How to applique using the Needleturn technique

Needle turn appliqué uses freezer paper to trace the pattern pieces straight off the pattern, onto the papery side of the freezer paper, you can also write the pattern piece number on the freezer paper so you know exactly which piece it is.  If you have trouble seeing through the freezer paper to see the lines on the pattern, then one idea is to tape your pattern right side up onto a window, and place your freezer paper paper side up on top and begin tracing.  Then it can be temporarily “glued” to the right side of the fabric you are using for the applique by ironing on the paper side, then cut the fabric leaving a  1/4″ allowance all the way around.  All of our own pattern pieces are numbered so that you can tell which piece will be placed down first, and may be overlapped by others of a larger number.  Iron your background fabric. Use your pattern to show you where to place the pattern pieces, and lightly mark on the fabric. Each piece is tacked or pinned down one at a time down onto the background fabric, then the edges (seam allowances) are tucked under and sewn to the background with blind hemming stitches. Some people leave the freezer paper on until this stage is complete.  As it is easy to tuck the edges under up to the edge of the paper. Once in place the freezer paper can just be peeled off. Sometimes, small snips in the turnunder allowance are required to help the edges turn under.  And on points, the tips of the points may need to be trimmed back to allow the next side to fold under neatly.  There is a picture below to illustrate this.  Where more than one piece is appliquéd, one piece maybe partially overlaid by another piece, on the bottom piece the edge that will be covered is just left, there is no need to turn its edges under as it will not show.

needleturn graphic      needleturn graphic 2


Posted in Tutorials.