Why I Love Appliqué! Tips and Tricks from Deanne Eisenmann

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Continuing National Sewing Month today, we have Deanne Eisenmann, author of Blooming Patchwork, with her best appliqué tips and tricks!

My love affair with appliqué started early in my quilting life. I would complete a quilt top and feel that something was missing. Out came my graph paper to design a motif to stitch on top! Once that was done, the quilt felt finished. Appliqué adds a little personality to a quilt; each unique motif I design acts as a "signature" on my quilts.

I know many quilters are afraid of the "appliqué" word. When I hear that, I love to convert them! Like with anything, the more you practice, the better you will do. It becomes easier with every project. Here are just a few of my handy tips for my favorite technique, needle-turn appliqué, to make it a relaxing pastime and not a chore.

1. Lighting. Good lighting is incredibly important. If you cannot see your work surface, you will not be able to perfect your technique. I like portable lights that have an attached magnifier. This helps you make smaller, less visible stitches, which is important in appliqué.

2. Needle and Thread. Use a 50-weight silk finish 100 percent cotton thread in a color that blends with your appliqué shape. This also allows you to create small, barely visible stitches. Also, your needle should be an appliqué needle of the size that best fits you. I use a size 8 needle. Remember, the smaller the number, the longer the needle.

Making those small stitches!

3. Clipping. Clipping in the seam allowance helps to shape an appliqué motif while you are stitching. Curvy areas need more clips that are closer together in the seam allowance than a straight area does.

4. Appliqué Glue. I recommend using appliqué glue to hold the appliqué shape in place on your project. Pins are okay, but I found I was always sticking myself with the pins while trying to stitch. Small dots of water-soluble glue hold wonderfully and...no injuries!

My book, Blooming Patchwork, has more handy tips and descriptions of several appliqué techniques to get you started, as well as a wide variety of projects to choose from in various sizes. Want to win a copy of  Blooming Patchwork? Enter the giveaway here: a Rafflecopter giveaway! Winner will be randomly chosen and announced one week from today; open to US residents only. 

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