This is a great little tool. I got it out recently and thought again how useful it really is. It’s called the Easy Edge Appliqué Tool, by Heidizine Products, and I use it primarily for glue-basting seam allowances to freezer paper.
It measures a little under 5 ½” in length, fitting comfortably in your hand. One end has a soft 45-degree angled tip, ¼” in diameter. The soft tip grips the fabric for turning over the seam allowance and sticking it to the freezer paper. But the best part is that it keeps the glue from sticking to your fingers!
The other end tapers to form a thin 45-degree angled edge. This part of the tool is useful for lifting, repositioning, smoothing out edges, and creasing outside points. It can also be used for spreading glue in hard to reach places or for removing excess glue. My favorite use for this end is for turning over stray threads at inside points and making sure they stay adhered to the freezer paper.
It is true that I prefer to appliqué by hand using the needle-turn method. One of the main reasons for this has to do with the preparation work involved. Needle-turn appliqué eliminates the time-consuming process of basting the patches to freezer paper.
However, there are times when the speed of machine appliqué is appealing. And these are the times when basting to freezer paper makes sense. The time taken at the basting stage is made up for at the stitching stage. And I wouldn’t be without my Easy Edge Appliqué Tool when it comes to glue-basting to freezer paper, because I hate sticky fingers!
It would seem that each applique method has its own advantages and disadvantages. I haven’t had any problems with invisible monofilament thread (which I assume you mean when you say nylon), but those quilts probably haven’t been washed nearly as often. If I am going to take the time to baste seam allowances to freezer paper, I will use machine applique. Perhaps the next time you try it, you could use a fine cotton thread like Aurifil Mako. Hand applique takes longer to stitch, but I find it gives me the most control and I just really enjoy the process.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, I’m afraid!
All the best,
Marlyne Clarke says
Thank you for the clear instructions…..I love appliqueing (probably because of my dyslexia I have a hard time working with reverse immages).
Kathy, I first learned to machine applique w/ Karen K Buckley. I used it on my granddaughters (my first attempt at applique by machine) I used the old nylon thread. A disaster! As my daughter washed the blanket often….now, I am always ripping out the frayed “party dresses” and replacing them with hand applique….If I only knew….But now it seems that machine applique would take me much longer?
My preferred method is needle turn applique. I mark the applique patch and the background fabric (see post http://hollyknott.com/kathy/2010/01/preparing-patches-for-needle-turn-applique/) and match up both lines as I am stitching.
Marlyne Clarke says
Do you have a preferred method for applique? When doing a wreath with many flowers (some of which are in a cluster) I literally freeze….What makes the most sense to you?
ps We met at Williamsburg this past Feb.