I am making progress on my applique project. The house is completely stitched down, as is the vine on the left side. The vine on the right is partially stitched, partially pinned and glued. My leaves are a bit blob-like but the stitching part is going fine.
I've discovered that there are a few gadgets that make applique easier (naturally!). Lynn Wilder, designer of the pattern I'm using (The House on Edgewood Lane), recommended using bias bars to form the vine stem. I'm sure they work well but I already had a Clover bias tape maker (1/4" size) so I tried that and it worked great.
From the top, Fiskars Softgrip scissors, Sewline fabric glue pen, Clover bias tape maker, Perfect Circles
The Sewline fabric glue pen is handy for securing the edges of the smaller pieces; I use it when I turn the raw edge of the fabric to the underside and also to hold the piece in place before I sew it down because some of the pieces are too small for pins. This glue pen is made to use on fabric plus the tip is smaller than a conventional glue stick.
Perfect Circles are perfect for forming a circular shape (the centers of the flowers for this project). I just cut the fabric slightly larger, run a basting thread around the edge, then gather it around the plastic circle of the size that matches the pattern piece and press with a little spray starch. (Remove plastic circle before sewing down.)
I've had the Fiskars scissors for a long time. They are great for cutting tiny applique pieces because the blade is short so is easier to maneuver them around small pieces plus they are sharp and cut all the way to the point. Yet the handles are regular size, unlike most small scissors.
I'm enjoying this applique so much, I'm already thinking about a future project!