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Thread: When to Outline Dimensional Appliques

  1. #1
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    When to Outline Dimensional Appliques

    I have heard advice on both sides of the aisle, so I guess I'm wondering if there is some kind of functional aspect to outlining appliques (since they puff out, have rick-rack, have iron-on buttons, etc, I cannot quilt over or on top of the applique work) or is it purely aesthetic?
    Note: I will have to leave a 1/8" space around the applique to accommodate ruffles & rick-rack, so this would not be a stitch-in-the-ditch style outline, but rather, more like a single row of an echo-style outline.

    Also, I have heard conflicting opinions about when to outline them (if there is a functional benefit to me doing so). Some say the quilt will get puckers in it if you outline them all before you begin filling around them, so you should outline them as you arrive at each applique. Others say that won't happen, and that you won't have as many threads to bury if you outline & fill at the same time. Still others say it doesn't matter at all & it's just a matter of "how your brain works". Anyone know what the pros-and-cons are to when to echo-outline an applique? (I have 9 large applique pieces)

    Thanks a bunch for an experiences you all can share!!!!!

  2. #2
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I would help to see the quilt top. In general, it is best to do some allover stabilizing before doing close quilting, because the close quilting will cause the quilt to draw up and then it will be hard to keep it square and avoid puckers. This is why quilters sometimes stitch in the ditches around all the blocks before starting the more detailed quilting. As for outlining the applique, I think that is a design choice. It's usually done to make the applique "pop". But if the applique pieces are really large it might be advisable to do some quilting inside them somehow. Buttons and other embellishments are usually added after the quilting is complete so that they don't interfere with quilting.

  3. #3
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    Name:  AubreyQuiltCompressed.jpg
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    There were too many ruffles, gathers, rick-rack, iron-on buttons, yo-yo's, pockets, etc., to be able to secure them enough to use as a child's bed quilt had I waited to attach them until after quilting. The size of the applique should be okay. None of them extend beyond the 10" limit of my batting in length & are quite a bit narrower in some parts. If I can get the rest of it quilted, I can always see about going back and adding some small, dense stitching maybe in some of the skirts and such. I will still be adding more stuff after the quilting -- flower yo-yo's in each of the black squares & the girl's name in Trapunto-style applique letters will go on the top border of the quilt.

    Thanks for the explanation about reinforcing the blocks.
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  4. #4
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    It's a nice quilt.... like it a lot. As for the quilting, if I were doing it, I would SITD the sashing and perhaps echo quilt around the clothing. There might be some lines in the clothing where stitching would be appropriate, but not the ric-rac or ruffles.
    --- Jean

    I'd rather spend money on my quilting hobby than the therapist.... I'm probably $$$ ahead.... and I'm happy!!

  5. #5
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    Thanks, Jean.
    Yeah. I'm staying away from the ruffles & ric-rack. I ended up hand gathering the ruffles because my little Singer Genie just couldn't handle them. And the ric-rack was unbearably aggravating. I will NEVER do a project with 1/4" ric-rack EVER again. lol.

    I was planning on doing SITD for the outer border. I think I maybe do need to start with something in the middle, though. My machine is giving me beaucoup problems right now. Probably needs to be brought to the service center because I have tried every possible self-fix to no avail. I was hoping to be done with this quilt a week ago & here I am with the stitches pulled out for the 3rd time, starting the quilting from scratch!!! ... so, I really, really appreciate the ideas!
    Last edited by Bree123; 07-19-2014 at 08:46 PM. Reason: spelling

  6. #6
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    Yea! I finally got something to work! So happy. Thanks so much to you both!!!! I started my SITD in the middle of the quilt (roughly) and worked out from there. I'm planning to FMQ it in stippling working in rows within each quadrant, so I think this should continue to work okay. So excited to finally get to FMQ my first real quilt.

  7. #7
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    Don't know answer to your question, but really, really like the quilt.

  8. #8
    Super Member ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I would just SITD in the sashing and outline the dresses. Depending on the size of the dress, I would just do a few stitches thru the dresses in easy places just to make sure the batting stays in place. Sorry you are having problems with rick rack. I use it all the time in quilts and never had a problem with it.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  9. #9
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    MQ2,
    I have used rick-rack plenty of times, but never the baby rick-rack before. Usually a size 14/90 needle works fine for me when sewing rick-rack, but not with the baby rick-rack. My needles kept bending to the point they'd hit the plate. The thread was snapping. It was as if the timing belt was broken, except that my machine sews everything else just fine. Was thinking about using a size 16 denim needle if I ever have to do it again... especially for the folded over ends. Is that what you use for the 1/4" rick-rack? I've also just recently seen some videos about using lifts for the presser foot when going over heavy fabric. Do you use one of those (homemade or bought)?

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