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Thread: first attempt at machine applique

  1. #1
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    Whew! This was so much harder than I thought it would be. I would love any suggestions from more experienced quilters. I used a zig zag stitch and couldn't figure out just how long or wide the stitches should be. Things puckered and shifted a little bit, and I had trouble "steering" the needle. Any words of advice? Thanks
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  2. #2
    Super Member rootyr's Avatar
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    Ah!

  3. #3
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    Also, santa kind of lost his definition. can't really tell what that blob is. :?

  4. #4
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Did you put a stabilizer under the stitching? It helps keep the fabric from stretching and puckering.

  5. #5
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    I have a couple of suggestions for you...

    1. Use some very light stabilizer behind the area you are applique-ing. It helps.

    2. Turn your tension down a little bit.

    3. Make your zig-zag a little bit longer than you would think. Not too long, not too short.

    4. Sew slowly until you really get the hang of it. My first machine applique project was amazingly slow...it took me over 1 hour to sew down the first piece. By the time I finished I was down to about 10 minutes per piece. I'm faster than that now, but it takes a lot of practice to really get a rhythm down, and it depends on how detailed the edge of your pieces are.

    Keep at it...you are doing good for a beginner!!

  6. #6
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Smaller pieces that stick out like in Santa, need a much narrower stitch.

    You may want to use a stabilizer behind the fabric to reduce the puckering.

    Stop with your needle down, and in the background fabric, lift your presser foot, readjust the fabric, lower the foot, and start sewing again. You will need to do this, instead of trying to "drive" the fabric under the presser foot. It will cause puckers and distort your applique if you don't. You may need to do this every few stitches, but it is still faster than hand sewing :wink:

  7. #7
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    I didn't use stabilizer...what is that? Do you put it under the appliqued piece or the backing? I also had difficulty getting narrow pieces to stay put, as the needle would push it to the side. Pins didn't quite keep things still.

  8. #8
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    amma, when you say narrower stitch, would I shorten the stitch length or the stitch width? I get confused about that with zig zag. Thanks so much for your help!

  9. #9
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Very cute!

  10. #10
    Senior Member GwenH's Avatar
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    You would put it under the backing, sometimes if I am just making a small wallhanging I put batting under my backing piece and then do the applique, then you'd just have to put your quilt back on and do an outline stitch around the piece or even just around the borders. That being said your piece is really cute, and you will get better with practice. Have fun... I love doing applique.
    I know there are other stabalizers on the market but this is the one I use, you can get more information on stabalizer at http://www.sulky.com/stabilizers/tear.php


    Quote Originally Posted by dgreen
    I didn't use stabilizer...what is that? Do you put it under the appliqued piece or the backing? I also had difficulty getting narrow pieces to stay put, as the needle would push it to the side. Pins didn't quite keep things still.

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