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Learn the Needleturn Applique Method


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Applique Tool and Supply Suggestions

Applique Tool and Supply Suggestions

You'll discover your own "best" tools as you learn to applique, but let's go over a few tool suggestions to get you started.


  • Use fine cotton thread that matches or blends with the applique patches in your project.


  • Sharps are long, thin needles that are perfect for applique work. Other good choices are straw and milliner's needles. Use a size that's comfortable in your hand.


  • John James Sharps | Buy Direct |


  • You do not need special scissors to get started, but may find they are a good investment if you plan to do much applique.

One type of scissors has sharp blades that cut all the way to their tips. They're perfect for making precise trims and cutting into areas that might need some coaxing to turn under. Like Gingher's curved embroidery scissors | Buy Direct.

Another type of applique scissors has a paddle blade on one side that resembles a duck bill. As you trim edges, the paddle pushes the seam allowance out of the way to keep you from cutting too close to the fold line. Like Gingher's 6" Applique Scissors | Buy Direct |


  • Purchase enough fabric to cut oversized background pieces, because backgrounds will become distorted a bit as you work. Add about 1" to the unfinished size of the final unit to begin with -- more if your project is complex or blocks are large. Don't skimp -- you sure don't want to end up with a block that can't be squared up to the correct, unfinished size after applique is added. (Most patterns will offer suggestions.)


  • You'll make rigid templates of pattern shapes. Template plastic is durable, but you can use something as simple as an empty cardboard box from the pantry.


  • Short applique pins are handy for securing motifs to the background (they aren't as likely to reach out and poke you as long needles).
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