In hand or machine appliqué, stems are one of the most consistent elements and make or break your design. Even and well placed stems and vines build a strong foundation for the rest of your design. Therefore it is important to give some attention to the skill.
The teachers of JQG collaborated as part of the National Quilters Day 2021 by making a short demonstration video. I chose to show how to cut and make bias strips. We are busy with the Fireworks Mystery quilt with a multitude of stems.
In hand or machine appliqué, stems are one of the most consistent elements and make or break your design. Firstly, even and well placed stems and vines build a strong foundation for the rest of your design. It is therefore important to give some attention to the skill.
If the stems you need are straight, you can cut the strips length wise on the grain of the fabric. If you have bends, scrolls or waves, it is better to cut your fabric on the bias. This can be a daunting task if the stems are 1/4″ wide.
In this video I show how to fold the fabric and and cut the strips for appliqué stems and vines. In conclusion, I then demonstrated how to thread the bias maker and iron the strips to the fabric.
A bias maker is a very useful tool. Cut your strips double the size of the bias maker. These are normally colour coded, for instance the green one for 6mm or 1/4″ and yellow for 12mm or 1/2″. Pin one end of the strip to the ironing board and iron carefully, in even motion.
If you are interested to meet me for a face to face class please contact me.
With hand stitching and boro making a comeback in the slow stitching movement, it is good to relook the tricks of the trade as they were used a couple of hundred years ago. One of these techniques is the Widow’s knot. The prime purpose of the widows knot is to keep the thread in the needle, once you start to work and therefore not worry about to keep the thread in the needle’s eye while you work.
To sew by hand can be one of the delights in our day. A simple frustration like to pull the thread from the needle while you sew, as a result can frustrate you and steal your peace.
The widow’s knot is used to when working with silk, as the thread can easily slip from the eye of the needle due to the jumpyness of the thread. I have for instance, taught it to children that learns to thread the needle, and to a couple of friends whose eyes have deteriorated where they too, battle to thread the needle. It also works beautifully with cotton thread as well.
How to make the widows’ knot
You now have needle with thread that won’t slip out. You can, as a result, fully concentrate to make beautiful stitches.
Contact me to book a class. I teach classes from beginner to advanced techniques.
This post is part of Lenad Quilting and was written by Danél Muller, Pretoria, South Africa, 2020
About This Site
Beautiful things come together one stitch at a time
Quilting and patchwork is not a hobby, it’s a way of life. Over the last fifteen years, I have learnt many lessons and used many tools and gadgets. On this web site, I want to share the patterns, rulers and templates that have made my life a little easier.