Updated: Jul 31, 2022
Well this block, Bird on a Branch, by Jan Patek is right in my happy place.
I do love some needle turn appliqué, so thank you Jan, for this pretty block.
Of course, you could used fused appliqué techniques if you prefer and finish it with machine blanket stitch, hand blanket stitch or machine straight stitch. That's one of the wonderful things about appliqué, you can choose your favourite method.
So I have made a few little videos on how I like to teach and sew needle turn appliqué. Bear in mind, there are several different ways to do it, but the videos demonstrate my favourite methods. They include, how to make and sew bias stems, how to applique perfect circles and how to sew needle turn applique using my preferred method.
Firstly, I will start with my favourite tools for Needleturn Applique. They are photographed here and I have a short video which talks you through each of these items. Click here to view it. These products are not sponsored in any way, I have chosen them after much experience, trial and error.
My favourite scissors are Perfect scissors because they are sharp, right to the point and the fabric does not slip when you are cutting the fabric.
I use Black Gold Needles by Clover because they are strong and sharp and don't flex too much. When you are turning fabric under with a needle it must be sharp and strong. They are also fine, sliding through the fabric easily and has a longer eye that I find quite easy to thread.
The Super Bob Donut has fine Bottom Line thread in a great selection of colours. I keep this in my sewing basket and I know that I have a thread colour for every fabric. The fine thread makes it disappear on your sewing, which is great. Match your thread to the fabric of your applique shape.
Little applique pins are great for pining your shapes to your background or you could use Roxanne's Glue Baste it. I use either, mostly glue for bigger shapes and pins for small leaves and petals.
A ¼" bias tape maker and Clover ¼" fusible tape are essential for making bias strips and a Pigma Pen for tracing the location of the bias strip on your background. Lots of the appliqué projects I design include bias strips for vines, and leaf or flower stems. Click here for the link to watch about how I make my bias strips.
To see the correct stitch for sewing on bias strips and your applique shapes, click here. This video also shows you the technique for turning the seam allowance under on your applique.
Perfect Circles are the final item in my Applique essentials. These Mylar templates in assorted sizes are great for making circles for berries and flower centres. I wouldn't appliqué without them. Here is the link to watch my video on how to applique perfect circles.
I have used Toweling for the background of both blocks. Toweling is lovely to appliqué on, the weight and thickness of the fabric make it a pleasure to sew with. Please browse around my website to view some of the table runners and projects I have with appliqué, to see how versatile the toweling can be.
If you love appliqué, like I do, then have a look at my new Block of the Month, Easy Living. Unfortunately the program is full, but you can purchase the pattern and we can send you a starter pack of fabric if you wish.
Click here to view online.
I hope the videos give you a little taste of appliqué and you have fun trying it out. Remember it takes some practice, so persevere and you will succeed.