1. How do I choose the best thread for my project?
I prefer my stitches not to show unless I want them to show. Make Sense?
I use a combination of Embroidery Floss or Petite Cottons. Floss is a good choice because it comes in many colors, it can be divided to make your stitching as thick or thin as you want. Three strands of floss equals size 8 perle cotton. If you want a variegated look Petite Cotton has many nice colors also. When I want my stitches to show I use Valdani mostly in #12, but I like #8 too especially for the outside blanket stitches to finish a project off.
2. HOW DO I GET THE APPLIQUES TO STAY IN PLACES?
Soft Fuse is pretty much all I use. It irons on nice with steam and doesn't gum up your needle when stitching. Sometimes for small pieces a water based glue, such as Roxanne’s, is another way to hold the pieces. I've seen stitchers use Appliqué pins because they won’t catch on your threads as you stitch. And even a stapler will hold big pieces in the right place!
3. WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO CUT SHAPES?
Again Soft Fuse fusible webbing, not only can you use it to hold your pieces down, but cut the shapes as well. Trace the pattern on to the smooth side of the paper, cut away from the shape about 1/4". Iron on to your wool, then cut the shape directly on the line, place all your cutout pieces on the background, use your steam iron to iron in place. It's that simple!
4. WHAT KIND OF STITCHES SHOULD I USE?
To heavily outline a shape, use a blanket stitch. If you want your stitching to blend in, especially if you want to embellish the shapes, use one strand of floss, contrasting or matching, and a whip stitch to anchor the pieces. A #22 or #24 chenille needle is a good choice.