Turned edges on small applique pieces prevent the edges of the applique from fraying. Turning the edges allows you to almost invisibly hand sew the applique to the base fabric.
The example shown in the photo was found in the house we bought. The entire edge of the napkin is hand turned and cross stitched with green embroidery thread. Although the napkin is stained and fragile, I could not part with it. The combination of embroidery and hand stitching on the applique is beautiful.
The edges of the applique shown was meticulously hand turned. The following steps will show you a short cut that saves time and makes perfect edges.