Thursday, September 3, 2015

Thursday Tip #7

{Thursday Tip: A regular weekly feature sharing my quilting tips. There are no rules in quilting, these are just the things that work for me and might help you. There are no quilt police, so use them as a guide; no ones watching :) There is no wrong way to do anything......just relax, experiment, learn, create and have fun. }
Once you have prepared your applique pieces, you need to stabilize and secure them to your project. You may choose to stitch them down by hand but I prefer to machine applique; this stitch is a great feature of my Pfaff machine.
As an alternative machine stitch, you could use a small zigzag stitch, to achieve the desired results. Regardless of which stitch you use, the following tips apply:
  • Ensure you have a new sharp embroidery needle, inserted in your machine (60/8, 70/10, 75/11 or 80/12).
  • Choose a light weight cotton thread for your bobbin and I like to use a shiny decorative thread for the needle, with the colour closely matching the piece I'm appliquing.
  • If you are using the zigzag stitch, choose a stitch with a width between 1- 1.5mm wide and .5-1mm long.
  • Set your machine to the "needle down" function, if you have it and begin with the needle down, right next to the edge of the piece you are appliquing.
  • Always work slowly and turn your work as you applique. My machine sews two spacing stitches and then the blanket stitch and I only turn in the spacing stitches (with the needle in the down position).
  • Sometimes its necessary to lift the presser foot, to reposition as you are working so ensure the needle is down to keep stitching even.
  • When working on smaller pieces, make the size of your stitches smaller, to achieve a lovely even finish.
  • Generally it is best to applique before you baste and quilt your project but sometimes on smaller projects, like cushions, I like to applique after quilting. It adds a little extra puffiness to the design and it eliminates the need to echo quilt around the pieces.

Machine applique is fun and easy to do, so have a practice and in no time you will have mastered a new and versatile technique :)

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