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Thread: Do you use a stabilizer when doing machine applique?

  1. #1
    bearpaw's Avatar
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    I'm planning my next project and am going to attemp to do machine applique for the first time. Is it necessary to use tear away stabilizer? If you don't, does the background fabric get all bunchy?

  2. #2
    Izy
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    Super Member Izy's Avatar
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    Not if you fuse the applique in place, its very simple, use an open toe foot so you can see clearly where you are going, its great to do Bearpaw!! :D

  3. #3
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I have learned the hard way to use some kind of stabilizer even if it is only tissue paper. You will be much happier with the finished product. If you are using a satin stitch on your applique it is essential unless the background fabric is very heavy. One method that solves two problems is to applique your project with the batting already on it. This works well for small projects. THe batting provides stability and the applique stitches do some of the quilting also. You can then put the backing on it later and do only a minimum amount of additional quilting.

    Good luck

  4. #4

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    actually for me bearpaw is yes...I have fabric get bunched up around an applique. If it is a smaller applique...it seems to be worse. I would imagine it is the small turn around on it:))I use the tear away and when you are done...it is flat as can be an no puckers anywhere. If I am doing wonder under and the appliq. is larger then say, my hand...I go w/it as is:))Hope that helps..SKeat

  5. #5
    mgshaw's Avatar
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    I always use a stabalizer but I just use plain ole paper! Some one on here said they iron freezer paper to the back, I havent tried that yet but sounds like a good idea!

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    Paper???Boy do I learn something new everyday!! I will defin. have to try that!! Thanks for the tip!:0)Skeat

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by mgshaw
    I always use a stabalizer but I just use plain ole paper! Some one on here said they iron freezer paper to the back, I havent tried that yet but sounds like a good idea!
    I have a friend who does tons of applique and she always uses freezer paper as a stabilizer. I've seen her work and it's amazing so the freezer paper must work.

  8. #8
    Super Member gcathie's Avatar
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    I just took a class a couple weeks ago and was told to us the tear away stabilizer not freezer paper or plain paper because it didn't afect the sewing seams as bad...course they might of wanted to sell the tear away....don't know but not taking the chance.....I was told to use a 60 wt. thread in the bobbin....hope this helps :shock: :roll: :D :wink: :?

  9. #9
    bearpaw's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, looks like I'll be using a stabilizer. Maybe I'll try the freezer paper, since I have some laying around.

    Another question, have you ever used the invisible thread? On one of the quilting shows they used it in the bobbin as well. Just wondering how this works.

  10. #10
    mamatobugboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearpaw
    Thanks guys, looks like I'll be using a stabilizer. Maybe I'll try the freezer paper, since I have some laying around.

    Another question, have you ever used the invisible thread? On one of the quilting shows they used it in the bobbin as well. Just wondering how this works.
    the few times I have done machine applique (not raw edge) I have used a stabilizer - once I used invisible thread and i found I definitely needed the stabilizer then because of the weight of the thread, way too easy to bunch of the fabric and leave it all puckered unless you use a thicker stabilizer!

  11. #11
    Senior Member QuiltinLee's Avatar
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    I've done quite a bit of machine appliqué. I use the 2-sided bond that you iron on. You draw your pattern on the paper side, do a rough cut, iron it to your material, cut the pattern out and then iron it in place on your block. That way you can iron several layer in place at the same time and you never have to worry about slippage.

    Which works well in my little world!! :D :D

  12. #12
    Junior Member jan22's Avatar
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    Your question brings to mind another question. I'm starting a project that has a piece appliqued to each block center, I want to avoid the stiffness I get with wonder under or other fusibles, has anyone used the spray to fuse and does it work as well or is that stiff too??

  13. #13
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    I have used tissue paper even when using iron on stabilizer if I am going to be doing blanket stitch or satin stitch. No matter how loose the tension, those stitches tend to pucker my background fabric unless I use something under it.

  14. #14
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    It depends on the stitch you are using, too. For satin stitches, I always use a good sturdy tearaway. With a blanket type stitch, you can get away with a lighter interfacing. Any time I use embroidery stitches, I like to have interfacing behind them.

  15. #15
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I press a few coffee filters flat and use them. They work great and tear off. It's not like reg paper because of the fiber :D

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    Ruth, that is a another smart idea!!:))Thanks for that tidbit too:))Skeat

  17. #17
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    I've used invisible thread in both the top and bobbin without any problems. With the machine that is. The problem is with the eyes, after all, it is invisible.

  18. #18
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    After a horrible experience not using stabilizer on a project I learned my lesson and use it every time.

  19. #19
    Junior Member BarbS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knot Sew
    I press a few coffee filters flat and use them. They work great and tear off. It's not like reg paper because of the fiber :D

    Just doing some practicing on satin stitching before I attempt it on my table runner and I tried the coffee filter........what a great idea......thanks so much for sharing!!
    Barb

  20. #20
    Senior Member redpurselady's Avatar
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    I am new to machine applique and this may sound like a stupid question. How do you attach the coffee filter/tissue paper as a stabilizer to the background fabric? I am using Wonder Under for my applique pieces and plan to use a satin or dense zig zag stitch.

  21. #21
    Junior Member BarbS's Avatar
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    I just pinned the filter behind my background fabric, stitched the applique then tore off the excess filter paper.....worked great!

    Barb

  22. #22
    mlaceruby's Avatar
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    If need a stabilizer for applique I use coffee filters!
    they are cheap and tear away easily!
    used them for machine embroidery too!
    just iron them flat.

    reminds me of a funny story:
    friend was helping me get some embroidered quilt blocks finished and she was ironing a whole pack of coffee filters
    a homeowner came in to talk to my hubby about his new addition and his wife kept looking at us funny but didn't say anything!
    we didn't think much about it until the next day when my husband said she just had to ask,had been wondering all night, why were we ironing the coffee filters?

  23. #23
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    There was a long discussion about this a couple of months ago. I use the dryer sheets after they have gone through a load. They are a little stronger than other stuff, but no cost, and work fine. Some people were concerned about spots from the fabric softener, but I have never had that happen, and if you are washing the quilt, any possible residue will be gone. If you trim the fusible web away from the middle of your shape before pressing the rough cut shape to your fabric, you won't have the stiffness mentioned before.

  24. #24
    Super Member KathyAire's Avatar
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    I do raw edge applique. I fuse the pattern with Wonder Under and I use freezer paper on the back. One thing I learned about it is if I applique with a tight zig zag stitch, the freezer paper tears aways from the back easily. If I use an applique or satin stitch, I have to be very careful or some stitches will pull loose when tearing the paper away.

  25. #25
    Senior Member redpurselady's Avatar
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    I love this forum - such a wealth of knowledge and so many fellow quilters willing to share and help.

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