December 21, 2009

When I posted my illustrated guide to points back in September, I had some requests for the same type of thing for sharp notches. It’s been on my list and I’ve been checking it twice, so here you go. A very happy holiday to you in all the flavors!

Stitches are exaggerated for illustration purposes.

Clip almost to the turn line.

By Kay Mackenzie

Sew to within 2 or 3 stitches of the notch. There will be very little turning allowance in this area. That’s okay. Use very small stitches and tuck under any loose threads.

By Kay Mackenzie

Turn the project. Tuck under the first bit of turning allowance on the other side of the notch. In this illustration, some threads from the motif fabric are sticking up in the notch. The needle is not stitching; it is behind the motif, ready to sweep the misbehaving threads under.

By Kay Mackenzie

Use the shaft of the needle to sweep across the notch, creating a tiny fold and encouraging any threads to go under. The needle is still not stitching, just sweeping.By Kay Mackenzie

Take the remaining stitches down to the notch. The last one, directly in the notch, should pick up 3 or 4 threads of the motif fabric.By Kay Mackenzie

Sweep again if needed. With the tip of the needle, dig under the motif fabric and insert the needle exactly where the current stitch came out. Swing the needle and come out going uphill for the next stitch. Snug the thread down well to create a sharp notch.By Kay Mackenzie

I hope that whatever Santa you celebrate brings you all good things
this year.

A Happy Christmas to All by Kay Mackenzie (detail), designs from A Merry Little Christmas to Applique

“A Happy Christmas to All” by Kay Mackenzie (detail), designs from
A Merry Little Christmas to Applique

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie


7 Responses to “Sharp notches”

  1. betsy on December 21st, 2009 2:59 pm

    Kay thank you for that wonderful tutorial and your timing could have not been better. I am prepping to make a vintage valentine quilt

  2. Mary on Lake Pulaski on December 21st, 2009 5:14 pm

    Thanks for the applique tips Kay! Merry Christmas!

  3. Carrie P. on December 22nd, 2009 11:56 am

    thanks for the tutorial.
    Merry Christmas to you.

  4. Lesa on December 29th, 2009 7:56 am

    I’ve always worried that clipping that deep will make the shape fray later when washed or handled a lot. Does the deeper stitch (3-4 threads) at the middle hold it well enough to prevent fraying?

    Thanks for such clear pictures.

  5. Kay on December 29th, 2009 8:13 am

    Betsy, Mary, Carrie, hi!! Happy New Year!

    Lesa, hi! Thanks for your question. When you think about it, a shallower clip is still going to be just as close to the stitching line. The stitching line would move upwards and result in a shallower notch. Either way there’s no getting around the fact that there’s very little fabric to turn under. So, this is the way it’s done in hand appliqué, and most of these projects aren’t really meant to be handled or washed a lot. You can use fusible-interfacing machine appliqué for larger shapes on a baby quilt, etc., that is going to be dragged around and thrown into the washer.

  6. Heidi on January 28th, 2012 5:13 pm

    Thank you for your site and your instructions, they are very helpful. I have been quilting several years now and have just recently wanted to learn how to applique – it just seems the next step for me. I will probably be coming back to your site for help frequently!

  7. Kay on February 1st, 2012 1:27 pm

    Hi Heidi! Welcome to the blog! So glad you’re finding it helpful.