It’s been a while since hand applique was on the front burner so when I wanted to drag out an old project and finish it up, I decided to look around and see what was new in the applique world. I found the excellent Craftsy.com class called Machine-Finished Hand Applique taught by Beth Ferrier and took a look. Oh my, glue basting applique pieces is an amazing step forward from either needle-turn or turn-and-baste over freezer paper! Beth suggests using regular office supply glue sticks as they are cheaper, readily available and she likes the squishy tackiness they give, but I did like this more expensive fabric glue pen by Sewline better than either the Elmer’s purple or standard office supply water soluble glue stick.
I also found the “Purple Thang” stick a bit more responsive than the cuticle stick recommended in the class for pushing and turning fabric. Yes, again, it’s more expensive and only available from quilt notions suppliers while cuticle sticks are cheap and easy to find, but it really did work better for me and so was well worth the price. Actually, I use both tools at the same time for these very small circles, one in each hand. My fingers are too clumsy by half.
Those little scissors with the green handles are by someone named Karen Kay Buckley and she calls them Perfect Scissors. The clerk at my favorite quilt shop insisted that if I was doing applique, I should have these little scissors and I should trust her on this. They are nice. Supposedly, their micro-serration prevents fraying and they do cut right to the tips and are very maneuverable to cut around complex shapes. I can’t speak to whether they prevent fraying since with this technique, the glue accomplishes that nicely. Sometimes you just have to trust.
You can see above and below how nice and round my circles are using these new techniques, even though I used a slight variation on Beth’s instructions by putting adhesive dots on top of the fabric as a turning guide rather than freezer paper on the inside. Will all that glue wash out you ask? Well, once more I’m going to trust and not worry about it. Better to have a finished project with a little glue left in it after washing than a glue-free never-finished top lurking in a drawer.
Look at those pretty little circles! Bring on the applique berries! Thank-you Beth!