Country Cousins

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Linny t replied on Sat, Mar 12 2011 10:11 PM

I went to a quilt show today with my sister and there was a live demonstration of needleturn applique by Pam Labbe.  She said that she used to do the freezer paper method until she did a Baltimore Album.  After having to take out all the paper she determined to get good at needleturn.  I think I may try this quilt in needleturn after watching her.  I have done needleturn, but never was it excellent.  I got several great tips from her.  Like at the points she takes two stitches, but she also makes a single knot at the point and gives the thread a tug.  The point just popped right out.  Also, at inside turns, like on hearts, she does those in 3 stitches and only clips into the turn after the first of those 3.  It's hard to describe it in words.  I'm tired, too.  I had way too much fun today and I got a lot of fresh air. . It really did me good to get out. 

The best part of the whole day, though, was when my sister, who is an artist and prefers oils & watercolors, said to me, "I think I want to try applique." 

Linny T

 

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gini replied on Sat, Mar 12 2011 11:28 PM

linny,  there are so many things i learned over the years.  i wish i could share them all with you at once.    when you are doing needle turn,   unless is is a very very tight inside curve, most of the time you do not need to clip.    make sur that you try to get as many of the inside curves on the bias as possible, then you grab the fabric tightly on the edge and twist that seam allowance back and forth.   it stretches the fabric some, but next you finger press right on the drawn line where you turn under.  use your fingernails and really press on that line.    now, when you turn the fabric under,  it just falls into the seam with out much fuss.  

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gini replied on Sat, Mar 12 2011 11:30 PM

i use straw needle in an 11 or 12.   the longer needle gives you more to control your fabric with.   they bend a little over time, but that doesn't affect their useful ness   gini

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Leslie replied on Sun, Mar 13 2011 8:08 AM

Gini, is a straw needle the same as a milliners needle?

[Ava, Missouri

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Linny t replied on Sun, Mar 13 2011 9:08 AM

Gini, I wish I could take lessons in person from you.  I've done needleturn before, but it was never my best work.  I mean I have done a whole quilt in needle turn and I've done vine and flower boarders.  Now I am going to make myself good at it.  I have a lot more patience now than I did when I first tried it.  This should be a good quilt to start as the patterns are more or less simple designs.  I'm not saying that I'll abandon freezer paper.  It does have a place in applique.  I just like the idea of having less "props", lol.  I want to know the art of applique.  I like the idea of having only a few simple tools.

By the way, Pam Labbe said that about curves, too.  She also pressed along the sewing line of the applique fabric, like you are saying.  Seeing it in person made a lot of things click for me.  She had a lap stand that she used to rest her hands on.  It was sort of like a pillow on a stand.  It was cool.  I use a "boppy".  That's the C shaped pillows that so many new mothers use when breast feeding these days.  Do you use a pillow to support your hands?

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gini replied on Sun, Mar 13 2011 5:30 PM

leslie, yes they're the  same

linny, i never thought to rest my hands on something, i will have to try it    gini

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gini:
these are all the stems i will need.   i will cut off the ends that flare out, and any spots that are too irregular.   sometimes i lik the stems to be a little irregular, but probably not on this quilt

I have a question regarding stems.  I'm trying to get ready to make some. I know there are lots of ways to do stems, but I was not clear from the book how she did them... not that anyone is supposed to know exactly what she does... but maybe someone has a good answer.  She used 1" bias strips folded in half, wrong sides together... then she said to sew a seam 1/8" or 1/4" from the folded edge, and trim the excess fabric on the outside of the seam line.  When you are ready to use the stems, would that mean you would put the raw edges down in the center, and if so that would mean the seam might not lay exactly flat. That would give them some depth possibly, so it is probably not an issue.

Gini, in the technique you suggest, which is how I figure I will do them, I will be using a 1/4" bias tape maker.  Do you trim any of the edges, and can you make them skinnier when you sew them down... for the places where you might want the stems to be a little thinner.  In this quilt 1/4" stems may work for all the blocks, I just wondered if you might need a stem less than 1/4".

I haven't seen much activity here, so wondering if anyone else has begun?

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Martha replied on Sun, Mar 20 2011 3:27 PM

I have all my pieces ready to go! Looking forward to starting sewing.

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gini replied on Sun, Mar 20 2011 4:18 PM

Grandma Sal:

Gini, in the technique you suggest, which is how I figure I will do them, I will be using a 1/4" bias tape maker.  Do you trim any of the edges, and can you make them skinnier when you sew them down... for the places where you might want the stems to be a little thinner.  In this quilt 1/4" stems may work for all the blocks, I just wondered if you might need a stem less than 1/4".

I haven't seen much activity here, so wondering if anyone else has begun?

 i have some blocks cut  and have made one so i can trouble shoot.  i thought we would start the first day of spring, which i thought was tomorrow, but i hear it is really today, but here in the west maybe spring is tomorrow?  

in places where i want the stems a little skinnier, i just stuff more fabric underneath.  it gives a little more dimension, and i can cram a lot of fabric in that seam.  i'll check  when i get home, but i don't think we will need skinnier stems, but it is personal choice.   when i want a  very very skinny stem, i cam trim. but i would probably use a different method.   you can take a bias strip, right side to the background, lay it how you want it, do a simple running stitch an 1/8th or so in from edge.   because you are using a bias strip, it won't ravel, and you can trim that right up to within a couple of threads from the seam you have jsut stitched.  determine how wide you want your stem, trim the unsewn edge, until you have an 1/8 or so turn under and stitch with a blind stitch along that free edge.  if you have trimmed enough, you can get an 1/8th inch or less stem.    hope that was clear enough.  if not, i will take some pictures for you.     gini

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gini replied on Sun, Mar 20 2011 4:22 PM

Grandma Sal:

I have a question regarding stems.  I'm trying to get ready to make some. I know there are lots of ways to do stems, but I was not clear from the book how she did them... not that anyone is supposed to know exactly what she does... but maybe someone has a good answer.  She used 1" bias strips folded in half, wrong sides together... then she said to sew a seam 1/8" or 1/4" from the folded edge, and trim the excess fabric on the outside of the seam line.  When you are ready to use the stems, would that mean you would put the raw edges down in the center, and if so that would mean the seam might not lay exactly flat. That would give them some depth possibly, so it is probably not an issue.

 i'm not home with the book,  i'll check it out later this evening.  what you're describing would work fine. if the seams meet in the middle, which they do with the bias stip maker, the seams should lie flat.     i like the bias maker because it is so danged fast, no fussing, just stick the fabric in and follow it with the iron, and you're done.     gini

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gini replied on Sun, Mar 20 2011 4:30 PM

Linny t:
, but she also makes a single knot at the point and gives the thread a tug.  The point just popped right out.

  i take one stitch at the point, stuff the fabric on the opposite side under ( the stitches on the opposite side will loosen a little), then i give a tug to pop out the point and tighten those stitches.  at this stage i take a second stitch in the point.   maybe a third.   if you take a little longer stitch here beyond the point, if you are using matching thread, it will make the point look pointier.  i have been known to take a few stitches here with that thin applique thread, using it to embroider a really skinny, long point.

  i will try taking two stitches before i pop out the point.   i'm thinking my method might work a little better for stuffing.    if the fabric has a little "give" you can get more fabric under the point, maybe.   i'll  try it.   thanks linny.   gini

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