I promised some friends long ago that i would show them how i do my needleturn now. Thought i would share it with everyone. I loved the look of needleturn but something always turned me off of it. I stuck to buttonhole applique for many years even though now & again i would have a go at the needleturn. I was never quite happy with the results. Now i LOVE it. :) Even though this method is a bit time consuming & fiddly it's so worth it.
First of all i gather my tools in preparation. Freezer paper(of course), spray starch, liquid starch, fray stop, glue, small bowl for liquid starch, paint brush & i do use a large pair of tweezers for removing templates but they are missing from the photo. It must be starch not iron aid.
I don't use an ironing board. This is a board wrapped in soft fabric. It's more solid to iron on than an ironing board. Below is the mini iron i use for the applique. I use a normal size iron for the bias most time.
Cut or tear 2 equal sized sheets of freezer paper.
You can see i've marked the sheets on 1 end A &C
and B &D on the other end. The reason for this is so they remain in the same direction as you tore them off the roll. Spray both sheets with the spray starch & iron individually. The iron them together remembering to have A over C & B over D & dull side to shiny side. Did you know freezer paper had to be pre-shrunk before using for applique? I didn't until about 2 years ago. Sure explained why my templates never were the same size as the pattern.
The 2 pieces ironed together.
Using a light source trace the pattern onto the freezer paper.
All traced ready to cut out.
Ironed on to applique fabric i only cut about an 1/8th of an inch seam to iron down.
Using the paint brush & liquid starch paint the seam line well with the starch. Iron the seam allowance over the edge of the template to get a smooth finish. Remove the template whilst still warm. Gently re-press your seam down. I LOVE this method as it means the freezer paper is removed before appliqueing down & i don't have to cut slits in background fabric to remove the paper like the old way of needleturn using paper.
A finished piece before removing template. For curves & convexes i use fray stop first on the fabric. When that dries i then apply the starch & cut the fabric to 1 or 2 threads near the template. See above where i've nicked the seam at the corners of the hat.
Template removed. Lovely flat curves. This method is great as you don't get points where you shouldn't have points.
My bias strip. I iron mine in 3. I cut the piece 3 times the width i want. If it's 1/4" I'll cut my bias strip 3/4". Spray with the spray starch
Ironed a 1/3 over & now ironing the last 1/3 over that.
Place background fabric over pattern on your light source.
Using glue stick or basting glue, glue your applique pieces to background fabric.
All peices glued on. I use a washable green pen to draw embroidery on.
The finished block.
This block didn't use circles but i'm showing the way i do nice round circles with no bumps. As i use a cardboard template i cut out the required amount needed as the spray starch ruins the templates. Finished circle beside the template. You definately need the tweezers to remove the cardboard. Pin the cardboard circle to the applique fabric & cut around leaving a generous 1/8th" seam allowance. Using a matching thread gather up the seam allowance & tie off. Paint with the liquid starch or spray with starch & iron. Remove the template & you have a perfect circle. For really tiny circles some people have been using those sticky circles that are used on loose leaf A4 sheets to stop the holes tearing when inserted into a ring binder folder. They can be left in the applique fabric & cause no problems. I've not tried this yet but know several people who do & they assure me they are safe to use.
The circle all gathered, starched, ironed & cardboard removed.
I think that is all. If you have any questions please ask.
PS: I did forget to say that sewing threads must match applique fabrics & try to use cotton fabrics & sewing thread.