Rin Along – Materials

quilt along, Quilts, Sewing Project

I kind of realize as I am writing this post that I might be jumping ahead of the RinAlong schedule a bit? The official kick off of the quilt along is next Wednesday, so yeah, I’m sure Cindy of Hyacinth Quilt Designs and Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs have details I will be glad to consider… I have put some thought into my fabric selection, and I thought I’d share what I hope to accomplish, anyway!

RinAlong Fabric Pull
RinAlong Fabric Pull

I am going to use the bright, saturated blue and green as the background for the blocks I hope to make and the black text prints as the applique pieces. My final goal for this project will be four blocks (two green, two blue). My goal for the quilt along will be to finish one block by hand, and we’ll just see how it goes during the quilt along (maybe I could do more?).

RinAlong Thread - Aurifil 2630 (Dark Pewter)
RinAlong Thread – Aurifil 2630 (Dark Pewter)

Because I am working with such saturated and dark toned fabrics, I selected 50wt Aurifil 2630 (Dark Pewter) to use as the thread for my needle turn applique stitching.

If you have any tips, tutorials, or suggestions for how to get started with needle turn applique, please share!


  • Will you need a thimble? My fingers are not nimble now, and I do all applique with fusible and a fancy stitch on the machine to edge the pieces, Your fabric choice is fantastic.

  • I’m a fair weather needle turn appliquer. but do it successfully. I’m currently working the Moda Blockhead quilts, which include a few applique blocks. One thing I know is that you have to match your thread to the color of the applique piece. While the dark pewter you’ve chosen would be great for piecing these fabrics, it’s going to show your stitches against that black. I recommend that you switch to a black thread that will match your fabrics.

  • When doing needleturn I use a combination of glue and thread basting. I was originally taught to use little appliqué pins and constantly stuck myself. I was convinced I hated needleturn appliqué………not so, I love it. I just hate pins.

  • I also like glue for needleturn; I use a glue stick, but others use regular glue with a thin tip applicator, I think. I also like thimble pads — little sticky dots to stick on your finger. I like it better than the feeling of a thimble, and you can use and re-use them. You might also want to look at an 80 wt aurifil in the grey color. It’s a much lighter thread and will hide your stitches well.

  • Love your fabric pull for this project! I am tempted but too many other things on the plate. My tip for needle turn is that instead of holding the fabric horizontal to the table, hold it so you can see the edges of the appliqué, that way you can 1) see where you want your stitches to go and 2) keep them on the underside of the appliqué piece. Some people like to finger press or press with starch so they don’t use the needle to turn the edge of the fabric. I prefer to let the needle do the work, usually a sharp. You only need to fold down about a 1/2 inch ahead of where you are stitching. Sometimes clipping the curves is necessary, but I trim the seam to about 1/8″ in more difficult areas as I get to them. I always say match the fabric you are using for appliqué not the back, so you may even want black with those fabrics. I use a thimble for quilting, not appliqué. (I was supposed to teach this class this morning – I guess I am now). Use Thread Heaven or bees wax for lubricating thread.

  • I haven’t done true needle turn, I’ve made mylar templates and ironed my fabric to back using magic sizing…so no tips from me. Looking forward to seeing your work with these color saturated fabrics.

  • When I first saw your fabric pull I was sure you were going to use the colours on the top. What a different vision you have for it! I agree with previous commenters that you should match the thread colour to the appliqué piece. The stitch should sit just underneath the appliqué shape but you should aim to be a couple of fabric threads in from the turned edge of the shape. Using as fine a needle as you can thread and having good lighting are my tips from recently picking up a needle turn project again after a long hiatus. I also favour turning the fabric as I go. Looking forward to seeing how you go! Good luck!

  • Oh needle turn appliqué , sounds like torture . I used to be ok at it , eons ago . But , last year I tried to n t a block for Ruth , a dog . Looked nothing like my concept !

  • I like that you are not using your fabrics in the more predictable way. Those two black prints are rather splendid and (having just been to check out the pattern) I love your vision for this. Good luck with the applique – no technical tips from me, just take it slow and steady.

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)