Thursday, January 23, 2014

Back Basteing.

I've found back basteing to be the easiest way to applique large pieces or extremely accurate pieces, as they just don't move at all whilst sewing them.
Firstly trace the pattern to the wrong side of the background fabric.  If your pattern is directional, you will need to reverse it.
Cut your fabric to be appliqued 1/2" larger than the applique pattern piece.
With a larger than normal needle- an embroidery size 8 or so, and contrasting thread, running stitch around the pattern pieces to be appliqued.  Notice I haven't stitched around the shapes that will be green in the centre.
Cut the fabric away just over 1/8" from the stitching line.
Applique shape down as usual.  I cut the basteing thread about 1" away from where I'm appliqueing so I can needle turn the hem.
When I've finished sewing the red, I did the same with the green.

Should have used a more contrasting thread I think!
The block has leaves and buds in the corners.  Because these are fairly small, straightforward shapes, I chose to trace the pattern and glue baste the fabrics. I'll just needle turn these as normal.
The centre is done, just need to stitch down the corner shapes.
Ready for the next block on 1st February.


  1. My favourite way to applique...look at you speeding along there already with block 1 pretty much done...looking good...

  2. Nice tutorial - I love this method and use it most of the time these days. Your fabrics are beautiful.

  3. Thanks Kerry. I was going to ask about Back basteing next week at patchwork but now I don't have to. Excellent tutorial. I have started my BB as well. Almost have the centre done. Bring on February. Thanks.

  4. Have you tried Backbasting with the sewing machine and then ironing the stitches so that they become more clearly visible. Works well for larger pieces and is easier than it sounds. Cheers Lynne

  5. Back basting is my favorite hand appliqué method too... though hand appliqué is very low on my fun-way-to-make-a-quilt list now. I'm so enjoying modern quilting, and it seldom calls for hand-appliqué.