March 12, 2010
Needleturn with Daphne: TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Exquisite applique begins with good tools and practice .
Really. Just like that .
Good light , portable and adjustable sets the stage to success.
Black gold needles are the newest available.
Reportedly “the needle is 30% less friction-resistant than conventional hand-sewing needles due to its polishing and ultra-thin black plating for anti-rust resistance and astonishing smoothness .”
Gold Eye Clover is one of Daphne’s favourites.
She recommends a size 9 or 10 to begin.
Her very favourite is size 11, Gold N Glide John James .
An equal number of quilters, like teacher Susan Mc, Myrna and Nancy
prefer the length and flexibility of straw needles.
YLI 100 wt silk thread is the #1 choice.
It does not tangle easily and just melts into the fabric
It comes in an amaziong array of colours, special collection , variageted and sparkle.
But Daphne assured us you really only need a pale grey , gently minty colour 224,
and black if you are working on a black background.
Many are in stock and all can be special ordered .
so you know EXACTLY where the cutting action ends, you don’t want to cut a stitch.
Daphne recommends you identify them and only use them for applique .
Nancy recommends the Clover – serrated 4″ blade because the
serrated edges on these scissors grab silk and cotton fabric
and won’t allow it to slip away when cutting.
Designer Shania Sunga find theses Fiskars are best for long fine shapes of feathers and fur .
Teacher and designer Susan Teece finds these reverse action scissors necessary
for preventing hand fatigue when snipping curves .
Heirloom Stitches bias press bars where a big hit.
I did make perfect stems and vines , that curved smoothly and lay flat.
The 14″ long bars are flexible, heat-resistant nylon with a great taped end for easy intsertion.
Because they are nylon they do not get hot.
Daphne noted the added benefit that they are easy to store ,
and take along in a zip lock bag!
We debated freezer paper. Is lighter or heavier, sticker or easier release better?
To begin, Reynolds is easily available and can be laminated together for a thicker template .
I prefer the quilters quality .
Heirloom Stitches also makes top quality, heat resistant template plastic.
It is perfect for lazar printers too!
Gridded plastic and
thicker clear template plastics also work
as long as you do not use an iron on them!
On all , use a quick dry , permanent marker to mark your templates.
Water soluble pen are the choices for marking the top of your fabric applique shapes.
Dritz pins were small , easy to handle and the sharpest of all we sampled .A new hit with Daphne,
They were definitely the class favourite for pinning shapes onto the background .
Though Daphne prefers pins, some of us like a little help from Roxanne.
But I am so glad I had Daphne helping me!