Thursday, July 7, 2016

Hint, hint...

I have never had a formal applique lesson so

 anything I do is never going to win a blue ribbon!

Chuck Nohara #cn1044 - no applique on this one!

But I have picked up a couple hints that have really 

helped me and thought I'd share them here...

I love "Best Press" but it is pricey here in Australia.

So rather than spraying randomly over small pieces 

of fabric, where most settles on the ironing board...

 spray some into a small dish and 'paint' it on!

Ironing a crease around the freezer paper template 

is much easier this way.


I was still having all sorts of trouble turning the 

edges of my shapes,

particularly the inner corners.

So my friend Elizabeth, 

who blogs over at Occasional Piece ,

suggested I check out 

Wow! What a revelation that was!

See that toothpick up there in the top lefthand 


that helps turn the edges under like magic!

Where's Wally?  #cn345
There's always something to learn, isn't there?

And that also completes July's Chuck Nohara blocks!

Happy sewing...



  1. One of my good quilting friends is a Sensei, and though I am not one of her "deshi", I have watched her teach students to starch with a brush and iron around a form. Stuff that sprays on is hard to control. And toothpicks are a helpful tool for all kinds of things.
    Chuck Nohara used to have a show at one department store every fall but either it stopped or moved to another place, She and her students are easy to identify in their work because of the color and pattern choices ... things I might consider ather clashing.

  2. It was sorta funky getting in to not know if it was my system or yours.
    That being said...I think Best Press is a bit high priced on this side of the ocean also. But I love the stuff so found a homemade version that works great and cost about 1/4 the price. Its called Quilters Moonshine and if you want I will send you the recipe or link

  3. Best Press is a Must Have for me! It's a great help when fussy cutting, especially when shapes get turned in all kinds of ways that take them off the straight grain.

    Finding new tricks that help expand a skill set always feels amazing, doesn't it? Like huge windows of possibility are opening in front of you. Love that feeling.

  4. I think it's great how you're learning through this project. Between figuring it out for yourself with the Mary Ellen's Best Pressed, and an online video, you don't even need to be in a class to pick up tricks. How the Internet has changed the way we learn, right? I won't ever forget that it was needing to know how to make little 1 mm circles for appliqué. Aus friend Di suggested wrapping fabric around a sequin, and drawing it up with a running stitch. Then I appliquéd it to the background, and cut a tiny slit in the back to remove the sequin. Worked a treat to make tiny, neat, perfect circles. Who needs to pay for classes?!

  5. One of the best things about quilters is their willingness to share ideas and tricks--a most supportive group👏👏👏👏👏👏. Thanks for these great tips!!

  6. Your blocks are all such fun!! Thanks for these super handy tips! I have a bottle of Best Press and it seems to last for ages, but I see what you mean about just ironing tiny pieces.

  7. Very cool to see your excellent sunglasses all finished up there, along with your other Chuck Nohara's for July. I'm happy you found the Becky Goldsmith videos helpful--she's taught me a lot of tricks that way. (You can also subscribe to her newsletter.) Congrats on your fine work, Susan. It all looks terrific!

  8. Love those sunglasses :) I've never had a formal applique lesson either Susan, I learned by reading books and blogs. I don't really like the needle-turn applique, it seems too slow for me, I much prefer the turned edge with freezer paper and starch method. Toothpicks are good for turning edges and I also use an orange wood manicure stick which doesn't have the habit of breaking like a toothpick sometimes does. I also water the Best Press down to make it go further, but the generic spray starch from the supermarket works well also.

  9. I see a blue ribbon in your future : ) Your block is lovely

  10. I love any tips that help. I will have a look at the videos. I think your work looks great - no formal teaching needed there!

  11. We tried Fabulon in place of Best Press with a paintbrush in a recent workshop. (My bottle of Best Press was the one scent that gives the teacher sneezes so was on the banned list.) Fabulon seemed to work nicely. Might be worth giving it a go yourself.

  12. Pleased to see my tip has helped with getting those Chuck blocks looking so good.

  13. Love your Chuck Nohara blocks and as you learn I learn alongside with you. Thanks for all your tips - they are very valuable to me. So keep going please!


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