Blossom Heart Quilts Has been practising applique and experimenting with different ways to stitch the shapes down, from, needle turn to raw edge to blanket stitch.



Five Tips for getting the best machine applique results

Posted by Alyce Blyth
Over the past few months, I’ve enjoyed practicing applique and experimenting with different ways to stitch the shapes down, from needle turn to raw edge to blanket stitch – it depends on what project you’re working on as to what method is best.
I recently had the chance to try out some of the new Quick Cut Kits by Jemima Flendt from Tied With A Ribbon. These are pre-fused and cut applique kits, which makes the gorgeous patterns much quicker and accurate to sew up! For the Unicorn Dreams pillow set, I decided that blanket stitch was the appropriate choice, and so I pulled out my iron, popped on the applique foot on my Pfaff Passport, dialled in stitch 27, and got to work.
Note: stitch 27 and stitch 28 are the same stitch in the end, it’s just which side the needle works on – I prefer to work with the applique shape on the left of the needle and foot, so I selected stitch 27.
I have four tips for machine applique to help get the best result you can.

Choose colour-coordinated thread.

Here is where having a stash of thread in a variety of colours, just like our fabric stash, comes in super handy! I don’t worry about what weight or thickness the thread is; for me it is more important to have the right colour than worrying about whether one colour of thread is thicker than the other.

Straight stitch backstitch.

When it comes to locking my stitches in place, I switch to straight stitch (stitch 00) to do a couple of backstitches to lock it all in place at the beginning and end of each sewing line.

Stitch slowly.

Move the speed control down low and take it slowly. When it comes to successful machine applique, slow and steady really does win. Doing so helps you to keep that needle along the edge of the fabric more smoothly.

Lift the machine foot.

If you are appliqueing curvy shapes, like a cloud or a flower, don’t be afraid to pause with the needle down and lift the presser foot to readjust the direction of the fabric a little. When you reach a corner, I try and time the stitches so that I can make one “inner” stitch at the corner, before pivoting the fabric to make the next straight “outer” stitch along the next side.

Have grace for yourself.

Got the occasional wonky stitch, or the stitch line is wavering from the fabric edge in a little section? Leave it! These things happen, and as long as it doesn’t threaten the integrity of the piece, or can’t be seen from taking a step back, it’s ok. Because a finished product is better than an unfinished one left to languish at the bottom of the cupboard.
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