One of my goals this year is to expand my repertoire of crafty skills. First on my list? Needle turn applique. My guild is doing a mug rug swap this month, so this was a great opportunity to test my skills on an unsuspecting guild member. (They’re a pretty friendly bunch.) I used a very simple bull’s eye shape adapted from Denyse Schmidt’s Quilts book (hands down my favorite quilting book–it’s really great for beginners). It’s just three irregular circles stacked; aiming for imperfection is a great choice when you are learning a new skill (or improving a rusty one).
When I’ve tried needle-turn in the past, I’ve always cheated and turned the raw edge under with my hand, which can result in an uneven edge. I think I finally got the knack of needle turning by the third circle! You use the point of the needle to push under the next section of edge before you sew–which turns the edge evenly as you move along. If you are working on a precise shape, having a clear line for the seam would be very important. Because my circle did not need to be precise I just winged it. It was so nice to work on a small project by hand that I decided to hand quilt, too. At first I quilted around each circle–not good! The circles poofed up, totally negating all my careful applique. Here’s a picture, before I pulled out the hand quilting:
What else do I want to try this year? Embroidery, making a stuffed animal, and (maybe!) English paper piecing. Look for more Skillful Sunday posts in the coming months!