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Thread: What Is The Best Way To Sew An Applique Onto A Quilt (Not A Quilt Top)

  1. #1
    Super Member Ps 150's Avatar
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    I just got done quilting my daughter's birthday quilt. Since it's a surprise, I've been working on it late at night, after she's gone to bed. On on of the last blocks I noticed that the seam was loose. When I went to SID around that seam, it came loose. I've applied a dab of fabric glue beneath the seam and whip stitched it in place but I'm not liking how it looks.

    She loves butterflies so I'm going to add a few appliqued butterflies around the quilt, randomly, and one of them is going to cover that spot. Any suggestions on the best way to applique those butterflies in place? My DH and I agree it will look nice and my mind is made up to using the butterflies, I just need to know the best way to applique them onto a quilt that's already been quilted. I've appliqued in the past but it was on a quilt top or a foundation piece. With smaller pieces, I normally use fusible webbing but I don't want to use heat at all since I used a cotton-poly batting. Would it be better to use satin stitching, blanket stitching with a hand stitch or a stitch around the very edge of a folded under piece?

  2. #2
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    I don't know how intricate your butterflies are but if they were just simple shapes, I think I would use a used dryer sheet or something similar and stitch the outline of the butterfly. I would clip the curves and make a slit in the fabric softener sheet and turn the butterfly right side out. I would press it with the iron until I got it the way I wanted and hand applique it one. I'm sure you'll get lots of suggestions. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I would shy away from satin stitching, you may not like the way it looks on the back of the quilt. And you will have a lot of quilt wrestling to do as you turn the quilt round and round sewing the edges :D:D:D

    Depending on how you have quilted it, machine stitching the appliques down may add to and be complimentary to the previous quilting. Depending on the backing and color of thread used, it may not show much at all either :D again though, it means spinning the quilt around to sew them down.

    Leaving the edges unfinished, the raggy look is very popular with some, you would only need to straight stitch inside of the appliques edges.

    Turning the pieces under and handstitching would give the most finished of looks. The stitches wouldn't show on the back of the quilt. There are many ways of accomplishing this look.

  4. #4
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    Use a very sharp needle and thimble and just sew it to the top of the fabric by hand. I've done this numerous times instead of patching quilts. Looks great and adds new interest. I personally would not use machine stitching to add an applique after the fact. You won't be happy with the results. And no, I would also not use a fusible. I just do needle turn and it comes out great.

    Stephanie

  5. #5
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmCatOwned
    Use a very sharp needle and thimble and just sew it to the top of the fabric by hand.
    I'd use blanket stitch or whip stitch for a rustic look. A hem stitch (invisible) looks also looks more finished/formal.

  6. #6
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    I would shy away from satin stitching, you may not like the way it looks on the back of the quilt. And you will have a lot of quilt wrestling to do as you turn the quilt round and round sewing the edges :D:D:D

    Depending on how you have quilted it, machine stitching the appliques down may add to and be complimentary to the previous quilting. Depending on the backing and color of thread used, it may not show much at all either :D again though, it means spinning the quilt around to sew them down.
    If you are comfortable with FMQ, you could quilt around the shape on the inside the edge of the butterfly. no quilt spinning required! :) To finish the edges, you could try some stabilizer and finish off the edges before attaching to the quilt this way. I'd try it on a sample first to see if you like the results. You can use Elmers glue to hold it where you want before stitching down.

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