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

  1. #1
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    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!

  2. #2
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Oh, and the way I was doing it was to use the double sided fusible, attach it to the applique piece, cut, place onto the background, iron.

    NOT like how they do here: http://www.mccallsquilting.com/artic...achine_Fusible where they sew the fusible to the applique first. Is there a better tute for that method? I can't see the pictures :( And can I still use the steam-a-seam 2 Lite for this method?

  3. #3
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    I used heat and bond to the back of the fabric fist and then attach it to the background , no problems

  4. #4
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    are you using a fresh sharp needle? What size?

  5. #5
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharon b
    I used heat and bond to the back of the fabric fist and then attach it to the background , no problems
    Do you mean no problems when you're stitching it down later? Just want to make sure :)

  6. #6
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebraK
    are you using a fresh sharp needle? What size?
    Noooo idea (it was a few months ago that I had the applique problems. Not I'm back trying to applique a quilt and figure out what I did wrong, after I forgot most of it :D). Most likely not a fresh needle, and no idea what size

  7. #7
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    No problems stitching it down or fraying fabrics :thumbup:

  8. #8
    Super Member jayelee's Avatar
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    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

  9. #9
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I use steam-a-seam, but I set the blanket stitch so it edges the outline. For me the center placement of fancy stitches just does not work.

  10. #10
    Super Member Ditter43's Avatar
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    This may be another place where good old spray starch would help! :-D :idea:

  11. #11
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    I uses "Steam n' Seam 2 on many quilts with no problem. All I can think is maybe your needle is dull or gummed up. Also, when going around curves, use needle down & lift presser foot to make small turns frequently - even if you have only gone 1 or 2 stitches.

  12. #12
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Thank you all. Another question: What size needle should I use?

  13. #13
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    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?

  14. #14
    Super Member candi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebraK
    are you using a fresh sharp needle? What size?
    I am curious, what size needle should one use for fusible applique?

  15. #15
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucyInTheSky
    Making sure I have this right - the majority of your stitching is on the applique with only a little on the background, correct?
    Yes, the needle enters the background fabric JUST OFF the applique and moves into the applique. I prefer blanket - or buttonhole stitch to do mine. The sideways part of the stitch covers the raw edge and I have never had any trouble.

    Another great stitch is the satin stitch (a very tight zig-zag) - it does use a bit of thread but all of the seam is covered.

    I would recommend that you add a stabilizer under the piece though or you may have puckers or drawn in look.

  16. #16
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    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.

  17. #17
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    Don't you need a stabalizer for that also?

  18. #18
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    The straight stitches should be in the background fabric, and the "zigs" to the side should be in the applique.

    The lighter adhesives are nice as they dont make the fabrics feel as stiff, but you also may have more fraying happening.

    I wouldn't starch fabrics when using applique, the starch can prevent the adhesives from adhering well.

  19. #19
    Senior Member freezeframe03's Avatar
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    I love doing applique. I always use wonder under, but any two sided fusible will work. It sounds like your problem is the need for a stabilizer under your project. I just use copy paper. The satin stitch makes it really easy to remove the excess paper afterwards. A used needle will still stitch your applique but you will get skipped stitches. The bunching is because you aren't using a stabilizer.

  20. #20
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    When I've machine appliqued, use the lightest possible fusible (as it'll stiffen your quilt in those areas). I probably do my prep for my material differently than most. I actually cut out all my applique pieces then place them on the fusible and put my teflon sheet on top and iron all at once, then cut out the pieces individually and haven't had a problem with fraying. I don't feel its necessary to use a stabilizer.

    I also use a satin stitch. Practice with this, you don't want it too tight of stitch or it'll pucker the fabric and the width is actually a preference. I don't do my stitches very wide I go for a more thin just edging.

    I make a sandwich and start adjusting my stitches every 1- 1.5" for the width and then do the same for the length of stitch to come up with the combo that I like.

    Good Luck!!

  21. #21
    Super Member jayelee's Avatar
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    yes all but the edge of the stitch is on the piece just a small bite into the background

  22. #22
    Super Member dungeonquilter's Avatar
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    I use a stabilizer under the background when I machine applique. Sometimes all I have is a piece of paper, but that works almost as good as the tear away stuff. Your needle might not be sharp enough. I use Superior's Titanium Coated needles in a Topstitch 80/12 or 90/14 size.

  23. #23
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I would use as fine of a needle as I could get away with. When I use invisible thread I use a 60/8 and it really helps with the edge frays.

  24. #24
    Super Member scowlkat's Avatar
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    You can always use a one sided sew in fusible where you sew the non-fusible side to the right size of the fabric, make a small slit in the fusible and turn it right side out. After you smooth the seams out, you can then fuse the applique down and use a zig zag stitch. I prefer using a satin stitch because I really dislike the raw edge unless it is in a wall quilt that won't be washed very often.

  25. #25
    pookie ookie's Avatar
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    I use the double sided Wonder Under. No problems. I don't stitch very far into the background. Maybe that's the difference.

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