Hey Everyone, welcome back to Technique Tuesday.
As I have sat here today at the sewing machine stitching down appliqué on a jumbo stocking I thought I don’t think I have done a blog post about this and so here it is.
There are a few different stitches that can be used to stitch appliqué in place. These stitches are typically used for raw edge appliqué using a fusible web to adhere the pieces to the fabric such as Steam-A-Seam, Heat’nBond, Wonder Under or InnFuse to name a few.
The main thing about most of the stitches used to secure raw edge appliqué is that it needs to cover the edge of the appliqué piece and then take a bite into the piece to hold it in place.
The project that I am doing may determine the stitch that I use. When I am creating my Santa Sacs and Jumbo Stockings I use blanket stitch. Blanket stitch can be done on the machine or by hand. I use the machine as my hand blanket stitch just doesn’t look very good at all. Plus the machine is a whole lot faster. Here are a couple of examples of blanket stitch.
On the cat which is a block from my Animal Party Quilt.
On the crab which is a block from my Ocean Party quilt.
A close up of the star from one of my Santa Sacs.
I do tend to use black thread to outline a lot of my appliqué for a couple of reasons. One because I like the look it gives and two because I don’t have to keep changing thread. The thread can be the same colour as the appliqué or it can contrast with the appliqué all depending on the look that wants to be achieved and how much the stitching needs to blend in or stand out.
For some projects I use a satin stitch which is a really, really close zigzag stitch. The width of the stitch can be varied depending on the size of the appliqué pieces. I used this stitch to stitch around the trees on my original Seasons Greetings quilt.
Blind Hem Stitch
If you do not have blanket stitch on your sewing machine then a blind hem stitch can be used in its place. The blind hem stitch can be adjusted and is a bit trickier to get the corners just right but it will work with practice.
Another stitch that can be used instead of the blanket stitch or blind hem stitch is a plain or varied zigzag. It doesn’t have to be a tight stitch and both the width and length can be varied to your liking and to suit the piece.
Finally just a straight stitch very close to the edge can be used to secure the pieces to the background. This is how I have secured these flower petals. This stitch I find looks best when the thread colour matches the fabric very closely.
Free Motion Zigzag
My favourite stitch that I use is the free motion zigzag stitch which is done using the free motion foot with feed dogs down and the machine set to the zigzag stitch. It is a lot of fun and is the stitch I used to go around the petals on my Bargello Sunflower and Bargello Dahlia.
These are just a few of the stitches that can be used and some of the decorative stitches may work to do the job as well. Machine appliqué does take practice but once mastered it is a lot of fun.
In the next weeks to come or in the New Year I am hoping to highlight each of these stitches and show how to use them with the appliqué pieces and provide some tips and tricks along the way.