Here's a little progress report on the hand applique that I've been working on lately. I've been putting time in on it in the evenings when watching TV.
I have the green finished!
It's going to be a reproduction of one of the corner blocks for the Lady of Victory Quilt for the Baltimore Applique Society. Now I just have to do the red half.
I'm using Back Basting ~ one of my favorite methods of hand applique. It works great to position my leaves in the proper place to each other. To do Back Basting first I marked the pattern in reverse on the back side of my block's background fabric. I used a blue water soluble marker to mark mine (pencil works too, but I find that the blue shows up really well and rinses out completely). I placed the red fabric face-up on the front of the block covering over the shape to be appliqued and lightly pinned it to keep it from shifting around.
Then using a large darning needle, and thick quilting thread I ran basting stitches all around the the outline of my shape to be appliqued.
From the front you can see the outline of the shape to be appliqued created by my basting stitches. Then I removed the pins, and the piece is very easy to handle and portable. Letting the block sit over night before doing any work on it, helps the holes that I made with the basting set up well to create a nice "perforation" where I will turn the edges under, and aides with the needle turn.
Additionally, I like to take a chalk pencil and run an outline just outside of the basted lines ~ this is optional but it helps me see the stitches. Finally the piece is ready to needle turn. I cut away the red fabric as I go leaving just a little edge to turn under, snip the basting stitches and pull out a little at a time, and needle turn along where the basting stitches were. That's the gist of how to do Back Basting. It's coming along well, I'll show you some photos of my Red progress soon :)