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Thread: question--machine applique

  1. #1
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    question--machine applique

    I am making the "Cats Stairway to Heaven" quilt. The top is done with the exception of appliquing the cats and moon. I have never done machine applique, so need some pointers from you who do. Do I need a stabelizer? and what kind? I have some light weigh fusiable web. Should I use that on the back of the whole cat, or just around the edges? I feel so dumb! I have been quilting for years, and have done a fair amount of hand applique, but I'm in a time crunch, so thought I'd give the machine a try. Probably a bad idea with out expermenting on scraps first. Any way, would appreciate any tips you all would like to throw at me. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    use light weight fusible interfacing (heat N bond lite is a good one- so is steam a seam lite & wonder under) as for the *windowing* that is your choice- you can draw your applique shapes onto the paper side of the fusible, then press to the wrong side of the fabric- cut out on the lines, fuse into place then stitch down...I use a machine blanket stitch, some people use a small zigzag- and some satin stitch...fold a piece of scrap fabric & try out different stitches & adjust size until you are happy with the stitch. it is more work to *window the fusible since you have to draw the shape, rough cut on the outside- cut on the inside of the shape a 1/4"-1/2" , then fuse into place & cut out the shape- since the fusible washes away when the quilt is laundered I never worry about it & spend the time on the extra steps- but it is a personal choice- again- do a little practice piece with both ways- & do it the way you like.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  3. #3
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    There are a lot of different ways to do machine applique. My preference is for freezer paper applique, which has a turned edge (no fusible used).

    Usually when you use a fusible you fuse the double-sided fusible to the fabric, cut out your cat, then fuse the cat to your background. Instructions come with the fusible package. You finish the edges with a decorative machine stitch of some kind. You *do* need to be careful to get the kind of fusible that can be sewn through; some cannot.

    Most fusibles make the applique fairly stiff. To eliminate a lot of the stiffness, you can draw your cat pattern on the fusible (on the paper backing that the fusible comes with), use your scissors to cut out about 1/4" *inside* your drawing (you are cutting out the center portion of the applique), fuse the piece to your fabric, cut out your cat pattern, and now the cat has just a 1/4" of fusible all around the edge with the center just fabric.

    Steam-a-Seam Lite is widely available and a good choice if you are going to machine stitch the edges. If you are not going to add a stitched edge, regular Steam-a-Seam is a more permanent fusible (that cannot be sewn through).

    Edit: If you are machine stitching the applique edges, you *do* need to stabilize the background fabric. (You will be unhappy if you don't.) Most people use a tear-away or other type of stabilizer. I prefer to heavily starch the background fabric, preferably before cutting into squares. (Ideally you also want to cut the background squares an inch larger than necessary, add your applique, then trim the finished square to size.) I use a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo liquid laundry starch and water for this, saturate the fabric with it using a large wall painting brush, toss in dryer, and iron with steam. Just spray starching will not stabilize the background fabric sufficiently for applique.
    Last edited by Prism99; 06-18-2013 at 12:41 PM.

  4. #4
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    I really like SAS lite. If you happen to have a hard time finding it, it is because it is temporarily out of production. I talked to the warm Company when I couldnt find it anywhere. I was told that the company that makes their paper went out of business. They have recently found another manufacturer and should be back in production in a couple of months. Actually they told me this about a month ago.n if you locate some, buy it! I prefer the cut sheets vs. by the yard.

  5. #5
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    Did you love using Steam-a-Seam 2? Warm Company will be releasing the New & Improved Steam-a-Seam product line - same great product with new release paper. Like the Warm Company on Facebook and complete the entry form to win a 12", 18" or 24" by 25 yd bolt of New Lite Steam-A-Seam 2! It's the Steam-A-Seam Give-A-Way contest!

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