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Thread: Fusible applique - how to not fray the ends?

  1. #26
    Super Member jemma's Avatar
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    fine sharps needle --button hole stitch straight stitches on bacground with the zag! stitch on applique---just done 40 6x6+hearts appliqued on and used 2 needles

  2. #27
    Senior Member stitchingmemories's Avatar
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    I'm just teaching myself also and just finished doing the applique on one quilt. Here's what I did and had no problems....(well, except for my ugly stitches)

    I always prewash my fabrics (including the applique fabrics)

    I spray starch the wrong side of the fabrics blend in with my hands then press, flip over (no need to spray again just press) and have no problems with flaking.

    I use double sided Wonder Under, press on the applique fabric, cut, peel off the paper backing and iron on the applique. (The spray starch didn't hurt this process for me at all)

    I use the satin stitch on the applique part.

    Now if I could just do a better job with the look of my stitches.lol I'm working on it!

    I did try the stablizer (copy paper) on a few pieces and really didn't notice a difference. Maybe just try the spray starch and see if it will allow your applique to stick and maybe help stiffen things up enough to sew the applique on. (if you do use the paper as a stablizer with the satin stitch it brakes right off).


    Best wishes for success!

  3. #28
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    I use steam a seam fuse and really like it. Did you fuse the appique to the background fabric, were you using quality fabric? I also don't use a huge needle, a 70 or 80 is about as large as I go, unless I am using a 40 wt. thread, but that is mostly used with a blanket stitch. When I do satin stitch, I only allow the needle on the zag of the stitch to fall off the applique, the rest of the stitch is on the applique fabric. Also consider the size of the applique, if it is large, then use a wider zigzag, I usually use between 2.5 - 3 on my Bernina. I love doing satin stitch applique. Hope this helps your problems.

  4. #29
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    Oh yes, I forgot, I always use some kind of stabilizer of the back of the backgound fabric. That keeps the satin stitch from tunneling or puckering as you are stitching. My favorite is a tear away as it comes off easy after you are done. Don't know why I forgot to mention that with the first post.

  5. #30
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Thank you all for letting me know your methods and you needle size!

    I was planning on fusing on the applique to the borders (just in the borders, center is pieced), quilting the center and then quilting the applique border. So I would have the satin stitch pattern showing up on the back. Is there a reason I wouldn't want to do that? Everyone's talking about stabilizer, and I *think* I wouldn't need stabilizer then, but not sure...

    thanks!

  6. #31
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucyInTheSky
    Thank you all for letting me know your methods and you needle size!

    I was planning on fusing on the applique to the borders (just in the borders, center is pieced), quilting the center and then quilting the applique border. So I would have the satin stitch pattern showing up on the back. Is there a reason I wouldn't want to do that? Everyone's talking about stabilizer, and I *think* I wouldn't need stabilizer then, but not sure...

    thanks!

    When you sew around each of the appliques, you are going to be spinning the quilt around and around. This may not be very easy, depending on the size of your quilt, and the size of your machines throat.

    You may find it easier to stitch around the appliques before you attach the borders.
    Just something to think about :D:D:D

  7. #32
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    Quote Originally Posted by LucyInTheSky
    Thank you all for letting me know your methods and you needle size!

    I was planning on fusing on the applique to the borders (just in the borders, center is pieced), quilting the center and then quilting the applique border. So I would have the satin stitch pattern showing up on the back. Is there a reason I wouldn't want to do that? Everyone's talking about stabilizer, and I *think* I wouldn't need stabilizer then, but not sure...

    thanks!

    When you sew around each of the appliques, you are going to be spinning the quilt around and around. This may not be very easy, depending on the size of your quilt, and the size of your machines throat.

    You may find it easier to stitch around the appliques before you attach the borders.
    Just something to think about :D:D:D
    :shock: :shock: :shock: You're a genius!! And you just saved me a lot of annoyance! Thank you!

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    i thin sharp NEW needle is necessary, also a stablizer will really help keep your project from fraying or puckering while you stitch. you can use a removeable stablizer or one that can stay right in but it really makes a huge difference, especially for applique projects like Mickena Ryan patterns. starch will not help because fusable has trouble sticking to the fabric if it has been starched, it is important to pre-wash and make sure the sizing and any starch is removed from the fabric before attaching the fusable.
    Also - if you prewash do NOT use fabric softener or softener sheets because most fusibles won't bond well with your fabric due to the sofener's residue.

  9. #34
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Not a genius, but when I read this, it helped me from getting into a frustrating situation too :wink:
    I was happy to pass it along :D:D:D

  10. #35
    Super Member applique's Avatar
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    I also trace the pieces onto Wonder Under (it is cheaper than Steam A Seam) then fuse and cut out. I use batiks because the tighter weaves helps prevent fraying. The bulk of the satin stitch is on the applique and I use 30 wt. thread for a bit smoother stitch. The narrower your stitch the more wobbles will show. The tear away stabilizer that I use is the wall liner used before wallpapering uneven surfaces. You can also satin stitch the "inside" of the applique on the stabilizer, tear away the stabilizer and applique the edges to the background with stabilizer behind it. On large pieces I will protect them with freezer paper ironed on until ready to stitch to the background. The eyes below were stitched separately as was the nose before stitching to the face. (Front and back shot of the eyes, stabilizer removed.)
    Attached Images Attached Images



  11. #36
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    Make sure you ironed it onto your base fabric, if you did, there would be no reason for it to be loose and fray. I start machine applique by dropping the needle into the fabric at the outer edge, lower the foot and sew away with the blind stitch or buttonhole stitch. Check on scrap fabric to be sure the next movement of the needle goes into the applique and not into space.
    Carol J.

