I have been making quilts now for quite some time and although I don't race my way to the finished border, I can knock one out in a matter of hours. Okay, not hours at one long stretch, but still....
This is not the case with applique. It takes me hours and hours and hours to make one block! And I am working my way through several techniques, not of needle-turning, but of pattern marking.
So this is my 2nd block and instead of drawing the design on the top of the background fabric, I used a piece of carbon to trace it on the back of the fabric and basted every piece to the front.
After each piece was basted down on the line, I used those lines to draw the final shape and trimmed within 1/4" for seam allowance. Slow and redundant but effective.
As I sewed and needle-turned, I pulled out the basting threads and voila! I liked this technique and I really liked not having pencil lines on the fabric. However....
.....Mona taught her class in needle-turned applique last week and showed this technique:
Here you draw the design on a piece of light-weight RED DOT fabric and baste that to the top of the background fabric. After you trace the pieces on freezer paper, yo cut them out and use as templates for the fabric pieces. Then using the traced RED DOT as a placement guide, each piece is basted down and stitched.
Here you can see my attempts at lining up the pieces underneath that RED DOT fabric.
And here you can see that I have succumbed to using reading glasses to applique with. I will be calling them applique glasses because I don't need for sewing on the machine or reading at all. BUT I SURE DO NEED them to do this tiny needle, skinny thread hand work!