Saturday, June 27, 2009

Thimblelady Applique Package Review

To say that I'm a perfectionist is a bit of an understatement. So I have been becoming increasingly frustrated at my needleturn applique attempts. I have really fallen in love with quilting because there is so many areas in which to conquer. I'm one of those who likes to just jump in and give it a go, if it doesn't work the first time, it eats away at me until I feel I have achieved my level of said perfection, then I'm over it and want to move on to the next challenge.

So needleturn has become a bit of a love, hate challenge. Imagine my surprise when I went from this: (which a week ago I was quite happy with..)

to this:
Check out those points!

In 1 day! That's right! One - uno - un - ein - eins day!

Just to be clear I have not been paid in any way for this review, this is simply my experience.

I first saw the thimblelady on Simply Quilts and was really impressed, firstly because she was a really great hand quilter and second because she's an Aussie!

Because Liuxin is an Aussie, I felt an instant connection to her, I then started reading more information on her and felt we were kindred spirits of a kind. The way Liuxin thinks and teaches is a really logical style. Exactly the way my brain works.

While watching the Dvd which came with the kit I found myself saying 'why didn't I think of that' so many times. I then showed the DVD to my mother (my Quilting buddy among many other things) and picked up just as much the second time as I did the first!

I read a comment recently on the Thimblelady Forum which basically said 'Why bother putting out another Applique book, there's hundreds of them (books), theres nothing else to learn, applique is easy.' Well I beg to differ; I have tried all the different ways and never had the INSTANT success that I've enjoyed with 'Perfect Hand Applique'.
That butterfly is only my second attempt at Liuxin's technique.

I felt like I had learnt more in 30 minutes than I have in 12 months.

I find myself torn, I want to give a true review about this system, but I also don't want to give too much away. The Thimblelady deserves to be paid, and paid well, for her innovation! As the invention of the rotary cutter changed quilting forever, this technique will go down as a moment which changed applique. This may sound like an commercial, but I truely can't express how huge this is for my quilting life!

Ok so the system draws together the importance of all your tools from fabric, to needles and threads, even the scissors you choose to use play an important role in your success. I jumped straight in after watching the Dvd, I truly couldn't wait another moment to try Liuxin's 'tricks' and imediately picked up about 4 things I had been doing wrong. My first thought was gee the thread makes a big difference, then, wow the needle is an improvement, then, I looove this fabric it makes it so easy, then, ohh I wish I had the magic needle marker 12 months ago. I can't decide which tool made the biggest difference.

The old saying 'A poor tradesman blames his tools' came to mind, but with the right tools, one can do anything!

With the kit I ordered from the thimblelady website I not only received the Book and Dvd but it also came with everything you need to get started. A beautiful Fat quarter of stunning fabric, a reel of silk thread, a packet of needles, you also get a thimble glove, a sheet of template plastic and a pair of scissors. For $68 I learnt more than with all my magazine subscriptions ever.

The magic needle marker is incredible. I gives you a clean line to follow with nothing to wash off and I feel it actually helps with the turning under of the fabric, because it sort of 'folds' the fabric for you. There is a video of this being used on the website. At $15 a very worthy investment!

The only negative I can find is that the video is a little ameteur, but in saying that it is so engrossing you don't mind the occasional shake of the camera. Someone should be throwing money at Liuxin to make the Ultimate Hand Quilting and Applique Video.

In closing if you want to see a circle the size of the @ symbol on your keyboard needleturned, then this package is worth the money. If you want to be able to do it yourself then its worth double what your asked to pay!

Thimblelady website

If you have anything to add please do!

Paula x


  1. Paula
    Great review.I heartily endorse everything you say. I love having the book and DVD to refresh my mind when I come back to applique after a break. Thimblelady's approach is revolutionary - and scientific too, as she thoroughly investigates everything.

  2. What a fantastic review Paula. Makes me want to have another try at needleturn. Thanks for sharing

  3. Gee, I steer right away from needleturn applique, you have me thinking that I should have a go. Is the kit the "Applique in English", with a DVD and a Book?
    Thanks heaps

  4. Gretings from Sweden Nice blog.Marianne