Browsing Tag

Invisible Hand Applique

Applique, Hand Applique

Quilter’s End Knot

The quilter’s knot is a small knot that can easily be hidden within the batting when hand quilting or between the background fabric and applique piece when doing hand applique.   I’ve been looking for directions on  making an end knot for some time now – and one of the tips in the second lesson of the Celtic applique class that I’m taking had just that.  A video can also be found at page on Applique End Knot.  It produces a very small knot that can be hidden easily.

I should have searched the web before this to find out how to do it.

Bring the needle through to the back of the background fabric.

Secure the applique stitch near the entry point

Make a loop and then bring the thread through the loop three times

Pull the thread taunt, buring the knot between the background fabric and applique  This means that there will be no tails that might show through to the background fabric.

Applique, Needle-Turn Applique

Celtic Applique

I’m now working on the second, on-line class for an Celtic applique table runner.

The ‘stained glass’ inserts are basted in place.

'Stained Glass' Inserts

Now to begin the actual applique.

The bias stems are easily sewn into place with invisible needle-turn applique.

Insert needle into background fabric, next to the thread in the fold of the bias strip.  Bring up needle about 1/8″ from the last stitch.  (As in needle-turn applique, catch just one or two threads of applique fabric.)

Whenever I take a class I’m hoping that I’ll pick up one or two new tips in addition to learning or improving on a technique.  I really like the tip in this lesson to insert  pin with a red head where one  strip will cross over another.  By placing the pin a few stitches before the intersection, it is a reminder that space has to be left to insert a bias strip underneath.

Intersection marked with red-headed pin

There is always time to quilt!
Applique, Minature quilts, Needle-Turn Applique, Winter in Central New York

Skinny stems

I decided that I needed a break from sewing triangles for my Delectable Mountains quilt so decided to start a new project.  It’s been suggested that we make  the cover quilt from Fat Quarter Quilts by Lori Smith for our next guild group project. – I really like needle turn applique so I thought I’d work on Simply Charming – even if it’s not our next project.

Today was the prefect day to quilt.  We are in the midst of the first ‘real’ winter storm of the season.  This year the winter storms have hit north and east of Syracuse.

A perfect day to be home quilting. (I really have to work at being retired.  Tough job – but someone has to do it!)

My husband must be thinking of Spring.  He surprised with me with this little bouquet this afternoon.  (He is definitely an incurable romantic.)

  • First, I traced the applique placement on the background fabric.

  • Next Skinny Stems:  These are really easily made with the aid of bias bars.

  • I’ve cut out most of the applique pieces.  The circles still have to be cut out.

I’ll begin the applique while watching the Olympics tonight.  Ice Dancing and Ladies Free Skate have to be my favorite events.

There is always time to quilt!
Applique, Hand Applique

Invisible Applique

The Celtic medallion is done –


Now to applique the center corners.   celtic-medallion-006

I really like the way this pine cone fabric frames the Celtic applique.  I think it ties the green-dotted background with the colors in the rest of the quilt.  As a final tie-in, I plan to use the green-dotted fabric for the setting triangles on each row.     The final 9-patch row will also have the green-dotted and pine cone fabrics.


I think that the invisible stitch provides the best result with hand applique.  The technique is really simple and produces a smooth-edged finished piece.   I am using a dark green thread that matches most of the coloration on the fabric.  With the invisible stitch, the thread does not even show on the lighter sections of the applique.

The invisible stitch is done by bringing  the needle up through the background fabric while catching one or two threads of the applique (a quilt instructor, Sharon Stroud, called this “taking a whisper of the fabric”).

celtic-medallion-015Insert the needle back into the background, just in back of the thread in the applique piece and bring up again through the background fabric catching the applique “whisper”.  Pressing the nail along the edge of the applique piece, as the needle is brought up again into the applique also helps to provide a smooth edge to the applique.  Stitches should be no more than 1/16 to 1/8 inch apart.

Pull thread securely, but not so much that the background fabric puckers. celtic-medallion-020

  • When it is time to re-thread the needle, end by bringing the thread to the wrong side of the background fabric, taking 2 to 3 small stitches.  Then travel the needle about an inch from these stitches.

Quilting at Home.

There is always time to quilt!
Applique, Hand Applique, Tools

Skinny Bias Strips

blog-bias-strips-008Now to make the bias strips for the Celtic medallion.   Strips of fabric were cut on the bias 1-1/4 inches wide, sewn 1/4 inch from the folded edge and trimmed to 1/16″ of the stitching. Using bias bars the seam side was then ironed, centering the seam on the back of the strip.

(Carol’s Quilt Cafe).

The next step is to applique the medallion.


After transferring the Celtic design to the background fabric with the aid of my light box, I am pin basting and then will applique the strips in place using an invisible stitch (Quilter’s Newsletter, Foolproof Applique).

I prefer hand applique to machine applique, especially for these skinny strips.








It is so much easier to blog-bias-strips-001control the stitching  with hand applique.





And it’s a perfect project to work on while watching TV or riding in the car.





Quilting at Home!