Saturday, August 20, 2016

Needle Turn Applique

During these lazy days of summer I have fallen in love with needle turn applique again. I have a couple of quilts that I did in the 80's that had some hand applique. There is something so relaxing and therapeutic about hand stitching a quilt block. I also think it's very 'old school'. I have pulled out my two very big projects, my Dear Jane quilt and It Just Takes Two quilt. I have been camped out in my living room watching chick flicks, drinking my tea or diet coke and hand stitching. The perfect way to spend the day... I'm not perfect at hand applique but let me show you the process. Just don't look too closely at my clunky stitches. I'm sure I will improve as I continue to work at it. It's been awhile since I last hand appliqued.
I have traced my design onto the 'wrong' side of the background fabric. Then I layer the
design fabric and the background fabric right sides up. Then I used white thread and basted
on the drawn lines. It's really hard to see in my picture....

From the 'front' side you can see my basting easily.

I trimmed the 'design' fabric a quarter inch from the basting stitches.
I pull the basting out as I turn the edge under to hand stitch. Remember to clip corners and curves as you sew along. I am using thread that matches my design fabric.
Here are some of my blocks that I've done needle turn or reverse applique on.
As you can see, I've been busy catching up on my Takes Two quilt. I am only using scraps from my stash.

I have always loved applique. If you ask me my favorite type of quilting, I would have to say applique is on top of the list along with paper piecing. Most of my designs (almost all) is fusible applique, which I love. Fusible applique is quick and easy, but I'm starting to think of designing some needle turn designs too. hummmm it's time to look for another good movie and pull out my hand stitching... I hope that you give needle turn applique a try.

Happy quilting and stitching!


  1. Seeing your blocks from Just Takes Two takes me back to when I did mine, and how much I enjoyed doing them. I only used two reds, I like your mixture that you are using. I still have my Dear Jane in progress, as a hand sewn project. I get a few blocks done every now and then. Love your blocks.

  2. Great hints. It is a fun take along project.

  3. I love this method! I call it quick and dirty.... I also use Pearl Pierrera's method for more complicated blocks... Also, I use perle cotton and the thickest needle I have when I sew along the pencil lines from the back. Then I use the holes as my guide for turning. Much easier to see that way!!!