Introducing the Mini-Stitch Applique Trio

Feb 2023

Three beautiful applique designs that start simply and grow in complexity!

Needleturn applique has long been a fascination of mine, ever since I started to think that curling up on the couch and staying in was more fun than going out dancing.

We all reach that age eventually, I just got there quicker than most 😉.

All those years ago, I sketched, then stitched my own little scene of an apple tree with a puppy underneath, on a backdrop of green hills. I loved working out those details, even though the apples I stitched turned out square, and my puppy was more ferocious than cute.

Recently I was craving some simple hand stitched projects and remembered my mesmerising friend needleturn.

How could I have I forgotten you beautiful??

One thing I explored in those earlier years were different techniques for preparing the shapes.

Traditional needleturn traces a shape onto the right side of the fabric, then turns those raw edges under with the skill of a clever needle worker easing and tucking everything into place. It's a challenge for sure, and there’s something so satisfying about turning those edges under and getting those curves smooth and those points pointy.

Throw in some delicious colours, tiny florals, and the world is in balance once more!

But that's not the only way to get this craft done! My other favourite method is the starch/freezer paper technique, and most recently another faux needleturn method where the shapes are glue basted around a permanent template that remains inside.

Enter the Mini-Stitch Applique designs, my next pattern release that is a trio of little needleturn appliques that are simple but not boring.

I've used the interfacing template technique to prepare these shapes, which gives extra loft, and extremely good coverage to aid sheer fabrics that might get lost on a bolder fabric.

Essentially you do all the hard prep work before you even get on the sofa, so that all that's left is just relaxing with a good movie and your needle and thread.

As well as these panels being their own stand alone project, they are also designed to feature as an alternate window on the upcoming Blithe Bucket Bag! I excited to offer you more options and see what you do with them ...

Each panel finishes at 6.5” square and has very few pieces to prepare. In fact, this is the perfect project to pull from your scrap bucket, as you’ll literally only need small snips and these are the most satisfying to make because they’re essentially free!

I do love a handmade project that can be completed in a sitting or two. You know, when your UFO pile is already too large, and you just crave that finished feeling to remind yourself that you are still a valid crafts-person.

This is the little project for you!

Olive - Gentle Organic Shapes

The 'Olive' design introduces you to gentle curves which are a great skill to master in applique.

The interfacing templates will give you lots of practice at easing the fabric around those curves to achieve smooth lines without puckers.

You'll start with the large circle, progress to the teardrop shapes, and finally the small circles. I'll be demonstrating all of these techniques on my YouTube channel so you can see how it's done, subscribe to watch these as soon as they release.

When you're finished the applique, let your imagination roam by adding your own unique embroidery and hand-quilting to the panel.

To achieve the look I have here, I started by selecting the binding fabric - one I was really excited about, then pulled 3-4 solid colours from it to feature as the shapes. This method is great for getting a cohesive look without overwhelming the whole thing with too much pattern.

Lotus - Elegant Boho

The ‘Lotus’ design is a whimsical, botanically themed little panel, that builds on the curves you’ve been practising in Design 1, and introduces some internal points which are the next step in applique.

It’s the perfect amount of boho chic. Try it with solids, florals, or a combination of the two to change up the look.

You’ll still be glue basting the fabric around a template, making all the hard work happen right at the beginning.

Then you can sit and applique in peace, knowing your shapes will be perfect.

Continue to add your own touches with perle 8 thread to to highlight some of the colours and shapes that you love most.

Hexaswirl - Vintage Modern Movement

The ‘Hexaswirl’ design is the modern gal in this design trio. She has plenty of action going on, while harking back to tradition with the central hexagon.

The twisted shapes in this panel give it interest and movement, even a slight 3D effect. You can keep the palette monochrome, fussy cut a little scene, or go all out rainbow!

While this only has gentle curves it’s the most challenging of the three with those pointy points and the shape placement, but it’s also the most satisfying to complete when you see it all come together.

I’ve bound each of these with a wide binding to show off my pretty statement fabric, and finished the join with a length of decorative trim to really set the whole thing off.

Each one is different - lace, ribbon, and a leather tag with my favourite mantra - 'Sew more, Stress less!'

Stay tuned for the tutorial on how to finish off your little mat in the next few days, and also for another idea on how to use your panel.

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