  12. #37
    MI Applique Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucyInTheSky
    Quote Originally Posted by jayelee
    I was taught to sew with the right side of the stitch just off the edge of the fabric I don't know if that helps but I use heat and bond light and dont have this problem
    Making sure I have this right - the majority of your stitching is on the applique with only a little on the background, correct?
    That's how I do it. I also use spray starch. That helps keep the fraying down.

  13. #38
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucyInTheSky
    I had done some fusible applique in the past. I used Steam-a-seam Lite 2, I believe. When I went to do the stitching on the side, it completely mangled the fabric. I was doing the zigzag stitch, trying to get it halfway on the fabric and halfway on the background. I also tried straight stitching on the inside, but whatever I did, the edge fabric was fraying like crazy and it just looked so unfinished and unpolished. I dislike hand applique since it takes so long but the edges look so beautiful and clean. I was using cotton fabric onto muslin and cotton. Any suggestions for how to make that happier?? Thanks!
    Be sure are you fusing the 'rough' design to the steam a seam, and then cutting it out EXACTLY once the fusible is on the applique piece. It helps get the fusible exactly to the cutting line, rather than cutting the shape of your applique out first and then fusing the steam a seam to it. Try using a tear away stabilizer behind the base fabric. It helps keep everything from scrunching up, and will keep you stitching nicer.

  14. #39
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    You have received great help here from others, already. I use Steam a Seam 2 and a mixture it buttonhole stitch and zizzag depending on the piece and how I want it to look. When using the zigzag - I use a medium tear away stabilizer sold for Machine Embroidery. One other thing that I do - I use the Havel 7 in Serrated Applique scissors - the cut it clean and precise. The edge has no threads hanging out.

  15. #40
    Super Member julybaby8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by applique
    I also trace the pieces onto Wonder Under (it is cheaper than Steam A Seam) then fuse and cut out. I use batiks because the tighter weaves helps prevent fraying. The bulk of the satin stitch is on the applique and I use 30 wt. thread for a bit smoother stitch. The narrower your stitch the more wobbles will show. The tear away stabilizer that I use is the wall liner used before wallpapering uneven surfaces. You can also satin stitch the "inside" of the applique on the stabilizer, tear away the stabilizer and applique the edges to the background with stabilizer behind it. On large pieces I will protect them with freezer paper ironed on until ready to stitch to the background. The eyes below were stitched separately as was the nose before stitching to the face. (Front and back shot of the eyes, stabilizer removed.)
    Love what you are doing. Please post the finished product. :-)

  16. #41
    Super Member dream56's Avatar
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    Applique - your wolf was gorgeous especially when you added the eyes

  17. #42
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    I use light weight fusible interfacing on the back of
    my applique pieces, then trim off excess interfacing before
    sewing it onto my quilt. I don't have to worry about the
    edges fraying out on me. Before I started using this, I had the same problem with fraying edges. Betty Lee

  18. #43
    Super Member cbridges22's Avatar
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    Can someone tell me what stabilizer is,what it does and how to use it?I have never heard of it.Thanks

  19. #44
    Senior Member stitchingmemories's Avatar
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    I use a sheet of copy paper to stabilize my applique piece. Just slide the paper under your fabric,(the applique will be on top of the fabric, so they'll be 3 layers). And stitch through all layers. When you're done the paper will just pull away. This helps move the work around on the machine with very little resistance from moving layers of fabric.

  20. #45
    Senior Member stitchingmemories's Avatar
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    ----Applique---- Only in my dreams could I have applique points so clean and precise! Beautiful work!

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucyInTheSky
    Quote Originally Posted by jayelee
    I was taught to sew with the right side of the stitch just off the edge of the fabric I don't know if that helps but I use heat and bond light and dont have this problem
    Making sure I have this right - the majority of your stitching is on the applique with only a little on the background, correct?
    I'm not sure I understand your question about the stitching, but this is how I do it. I use the blanket stitch, sewing with the straight part of the stitch right next to the applique and the left swing of the needle on the applique. I do a lot of applique and I use Heat 'n Bond light. I use a sharp needle, and I put on a new one for each project. I've never had a problem with fraying, even when I do raw-edged applique where I stitch a straight stitch right on the edge. So far, everything has held together. My guess? It's your needle. Put on a fresh new one each time you do a new applique project. That stuff on the back of the applique can't help but gum things up and dull your needle.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  22. #47
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    If you are appliqueing through a single layer, yes I would use a stabilizer, but if you were going through the batting and batting, probably no. However, I, personally might not use a satin stitch, I might use just a straight stitch about a scant 1/4" from the applique edge or maybe a blanket stitch. I'd have to try it. You also need to consider how big your quilt if and how easy it will move while appliqueing.

  23. #48
    Super Member lizzy's Avatar
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    I fuse the whole piece of cloth that I think I will be using and then cut out the item I will be fusing down. No frayed edges, it is fused all the way. I also save all my little scraps to use in other quilts where I want to fuse something down.

  24. #49
    Junior Member quiltease's Avatar
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    Okay, I know what to do next time, but I really thought I had followed all your guidelines (except starching) but now have a finished quilt with some of the applique edges, especially the smaller ones, or circular ones, fraying and pulling away from the stitching. Other than taking those pieces off, recutting and sewing them back by hand, is there anything I can do to correct the problem? Glue? Fray check? Don't want to ruin the quilt with something that may not work. Thanks all. You always come to the rescue!!!
    bev.

  25. #50

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    I use E. Burns method in her Sunbonnet Sue Book.
    Trace the pattern on the fusible.
    Sew the fusible onto the fabric piece.
    Cut a slit in the fusible, turn, and finger press. Iron in position on your quilt block. Stitch around the applique piece with the buttonhole stitch. Works great and no frayed edges because the edges are in a seam. :thumbup:

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