Time for one more post about hand applique. Since it’s such a time consuming technique, I thought it deserved some attention – might as well try to do it right. After this, I promise to post a bit more about some fun, easy knitting projects.
Since I was an applique neophyte, I decided to do what I always do when I’m writing an article. It’s a journalist’s trick that serves well for just about anything. It’s how I’ve found my way through molecular pharmacology and chemical engineering and the economics of healthcare and many other stories. It’s pretty simple, actually: find an expert. Then pick that person’s brain till they’re sick of you or simply try to run away!
In this case, I learned some great tips from Blanche Prior, who runs “Blanche’s Hand Applique Club” over at The Granary, my favorite quilting store. She was nice enough not to try to escape and gave me a lot of encouragement. One of my favorite tidbits of information she shared: use a clear template to make sure you position your pieces right!
Here’s what you do: take some clear template plastic, the kind you use to cut template shapes if you’re making fanciful pieces for an applique project. Then draw with a permanent marker on top the exact positioning you’d like to have for each piece, in this case, each orange peel, on its background. Use it to line up each piece as you go along and then pin or baste in position:
It’s not working perfectly for me yet but it is very helpful!
Another helpful hint from Blanche. Try using a “straw” needle. They are also called “milliners needles.” Here’s one place where you can purchase online the same ones she uses. (Not familiar with this shop but they have a good image of the needle package!)