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Thread: Advice Needed: Machine Appliqued Quilt Top and Hand Quilting in the Ditch?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Fuzzykittenbutt's Avatar
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    Advice Needed: Machine Appliqued Quilt Top and Hand Quilting in the Ditch?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new here, but not soo new to quilting. However, I'm currently working on my very first applique quilt; a baby quilt for a friend of mine. Here's the front so far:
    Name:  2Sheep.jpg
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    I've machine appliqued the animals, tree branch, leaves and apple with a tight zigzag stitch. A perched owl is still missing and some applique on the blue corner blocks as well, but I'm already thinking about how I'm going to quilt this. My backing fabric is this one here.

    My first quilt was a log cabin quilt with hand quilting in the ditch and I really liked how it turned out and was wondering if anyone here has done a modified version of in the ditch quilting with applique. I was thinking that when I hand quilt it I could make sure to come up *under* the machine applique zigzag stitching, so that essentially the outline of the animals, tree branch, leaves and apple would show up only on the back of the quilt. Has anyone done this before? Does it have a name? And what are your experiences with it.

    I also want to do some sort of abstract quilting for the sky background, meadow and borders, but that part should be easy enough.

    So what do you all think? Thanks for your help!!
    Kei

  2. #2
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Oh my, how lovely your quilt is. It is so darn cute. May I ask the name of the pattern? You did such an awesome job on it!! I'm so delighted in looking at it.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
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  3. #3
    Junior Member Alexandra's Avatar
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    Echoing around the tree and animals will make the applique 'pop' so I would definitely do that. I would be careful about quilting through the back and the batting only because it can make them pull away from the front. An echo line of quilting right next to the applique will secure all three layers. Sometimes if an applique is large, people will 'simulate' the hand quilting look on he back and that doesn't go through to the front, but it is only for looks.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Fuzzykittenbutt's Avatar
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    Hi Jeanne,

    I already answered you in a PM, but for everyone else...the design was hand drawn and then blown up in my local copy shop. :-)

    I'm glad you like it!
    ----------------

    Alexandra,

    thanks for your comments and advice. I was intending to go through the appliqued fabric, for example the sheep, but then have the stitching be underneath the zigzag machine stitching. That way all layers would be quilted together, but the stitching on the top of the quilt would be invisible because it's underneath the zigzag...this is only an idea so far, haven't tried it to see if it would actually work!

    You mentioned echoing around the appliqued pieces. Do you mean near the zigzag stitch? And if so, how near do you mean and do you have any examples showing how that turns out? I'm afraid it might look strange due to the machine applique stitching. :-/

    Thanks!
    Kei
    Last edited by Fuzzykittenbutt; 09-15-2012 at 03:21 AM.

  5. #5
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Welcome to the QB. Your quilt is adorable!
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak THINK
    T – is it True? H – is it Helpful? I – is it Inspiring? N – is it Necessary? K – is it Kind?


  6. #6
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    I haven't tried applique yet, so I can't respond to your question... but I couldn't resist writing to say how much I ADORE your quilt! It's so fabulous and textural. The baby will love feeling the fuzzy sheep! It's spectacular.
    Jenel Looney
    Assistant to Susan Mallery
    New York Times bestselling author

  7. #7
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    I have no advice on quilting this, but the quilt is adorable.

    I love your name.

  8. #8
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I'm not a hand quilter, can't give you any advice there, but just wanted to say that your design is adorable, and your fabrics are perfect for it. This is going to be such a wonderful baby gift.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    I would echo quilt by hand (or machine close to the appliqué. It will make it pop wonderfully. For the sky I would use Fmq meandering, it would look cute. The quilt is adorable. Makes me want to have another baby.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Fuzzykittenbutt's Avatar
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    Thanks Jenel, gramajo, dunster and Tashana!

    Most of the fabrics, except for the organic cotton plush (from Westfalenstoffe), organic cotton faux lamb's wool (siebenblau.de) and the basic black for the eyes are all from Spoonflower. (For details see my blog entries on this quilt at kalaischreidoscopeofmymind.blogsport.de ). If you guys haven't heard of it yet, it is more expensive but you can design your own fabrics (for example, I designed the blue sky background for the quilt top) and have access to literally hundreds of thousands of designs from other members and available for printing on all different types of fabrics. I wanted to make the quilt an entirely organic quilt, so Spoonflower opened up a world of fabric possibilities for me!

    Anyway, so far two votes for echo quilting. How close is too close to the applique stitching if I go for that route?
    And *bump*....anyone heard of something like what I described above? A modified in the ditch quilting going through all three layers, but not visible on the top because the stitches are hidden underneath the applique zigzag stitch?

    Thanks!

  11. #11
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    I have done a number of hand appliquéd wall hangings with my longarm. I'm computerized but if you take your time and use a short stitch length you should do fine with a domestic machine. Use a very fine 60 wt thread like Superiors Bottom Line or silk thread. If you match the zig zag thread as closely as possible in color you shouldn't notice the stitch in the ditch. Stitch as closely as possible to the zig zag. I'd try a sample first to see if you like it. I would not echo quilt. Use your creativity and do something grass like in the green, some clouds and something to indicate wind in the sky. Show us pictures of what you decided to do when you are finished.
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  12. #12
    Senior Member Fuzzykittenbutt's Avatar
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    Hi Cheryl,

    thanks for your response! Yeah, the creative quilting part for the background, meadow, tree branch etc will be the relatively easy parts...at least in figuring out what I want to do...probably not the quilting itself, lol! I think when two other members mentioned echo quilting they meant just once, so more what you're talking about, outline quilting. Since my zigzag stitches are different colors according to which piece was appliqued I'd rather not try to match the zigzag thread for each element and end up with different colored quilting stitches on my backing fabric. I'd like to just do a light cream colored thread which should almost disappear (?) on most of my fabrics. That's why I thought of the idea of the top quilting stitch coming up underneath the zigzag. I'm sure someone has tried this before?? I suppose I'll just have to get some batting next tuesday and try it out on some scraps to see if it will work as well as it seems to in my imagination. :-)

    Thanks and yes, I'll definitely post how it turns out!

  13. #13
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    I hand quilt and machine quilt. I get what your saying about the motified hand stitch under the zigzag, let me know how that turns out that would have to be a done with a really small needle depending on your stitch length of your other handquilting. It's an adorable quilt and btw I see your in Germany as well!!
    *Rachel*

  14. #14
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    FuzzyKitten .... I would suggest that your initial outline around the animals use invisible thread. I use YLI Poly quite often to quilt where I need it stitched, but don't want to see the stitching. You can stitch just outside of the satin stitch you used to applique the items down. They sell the invisible thread in two colors - clear or smoke. Sometimes the smoke color is the best so you might want to purchase a spool of each and try them out to see which you like.

    Poly thread is very thin, I usually use a 60wt thread in the bobbin when I sew with Poly. Use a small eye, sharp needle - one you would use for silk. You may need to play with your tension. I strongly suggest making a small practice quilt sandwich to play around with to make sure that thread, needle and tension are all playing nice with each other.

    After that you can echo quilt with whatever thread you want to use.

    I love that quilt by the way!! Adorable!!
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  15. #15
    Super Member piepatch's Avatar
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    I can't offer advice on the quilting, but your quilt is absolutely precious!

  16. #16
    Senior Member Fuzzykittenbutt's Avatar
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    Hey everyone,

    thanks again for your help with this quilt. Here it is finished, for anyone interested in how it turned out!

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