I Love Applique: Stems | Quilty Pleasures Blog

Since I love to do floral applique, stems are a big part of my applique process. I have two favorite ways of making stems, one is the Clover Bias Tape Maker and the other uses Bias Press Bars.

Both methods require the use of bias strips. To cut along the bias place a quilting ruler on the fabric with the 45˚line along the selvedge or straight grain. Cut along the ruler’s edge to establish the bias. From here you can cut strips in desired widths using your quilting ruler.

To use the Clover Bias Tape Maker to make stems I cut a length of fabric ½” wide along the bias. This fabric can be threaded into the Bias Tape Maker and pressed using your iron as shown. Sometimes it is helpful to use a small amount of starch on the fabric to ease pressing.

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To make stems using Bias Press Bars cut a length of fabric at an appropriate width along the bias. I generally use a 1/4” bias bar and I cut my strips 1 1/4” wide. Fold the strip of fabric in half lengthwise with the wrong sides together. Sew along the length of the fabric keeping your stitching line at the desired stem width from the folded edge. Cut extra fabric from the seam very close to the stitching. Insert the bias bar and turn the stitching to one of the large flat sides. Press the remaining seam allowance to one side, making sure that the seam allowance doesn’t extend over the edge of the stem. Remove the bias bar and your stem is all ready.

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I find both these methods yield great results without much fuss.

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