I’ve done fusible web appliqué, raw edge appliqué, freezer paper appliqué, sew + turn appliqué, reverse appliqué and other styles that don’t have proper names. But, do you know what I’d never done until today?
Needle turn appliqué.
It just sounded hard. And slow. And fussy. Well, I’m happy to say it wasn’t anything of those things. In fact, since you don’t have to prep the edges, it seems faster and less-fussy than other styles of hand appliqué.
If you’re unfamiliar, appliqué refers to sewing a new layer of fabric onto a fabric base. Today I’ve been working on the mother cat and kittens from Heather Ross’ Mother’s Pride quilt pattern (left). These little critters are meant to be appliquéd to the patchwork quilt top.
It’s unusual, but rather adorable, don’t you think?
For starters, I traced the pattern template and cut out the mother cat. I left a 1/4” or so of fabric beyond the template line to allow for seam allowances.
The pattern calls for a kitty cat face embellished with fabric ears and embroidery. Needle turn appliqué, here goes! With a hoop to hold the fabric taut, I attached the fabric ears. I think they came out well? It’s a little bulky at the points, but that is always the case with appliqué.
Wondering how needle turn works? Search the web for a video tutorial. There are lots! That’s how I learned.
Now I’ve completed the mama cat face embellishments. She’s ready to be pinned in place on the quilt top, then needle turn appliquéd. I’m using fine MicroQuilter thread, which is strong enough to withstand tugging. This should allow me to bury the knots in the center of the quilt top so that the cats are attached on top of the quilting, just like real cats would be.
Wish me luck!