Since I enjoyed my first (self taught) applique border, I thought I should jump at the chance to take the Mary Sorensen needle-turn applique class offered by my guild.
First let me say she had some fabulous quilts there which were too detailed for my photography skills. Her love of fabric shows in her work and she uses lots of tasteful embellishments. She is an excellent and fun teacher, using a video camera set up on a tripod and attached to a projector to get close ups of what she is demonstrating.
Mary’s teaching method was to demo something and then walk around and help everyone–about 20 of us. We worked on three different shapes–a rounded flower petal, a “fried egg” flower and a leaf. The rounded petal was to practice an outside curve. The fried egg flower was more of a wavy splat so it had inside and outside curves. Instead of clipping her inside curves, she just stretches them. She said get as many of them on the bias as possible. For the leaf (above photo), she extends the tracing lines at the points and finger presses. I asked if she trimmed her points and her answer was no. She showed us how to stick your needle back into the fabric hump and wiggle it around and flatten out any bunched fabric. Her secret to needle-turn seems to be tuck just a tiny bit at a time using a windshield wiper like motion with your needle. She said she does 15 stitches per inch on regular pieces but on circles about twice that.
There is a DVD about her techniques expected in the March timeframe. It will be available on her website www.MaryAppliques.com. If you are interested in hand applique and ever get a chance to take this Mary Sorensen class, don’t miss it. If you want to read a nice post by another guild member who attended the class, click on Sunnie’s blog. She has a cute photo of how much–rather little–we got done.