Sunday, October 6, 2013

Hand Applique Time!

After my disaster trying to turn edges on the carrots, I set them aside and worked on a much easier shape: the onion.

All the pieces have had their edges turned and pressed and are ready to be stitched down! I am still learning this new fancy camera and somehow keep getting a lot of blurry photos...

For the sake of color I decided to make this a nice red onion. It has a lot of gentle curves and was much easier to create. For the heck of it, I decided to sit down and try to hand stitch it down, following carefully the steps in Simply Successful Applique. It came out pretty well!

Above are shots of my first piece all pinned down and all stitched down.

First piece stitched down.  You can see the stitches, but only barely.

Second piece joins the first. I had some rippling issues, due to not properly pin basting things down as I should.

And here is the finished onion! All it needs is some embroidered roots, which I will get to at some point.

I'm pretty proud of this. It's my first real hand applique foray. Part of the reason it looks so great is the thread...Libby Lehman's The Bottom Line from Superior Threads. This is pretty much my favorite thread.  It is 60wt but super strong. I was able to purchase a variety pack so I now have spools of 36 different colors! They are only about 100 yards each, but the color variety is what counts since you don't need very much thread for hand applique.

After I finished this onion, I have continued to work on other veggies.  I'll be honest: turning all those edges so painstakingly is not very fun, but the hand stitching really is.

I kind of want to use an embroidery hoop, but it doesn't seem like anyone does for applique. Any opinions?

Now, off to work on my bell pepper block!


  1. Looks great! I struggled with applique until I discovered methods utilizing freezer paper, starch, and basting glue. Now I just love it.

    1. I agree! I took a class where we did needle-turn applique and none of my shapes ever looked very good. Using starch and freezer paper takes forever, but the shapes come out so nice looking. This has made hand applique a lot more fun and manageable for me.