how to: applique horse blaze

I was recently introduced to needle turn applique by a quilting friend. And I'm hooked! I love the finish, so beautiful, all hand done, using your needle to tuck under the raw edge (although I mostly use my fingers). If you’re new to this technique, rest assured it’s not as fiddly as it sounds and it’s totally worth the effort for the beautiful results. 

A blaze like this is a fun variation, especially if you're wanting to create a custom look based on a beloved real-life horse friend.

The toy I'm working on is my 'Classic Hobby Horse Pattern' available in my etsy shop here.

Here's how it's done:

1. Sketch your blaze shape on paper and cut on the fold for symmetry. An oval is a great starter shape for needle turn applique beginners. 

2. Hold your paper template up to your horse nose and make adjustments to size and shape as required. 

3. When you're happy with your template, trace it onto a clean sheet of paper and then add 3mm (1/8in) all the way round. This allowance is for the turned edge. Cut it out.

4. Pin your resized pattern on your fabric and cut it out.

5. Pin the fabric blaze in place on the horse nose.

6. With contrasting thread (so it's easy to see), hand baste the blaze onto the nose by stitching around the entire blaze 6mm (1/4in) from the raw edge. Leave thread ends un-knotted to make removal easier later.

7. Thread a needle with thread that closely matches the colour of the blaze and knot the end. Tuck a section of raw edge under to meet the basting stitches. With your threaded needle, come up through the fold.

8. Start the applique by taking a small stitch through the nose and up again through the fold. Repeat this process, turning the raw edge gradually as you go. Aim to make your stitches about 5mm (3/16in) apart. You can use the side of your needle to aid in turning under the raw edge or your fingers or a combination of both.

9. Fold and stitch, fold and stich the entire way around the blaze. If you notice any puckering, smooth out the stitches and relax your tension. When you’ve finished stitching, knot your thread to secure.

10. Gently remove the basting stitches and press with a warm iron.

And that's it. 

Add a stick and it's ready to ride! 

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