Friday, March 26, 2010

Needleturn Tutorial it will be long.

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.
All finished.
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.

Hugs, Jeanette
PS: I did forget to say that sewing threads must match applique fabrics & try to use cotton fabrics & sewing thread.


Unknown said...

Thank you very much Jeanette! Your explanation was clear and concise and the pictures are wonderful! I love your finished blocks...great job!

Kim said...

Very well done Jeanette. I will be printing this one.

Joy said...

Oooh, I'd love to give this method a go!!! Thanks Jeanette!!!
Joy :o)

Cath Ü said...

many Thanks Jeanette.. I never ironed mine.. no wonder it looks messy... LOL I will chat with you at Pami's some more about this.....

Cath's Blog

Cath Ü

Melissa ;-) said...

Great tutorial, Jeanette! I never thought to double up the freezer paper! Brilliant!

Sheila said...

Thanks Jeanette , great job of the tutorial , I understand it better now and maybe I can get back to those Tisket a Tasket blocks and finish them off .

Unknown said...

Great tutorial , thanks Jeanette you've made it so clear and easy to understand .

Jenny of Elefantz said...

What a good tutorial, Jeanette!!!

Sandra Henderson said...

Wonderful tutorial!
I have found some freezer paper that you put in your printer/scanner!!! Let me know if you want the details! See, I'm ready, now I have to DO IT!!!! lol

Cubby House Crafts said...

Thank you Jeanette for the tutorial...I am going to go soon. So many different ways of doing needleturn.

Julierose said...

I love your tip about starching freezer paper...i didn't know it would shrink either! I have just tried back basting and I didn't do well and don't like it either! (Each to her own, I guess). will use this method--also fray check I have never used but sounds good.
Is this little pattern available still?? Love it. Thanks so much from a neophyte/challenged applique-wannabe...hugs, Julierose