Saturday, November 26, 2011

Baltimore Progress

Working on Block 8 - "Mistletoe Wreath"

I find that I'm having trouble getting smooth curves using the backbasting technique. Any advice from the backbasters out there?


  1. I haven't been having trouble - I do my basting stitches fairly small - looks like they're about 1/8 inch long. I trim my seam allowance right about 3/16 and clip about halfway through that every 3/16 or so on inside curves.

    Maybe I trim a smidge closer toward 1/8 on outside curves, and I don't clip those.

    Probably do my applique stitches about 1/16 inch apart on the curves. Works great on leaves and melons.

    I'll still use my Magic Circles for perfect circles smaller than a quarter or so.

  2. No, but I would like to say how beautiful that is looking. Love your choice of fabrics too. Keep going, it's going to be so pretty.

  3. With any appliqué, the key to smooth curves is to make sure your sites are no further than 1/8" apart. Only tuck a very small bit in at a time any manipulate it with the needle until its smooth. The sharper the curve, the smaller the amount you tuck under at a time. Also, making tiny clips in the seam allowance will help. Seam allowance should be about 3/16". I learned all this from a needle turn class from Nancy Chong--the queen of Hawaiian appliqué.

  4. I use a different technique that what others described. On the petals you showed, I would stitch the straight side, then pull the basting stitches and turn the entire rounded end over, fussing with curve by tucking or pulling with my needle and holding the whole thing down with my thumb.Once I'm happy with the curve, I stitch it all down. I do clip curves and like a 4-5mm seam allowance.

  5. Unfortunately, no advice here. But it is looking lovely! Truly the perfect project for the season. :)

  6. One of my instructors, Jan Vaine, has a book about hand applique and embellishment that you might find helpful. She is a master at hand embroidery. 10 methods on applique circles. She uses the back basting method but calls it Perfect Placement. Generally when your curves aren't smooth, the stitches are not small enough/close enough together.