Comparison of raw and turned-edge appliqué

A comparison of raw and turned edge applique methods for machine applique: which one is best for you?

Pressing on with my appliqué series, today I want to look at different ways of finishing the edges.

So far I’ve talked mostly about the fusible web method of appliqué but there are times when you might want or need something different.

Since I’m not an expert on some of these (mostly I stick to the fusible web method) I’m going to link to some tutorials on how to do them, and concentrate instead on comparing them. Specifically:

  • How easy they are to do?
  • How long do they take?
  • Which aspects are tricky?
  • Generally, when would they work well?

Read more…

Continue Reading · 0

Appliquéing round curves and corners

Appliqué is a great way to add a personal touch. Here are some tips on getting neat corners, points and curves.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted an introductory tutorial on how to appliqué. I went over the basic technique, which you can find all over the internet, but I wanted to spend some time looking in a bit more detail at some of the more troublesome areas.

One thing you might run into trouble with is in sewing smoothly when appliquéing round curves and corners. So I spent some time running up some samples and exploring how best to sew round those awkward shapes.

Read more…

Continue Reading · 1

Left-handers: How to Cut with Right-Handed Scissors

If you’re left-handed, then left-handed scissors are the best choice. But what if you have no choice but to use right-handed scissors? Here are some tips on how to get the best from them.
Chances are, you’re right-handed in which case this post will be of no interest to you. Go ahead, click elsewhere – I won’t judge you!

But for the 10% of people who are still with me – let’s talk scissors. Specifically, that thing you’ve read not to do but do anyway – cutting with right-handed scissors. Although I’m thinking mainly of sewing scissors here, everything applies to other types of scissors too.

You’ve probably read that the best thing to do is to always use special left-handed scissors. They’re properly designed for left-handed use, they’re more comfortable and they’re easier to use.

It makes sense – if you’re left-handed, you should choose left-handed scissors. So why do us lefties spend so much of our time trying to cut things with normal right-handed scissors?!

Read more…

Continue Reading · 4

How to Appliqué with Fusible Web

Appliqué is a great way to customise what you sew. Follow my easy tutorial for a step by step approach.
Appliqué is a great way to add a personal touch to loads of items, transforming them from everyday into something more special. I like to use it a lot, both to adapt things I make and in my patterns – it’s a great way to add details.

This post is a tutorial for the basic method of machine appliqué using fusible web. In subsequent posts I’ll be focusing on more of the details, such as sewing round curves and using fancy fabrics. I’ll also be posting some free appliqué designs for you to play with, starting with a selection of hearts in different sizes.

There are a number of different types of appliqué; this introductory tutorial will look at raw edge appliqué with fused edges using fusible web, and sewn by machine. You can use this method to appliqué by hand as well, although you might prefer to use a method that finishes the raw edges better.

Read more…

Continue Reading · 2

What’s the best fabric for handwarmers? An Experiment

What's the best fabric to use when making handwarmers? Can you get away with quilting cottons? I conduct an experiment to find out the answer once and for all... click to find out the answers!

When I was writing the handwarmers tutorial, I had the basic idea and had a quick look round the internet to see what other people had done. I already had in mind to use fleece as a good material, but other tutorials differed, and I found one that categorically stated that you needed to use flannel.

Now, I’m a perverse kind of soul, and the minute I read this, my inner teenager struck a pose and asked “What happens if I don’t? Who’s going to make me?” (I had to resist the urge to slam a few doors as well.)

Read more…

Continue Reading · 6

Creativity Slump or Just Plain Lazy?

We all need a creativity break from time to time, but often it looks a bit like pure laziness. But how can you tell the difference? And how can you escape?
It’s that time of year. Everywhere you look, there are grand plans, renewed vigour, resolutions and declarations. Everyone’s blogging in a frenzy of fresh starts and new projects.

Everyone except me.

I’m sitting on the sofa with the cat, unable to find the energy or ideas to even think about sewing, let alone posting new ideas and projects.

Part of me feels that I’m just experiencing a creativity slump, and I I need time to take stock and review quietly by myself. But then a snide little voice inside points out how much everyone else has achieved, and I start to wonder – maybe I’m just plain lazy?

Read more…

Continue Reading · 0

Hanging up the advent trees

To finish up the advent trees series, I show you how to make this easy hanging strip to display your trees.

Now you’ve created a set of advent trees, how do you display them?

You could hang them individually on the Christmas tree. Or you could make a hanging strip like this one. You can hang the trees vertically, as in the picture at the top of the post, or use it to hang them horizontally, for example along a mantelpiece. The one I make here takes three trees (you can easily extend it to more if you want) which you can mix and match if you change your mind.

Read more…

Continue Reading · 0