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Thread: Hand Applique or Machine

  1. #1
    Super Member bailey's Avatar
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    Sorry to ask a question that I am sure must have been asked before. Which method of applique do you feel stands up best on a quilt that will be used and washed often? Wondering what the pros and cons are for either method.

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I machine applique only...the stitching will stand up to many, many, many washings :D:D:D

    Machine appliqued hearts
    Name:  Attachment-44857.jpe
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  3. #3
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I like machine applique best. It's just a personal opinion.

  4. #4
    Super Member bailey's Avatar
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    Thanks ladies. If you machine applique your quilts do you use fusible interfacing to apply your pieces and if you do does it stiffen your quilt too much. I am just thinking if you are doing a fair amount of applique on the quilt does it still drape nicely?
    amma I love your flower! You are not using a satin stitch - so I was just worried that the raw edge would fray?

  5. #5
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
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    Machine applique is one of my most favorite things to do, so I would choose that over hand applique any day!

    I do use Wonder Under, which is light enough that the quilt still drapes nicely. You really need some kind of paper backed fusible web to press it onto your project before satin stitiching it down. You also need some type of stabilizer on the back to keep the front from puckering. Machine applique will hold up well in the wash.

    Amma, your pattern and applique are beautiful!

  6. #6
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bailey
    Thanks ladies. If you machine applique your quilts do you use fusible interfacing to apply your pieces and if you do does it stiffen your quilt too much. I am just thinking if you are doing a fair amount of applique on the quilt does it still drape nicely?
    amma I love your flower! You are not using a satin stitch - so I was just worried that the raw edge would fray?
    I prefer machine applique, but I usually use the Harriet Hargrave method of invisible machine applique that uses freezer paper and turned edges. There is no fusible involved.

    What I found personally is that satin stitching takes considerable time, especially for small shapes that require frequent adjustment of the fabric and needle.

    For me, it is at least as fast to use freezer paper and do invisible turned edge machine applique. Instead of the glue stick that most people use, I found it is much faster to smear paper paste (the kind from kindergarten that smells like peppermint) on the edges with my finger. To remove the freezer paper, I cut out the background fabric from behind the appliques; the freezer paper makes it pretty easy to do this, as it protects the applique fabric from the point of my scissors. I usually just pinch a piece of the background fabric and cut a hole, then cut all around the shape. Once everything is cut out, I spray all the applique edges with water until they are saturated, let everything sit for 10 minutes or so, then remove the freezer paper. By that time the paste has softened and it's very easy to do.

    I do occasionally use fusible. My favorite so far has been Steam-a-Seam. I don't know if they still make the one-sided version; for me, this was softer than the more common two-sided version of SAS. They now have a lighter weight SAS that may also be quite soft. I was not happy with the stiffness of Wonder-Under and other fusibles I tried. I found that the SAS -- both the one-sided and two-sided -- frayed less than others too.

    If you want to do fusible applique, I recommend picking up 3 or 4 different brands and making sample blocks to run through the washing machine and dryer with your regular loads. You will find out that way whether any stiffness or fraying problems are going to put you off.

    I prefer satin stitch if I am using a fusible. That way I'm sure fraying will not be a problem with repeated washings. The next time I use a fusible, I want to try the new one that is out -- MistyFuse. It is supposed to be really soft and lightweight. It's relatively expensive, though, and I don't know how the edges hold up; I would think it is best to satin stitch it.

    (Sorry this post got so rambly. I should edit it, but don't have time.)

  7. #7
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
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    I'll have to look for MistyFuse to try.

    Yes, satin stitching does take a lot of time and it uses a lot of thread, but it's so pretty! :D

  8. #8
    Super Member bailey's Avatar
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    Thank you all very much. Now on the other side of the coin for those who do hand applique - do you find your stitching holds up to lots of washings?

    Thanks - and I won't ask any more questions for awhile.

  9. #9
    Super Member karielt's Avatar
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    I like lite Seam a Steam to apply it and I do both machine and hand. Hand stands up and is a heavier stitch because you are using two strands. Machine is also nice and I also try machine silk stitching with a lot of my baby quilts. They get washed a lot.

  10. #10
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    I have always done hand applique, I love doing it and I love how the invisible stitches look. I am not proficient at machine applique, though I have tried it recently. I would like to get better at machine applique for just the reason you are talking about. I would not want to wash hand applique a lot, I don't think it would survive well. I have an old Bernina, and it doesn't have a blanket stitch, so if I applique on it I have to use either zig-zag, or a blind hem stitch, neither of which are as nice as the blanket stitch.

  11. #11
    Super Member bailey's Avatar
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    Thank you all so much. I still don't know for sure what I will do but am thinking machine applique will be much faster for me (done lots of that) and will probably stand up to washings better too. I was just concerned about the quilt being stiff but will check out the light steam a seam and see how I like that. Learning so much since I have been reading this board but with each new thing I learn comes more questions. LOL

    Thanks again,
    Bailey

  12. #12
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    I have not washed any applique pieces but I only do hand applique. My GD has one I made her, I will have to remember to ask my GIL how often it has been washed and how has it held up.

  13. #13
    Super Member shaverg's Avatar
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    My hand applique stands up just fine. I also have a few of my Grandmothers, that are now well of 100 years and the stitches hold up fine even when the fabric starts wear away.

  14. #14
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    If the piece to be appliqued is rather large, it is possible to use interfacing only on the outline of the shape and leave the center free. I have tried that before. The center needs to be quilted then.

    My favorite interfacing is steam-a-seam2 and I like to use blanket stitch by machine.

  15. #15
    k3n
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    Power Poster k3n's Avatar
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    I made some cushions for my Mum and Dad doing needle turn and they are holding up fine! They get sat on (including by the dog!) and washed often because they're a cream background. I also did a border by hand on a lappy for my daughter and that gets dragged everywhere and washed often - no problems! Don't know how they'll be in a hundred years though! :-D But there are loads of ancient quilts in Museums that MUST have been done by hand and they're still here! :-D

  16. #16
    Super Member ConnieF's Avatar
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    biggest thing is to make sure if you ant to stitch you will need the lite weight for whichever bran you use and I trin even the light out except just around the edges of the applique pieces.

  17. #17
    Baywatch quilter's Avatar
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    I'd recommend for durability...machine applique... Use blanket stitch...

  18. #18
    Super Member shaverg's Avatar
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    Just think of all the old quilts that are hand appliqued and they have held up just fine.

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