6 of my Favorite Hand Applique Tools

April Showers, Bugs, Beetles, and Flowers

April Showers, Bugs, Beetles, and Flowers, and my favorite Hand Applique Tools

The Island Batik Ambassador Theme this month is April Showers.

I sketched and sketched bugs and beetles and flowy flowers.
All of which I planned to Hand Applique.

The “Beetle” Won! 🙂

April Showers, Bugs, Beetles and Flowers

That would be a Volkswagen Beetle.

A perfect “twist” to this months theme.

The technique I chose for this month is hand applique, also called Needle Turn Applique.

After stabbing my fingers a hundred times over, I began to wonder why I decided on this technique!

Answer: Because the final result of the quilt is well worth the needle pricked fingers and the time.

The Island Batik Fabrics Featured are Crystal Cove Island Stacks. 42 pieces of scrumptious fabric designs.

Not one to normally use pre-cuts, I loved the challenge of using only what was in the stack. I could have added some other Island Batik fabrics. But I think it’s kind of fun to be able to make a project with what’s in the package.

Well – I did cheat – just a little


The smiley face isn’t even a batik 🙂 But it is cute isn’t it?
My Husbands idea. Really it was!


I was having so much fun creating that I didn’t take any pictures of the process this time.
I usually have my camera pretty much attached and take pictures at every step.

Before I show you the finished quilt though,

Here are my favorite hand applique tools.

Beetle with hand applique tools

  • YLI Silk Thread – I have the YLI Classic Applique Collection
    I like using the Silk Thread, because the colors are neutral and they are barely noticeable on work.
  • Freezer Paper Sheets
    Freezer paper is my favorite for templates, press them to the fabric and cut around the shapes leaving a small seam allowance for needle turn applique. The sheets work great in the printer too.
  • I use Size 7, Hand Quilting Needles It’s what I’ve done for a long time, so I don’t know if it is odd or not, I just know it works for me. The needles are short and I think it makes it easier to do the fine sewing.
  • I love the Sewline Water-Soluble Fabric Glue Pen ! I started using this when I made one of my mini quilts last month. It worked fabulous for hand appliqueing this quilt too.
  • But if you like Applique Pins, These are a good choice. They are short enough for small pieces too.

  • Embroidery Scissors to clip the fabric and thread.
  • The Finished Beetle Quilt

    the Crystal Cove Beetle
    The Crystal Cove Beetle

    • The border of this quilt was done by piecing strips together. More on that at a later date.
    • Flowers and leaves were cut free form
    • Fabric Yo-Yo’s are used for flower centers
    • Micron Pens were used to add car detail.

    In Closing

    Hand/Needle Turn applique can seem tedious and look very time consuming.
    But it is well worth the time and effort (and pricked fingers).
    It was seeing photographs of Baltimore Album Quilts that sparked my interest in applique. The look is clean and delicate. I do prefer it over machine applique, although machine applique has it’s merits too.

    Classes you might be interested in

    Hand Applique Quilt Gallery

    Next up – The Strippy Binding

    Happy Quilting!

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    Fiber Artist, Author, Designer, Pianist, and Organic Foodee. My Mission is to inspire and educate the creator in you.

    7 replies to 6 of my Favorite Hand Applique Tools

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    2. Cute project.

      • Thanks Nancy!

    3. Cute and fun! I love the YLI silk thread as well – I’m using it for my Dear Jane Applique blocks

      • thank you Pamela! I don’t no when I started using YLI silk thread, but once I did, It has always been my go to thread for applique.

    4. Adorable! I love needle turn and it makes me want to bust out a UFO I’ve been working on for several years.

      • Thanks Bea!

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