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Thread: Help with zig zag on applique

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Help with zig zag on applique

    I know that this seems like a very basic question but I'm confused. This will be my first time doing an applique with zig zag. I looked at 4 you tube videos and all seem to differ. One says keep both sides of zig zag even catching both sides of fabric, the other says concentrate on keeping it on the inside of the applique. Then there is the length and with. I did do a practice applique and I did not like the results. I need some guidance.

  2. #2
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    Make some more samples until you get a look you like? (That sounded sort of flippant - it wasn't meant to be - some people just prefer different looks - and it does take some practice to achieve the look one wants)

    Are you using the applique presser foot? It's has a raised area underneath it to accommodate the bulk of the stitching.

    Did you use some kind of stabilizer on the back to help minimize puckering?

    Also, when you get the look you want, write down what you did and your machine settings.

  3. #3
    Super Member Knitette's Avatar
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    I like to have the appliqué on the left of the needle. When the needle goes to the right, it should almost touch the edge of your appliqué when it goes in to your backing fabric. This way, it is easier to make sure you catch the appliqué.
    I use quite small stitches on my Pfaff 1.5 width & 2.0 length, I think. I actually find a 'buttonhole' type stitch easier. It's not as dense as satin stitch and gives a nice finish IMHO. I also use an open-toe foot so I can see where the needle is actually going.
    A tip I got from a fellow quilter is that if your foot has a bar across the front, just saw it off! (Think this'll only work if it's plastic, lol).
    Lang may yer lum reek. (I'm a knitter - hence - 'Knit-ette'. Confuses a lot of people!)

  4. #4
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Be sure to stabilize the backing fabric. Personally, I starch it very, very stiff instead of putting anything on the back, but either works well.

    I often use the Eleanor Burns turn under method for big pieces of applique and really like the results with that. It allows you to be less picky about how close together the stitches are. If you are not using a method that allows you turn the edge under, you will need to have your stitch length very short. The width can be whatever look you like.

  5. #5
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    Hi Lisa, I did us Eleanor Burns method. That part came out fine. Its the zig zag that ruined the piece. I could not salvage it. What a waste of time and fabric. It was a multi layered flower for a wall hanging. I guess I just have to find the right combination of stitch length and width. I just thought someone on the board would have some magic for me, lol

  6. #6
    Senior Member loisf's Avatar
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    I find that I like the blanket stitch better than the zigzag stitch. I run the straight stitches on the backing fabric just to the right of the applique (which gives a nice outline around the applique) and then the single "zig" stitch goes left into the applique. This is not always good to use on raw-edged appliques unless you are using batiks.

  7. #7
    Super Member Weezy Rider's Avatar
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    Go check out a video on thread painting. You can use the same on a small messed up area. Open toe foot and go slow.
    Similar to FMQ. No feed dogs and you move the fabric.

  8. #8
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    McCall's website has some good free video classes, including one on machine applique. You might try looking at that.

  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    Thank you all for your suggestions. I am going to recut some fabric and attemt to zig zag again. This time will go slower, add a running stitch and keep stitches on the left of pattern. Now just have to find the right width and length of stitch. Will practice first.

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