Pointers..... Inside Points and Corners
Quilters want to know my tips for inside points.
Now you can, too!
Do inside points stress you out? Become an expert with our tips and tricks.
The problem with inside points/ corners is...
...the things you need to do to get a crisp inside point are the same things that can cause the problems. Here are some keys.
- Clipping is an important key. You need to clip deep. Though this opens the fabric to fraying, it also gives a sharp corner when finished. If you don't clip deep enough, you will get rounded corners, or a bunched corner.
- Use the qualities of the fabric to your advantage. It has stability with the straight of the grain, and gives on the bias. Let the fabric work in your favor.
- Let your No. 11 Milliner's needle do the work for you.
- Relax! Breath and enjoy.
I use our Trace, Baste, Snip & Stitch process for all my hand applique and reverse applique. This process helps to facilitate my crisp inside points.
The basting step stabilizes my fabric and keeps it in place until I remove it. In this process, the basting line is my sew line, removing the basting thread as I go. When I baste with a No. 7 sharp needle and thick thread, like quilting or button thread, it leaves little “holes” in the background fabric that I can see to keep the edges of my shapes very clear. I use these “holes” to know where my corner is on my top fabric, and where it needs to be positioned on my background fabric. I do my stitching work with a No. 11 Milliner's needle.
Getting ready for the corner
1. Clip deep into your corner at a 45 degree angle within a thread or two of the corner. (See pics 1a and 1b.)
I know this seems counter intuitive because of the risk of fraying. But be brave. Clip deep, within a thread or two of the corner. This will allow the fabric of your corner to fold under and lay flat, enabling you to get a crisp corner rather than a rounded corner.
As a right-handed person, I sew with my piece in my lap from right to left with the seam parallel to my body. I sew so that I sweep the raw edge towards me. My excess fabric hangs down my legs, and my left hand holds the rest. I try to keep the spot that I'm sewing flat with the fingers of my left hand underneath.
2. Holding my piece so my seam is parallel to my body, I sweep the raw edge under towards me and stitch towards my corner. (pic 2)
Stitching the actual corner.
3. I sweep the fabric back into the corner, and use the thumb of my other hand to keep that corner fold a bit soft.(pic 3)
Take a stitch into the center of the corner, catching that soft fold.
Don’t try to lay it flat at this time. Once you take stitch, the fabric will relax flat on its own.
Next I re-position the piece in my hands by turning it 45 degrees to the left. As this is a corner, I turn the piece so the corner is parallel to my body.
4.a. I sweep the raw edge of the adjacent leg under, tugging deep into the corner with my needle.
If threads are popping out, keep sweeping from ¼” – ½” away back into the corner. Again, I use the thumb of my other hand to hold the corner fabric folded, but a bit loose. Remember, the fabric will relax flat once you take the stitch. With my needle, I pull deeper into the corner, taking the tip behind the fold. (pic 4.a.)
4.b. Take a small anchoring stitch.
I send my needle into the background fabric and bring it up real close to the corner on that adjacent leg. (See pic 4b)
5. My corner is complete. I have sharp corners with no exposed threads. (See pic 5)
For help with outside points, see our blog "To the Point...Outside Points" next week.