I am no longer actively blogging here but I’d love if you could join me at my new creative lifestyle blog A Girl in Paradise.
I hope to see you soon.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Building Blocks with Friends - Katie from There & Back

Welcome to our first edition of Building Blocks with Friends.  Today Katie is here sharing her method for invisible hand applique.  She is a very talented quilter and has done some amazing stitch work.  I am always so jealous of people who have the talent (or the eyes) for that kind of work.  Katie shares that and a whole lot more on her blog There & Back

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Hi there, I'm Katie, and I blog at There & Back. I usually blog about quilty, stitchy or crochet type things, although sometimes I'll throw in a curve and blog about chocolate or ice cream....... I'm thrilled to be guest posting on Ann's blog today. Since you're already regular readers of her blog I don't have to tell you just how awesome she is because you already know!

Today I'm going to share with you my method of invisible hand applique. I use it for all my applique projects, but it's especially nice for hexagons. I know a lot of people just machine stitch around the edge, but I prefer not to see that stitching line so I have perfected invisibility. Now if only I could somehow apply it to myself and then sell my idea, I'd be rich. Rich I tell you!!

For this method you need to have a hexagon flower already made. Don't worry, I have a tutorial for that right here

First thing you need to do is get your supplies together. You'll need:
needle and thread - the thread should blend with your background fabric
small pointy scissors
your hexie flower
background piece - in this case I'm appliqueing onto a makeup bag I made, but the instructions are exactly the same whether you're appliqueing onto a finished project or a piece of unfinished fabric
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First you'll need to remove the basting stitches from your flower
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Then take out the papers. Because you just caught the fabric and didn't sew through the paper, they should slip out really easily. Give the flower a good press after you've removed the papers, you want nice sharp creases!
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Decide on the placement and using tiny applique pins, pin it in place.
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Now comes the sewing part. I fold my flower back so I can get the knot hidden underneath. I just go through the top layer of fabric and into the batting a bit. I definitely don't want to stitch through to the other side of my finished project!
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Poke your needle through the hexagon right at the fold making sure it doesn't come out on the surface. You don't want the thread visible on top.
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Pull your needle through and take your next stitch. You'll be placing your needle just under the edge of the applique. Travel over a few threads and bring it back up through the folded edge.
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After you've done a few stitches your work will look like this. See? No visible stitches!
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 Here is what you DON'T want to do. You don't want your needle coming up on the surface. In this case I need to make sure my needle comes out a couple of threads lower.
 Don't do this
Here's why. You don't want to see the stitches like this. Not pretty. Especially when there's a bigger contrast between your thread colour and your applique. It just looks sloppy.
 you don't want this
Here's a view straight on. Making sure your thread comes out on the fold
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Needle back in, just under the applique. Travel over a few threads and then back up into the applique, again exiting on the fold.
 This IS what you want
Again with the invisibility stitching
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Once you've gone the whole way around give it another good press. I'm a big fan of lots of pressing!
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You'll need to knot-off, so take your needle and push it under the applique into the top layer of backing fabric. Kind of swoop it back towards yourself making it come out just under the edge several threads away.
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Start pulling your thread through but before you've pulled it all the way, insert your needle in the loop, so you can make a knot. I do this a couple of times to ensure my stitching won't come out.
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Now take your small pointy scissors and very carefully snip off your thread tail
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Annnnnndddd, you're done!
Completely invisible, quick, portable and easy enough for a beginner to get great results.
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Thanks for stopping by, and have a great week!
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6 comments:

  1. this looks great! thanks for sharing your tips!

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  2. Beautiful! And such a great little pouch too!

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  3. awesome!! thanks for sharing :)

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  4. Super! Obviously, I haven't perfected invisibility yet ... A couple weeks ago, I hand-appliqued some tiny hexie flowers in a slightly-less-invisible fashion. (Blog post soon ...) Glad to know invisibility is a possibility. I like that look; thanks for the inspiration!

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  5. So pretty!
    I love how a person can play with these small hexes but doesn't have to make an entire quilt out of them!!

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