might want to use a thimble - I don't, but I am used to the motion and the skin on there is tough now!
And as always, click on any photo to see a large view. __________________________________
1) Choose a nice straight, or as close to straight as possible place to start. Don't start at a corner or anywhere something interesting is happening. You want a nice boring place to start!
2) Use the tip of your needle to turn under the seam allowance to the line you have drawn. 3) Bring up your needle from the back, up through the background, and just catch the very edge of your applique piece. 4) Put your needle back into the background, exactly next to where you came up. 5) Bring your needle back up approximately 1/8th inch away, up through the background and catching the very edge of the applique again.Have a look at my fingers in this photo - can you see the finger on the eye of the needle doing its job of pushing the needle through? You have now done your basic stitch! Keep going like this until you come to a curve or a point. On a simple curve, or a circle, just keep going, constantly using your needle to turn under, and also to tug the fabric out or push it in if it isn't smooth and even. I usually only take 2 or 3 stitches before I start turning under the fabric ahead of me.
6) Sooner or later you will need to do a sharp concave curve. Usually on a star or a heart. This is the point you stitch to, and then stop...Now start to make your stitches tiny and use a sweeping motion like a window washer on your car to turn under the seam allowance. Because this is hard to explain, I made a little video to help make it easier for you. First, a photo of the beginning of the motion, then the video.
This is how the completed curve will look...I have used a different color thread so the stitches will show up better for you, but if you use one that matches the piece of fabric you are appliquing, these tiny stitches will barely show. Do them as close together as possible, since there is hardly any seam allowance in these spots.
Next comes a point. I find these trickier than the curves, but don't worry, after a few wonky points you will get it!
7) Go to the top of the point until you reach the end of your marked line. Take your stitch, and then do another one in the exact same spot. This will be extremely helpful to you as it sets that point in place for when you flip under the seam allowance. 8) Using the tip of your needle, flip under the point, and run your needle along under to get it nice and smooth. When you take your stitches here, they will help to pull in any bumps.
9) Keep going and before you know it, you will have a whole shape stitched down! Just take it one piece at a time and pretty soon you will have a whole block done, and perhaps you will be as addicted as me! Remember, stitch the shapes on the bottom first and work your way up to the top pieces. In this example, I stitched the pieces in the following order: