Today lets talk about turned edge, machine stitched applique. While I love raw edge, sometimes you want a more finished look that replicates a hand turned edge. This is particularly true for fabrics that shred easily, or that might on curved edges like a vase. I tend to do my vases with turned edge even when the rest of the piece is raw edge. It gives more depth and dimension to the vase and you have those lovely, smooth edges to the applique. If I am making a bed quilt that will be washed, I choose a pattern with larger pieces (think Esther Aliu’s Queen’s Garden or Wrapt in Love) and do it machine stitched with a turned edge.
Now let’s look at the carnation/vase block of my recent table runner and see how it is done when working with machine stitching. And YES, it is always okay to mix raw edge and turned edge. this question comes up occasionally and I feel that you should use whatever technique is best suited to the pattern, the fabric and the shape that you are currently working with. I mix techniques in 80% (? Could be more!) of my
Tools/Materials – Your media for turned edge is different than that used for raw edge. Your media must adhere firmly and have a good solid edge suitable for turning your fabric. This is my favorite media for turned edge, machine stitch and was recommended by Esther Aliu in one of her blogs a few years ago. It has a “glue” side and non glue side. We will be using a hit iron (cotton setting with no steam) to adhere the media to the fabeic.
Trace your shape using your light box on the non glue side of the media. Don’t forget to reverse your image before tracing! This media traces easily with an auto lead pencil. Cut your media along the solid line carefully. This edge will form the edge of your applique and a smooth cut helps assure a smooth turn!
Position your media so that you can cut a narrow 1/4” edge of fabric beyond the media edge. This is the fabric that you will be turning. Press with a hot iron/no steam. This media needs a longer and hotter pressing time and time than using raw edge media to adhere well.
My other tools are Elmers PURPLE disappearing glue sticks and my metal appliqué tool. Don’t be fooled by the clear disappearing glue sticks! They don’t work well with fabric! I bought a packet of them and they now reside in hubby’s workshop.
The metal tool is an Appliquick Rod. You can also use a wooden manicure tool with a diagonal edge, but once I committed to appliqué, I learned that the metal diagonal edge is the just the right angle for turning narrow fabric edges and it cleans up quickly between uses. I was happy to spend the $$ for the Appliquick tool as they work so beautifully. This might be a good stocking stuffer for you or birthday treat. Just casually put the photo where hubby or daughter or son can find it 😉.
Note that there a couple sections not turned. The straight edge at the bottom of the photo will go into my side seam. The curved section along the right top of the photo will go under a flower.
Now it’s time to quilt the runner! I start out by using MonoPoly to out line every appliqué element and stitch in every seam ditch (SID). Always.
If you have further questions, let me know on my blog or on this post and I will usually reply within the day. Mixing raw and turned edge is always okay in my book. Don’t be shy! Use the method that gets the results that you want. Very small components are often better done in raw edge while curvy smooth shapes look great with a turned edge and won’t fray.
And yes, I used an unrelated fabric for the border. I am using stash and didn’t have enough of anything except the grunge background for the binding, but I wanted a contrast binding. I found a tonal beige/brown batik with leaves print and went for it.
Happy appliqué and quilting to all! Lennea