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Questions About Wool Applique

Questions About Wool Applique

Old 02-21-2017, 07:00 AM
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I am doing my first wool applique wall hanging and am wondering about doing the applique itself. Do you always use a blanket stitch to applique? I saw a video where the lady just did a hem stitch (more of a whip stitch) instead of blanket stitch - which was quicker and since the thread "sank" into the wool it didn't show anyway. What about hand stitching vs. machine stitching? If hand stitching, do you use thread or floss or does it really matter? Just a few questions before I get started. I appreciate any suggestions or help - thanks!
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Old 02-21-2017, 07:44 AM
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I always used the blanket stitch on wool but after watching Anna Bates' (woolie mammoth) tutorials, I will be using the "whip stitch" instead ... at least for the smaller pieces and areas. She suggests doing that and saving the blanket stitch for the longer areas to be stitched where they can be seen. This makes sense to me and it would have been easier for me to make the Christmas ornaments I made a few years back. I do really like the way the blanket stitch looks though so I will only use the whip stitch on the very small pieces.

I know we "spoke" before and you watched Anna's videos that I recommended so I am guessing that is why you are asking this question. I am sure others will have an opinion about this. Maybe you can just experiment on some scrap wool and see what works for you.
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by KLO View Post
I always used the blanket stitch on wool but after watching Anna Bates' (woolie mammoth) tutorials, I will be using the "whip stitch" instead ... at least for the smaller pieces and areas. She suggests doing that and saving the blanket stitch for the longer areas to be stitched where they can be seen. This makes sense to me and it would have been easier for me to make the Christmas ornaments I made a few years back. I do really like the way the blanket stitch looks though so I will only use the whip stitch on the very small pieces.

I know we "spoke" before and you watched Anna's videos that I recommended so I am guessing that is why you are asking this question. I am sure others will have an opinion about this. Maybe you can just experiment on some scrap wool and see what works for you.
Thanks for your reply - yes, we did speak before and I enjoyed watching the videos - I think I will use this suggestion too about using the whip stitch on smaller pieces anyway - can't wait to get started. My Soft Fuse should arrive in the mail in a day or two then I can start.
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Old 02-21-2017, 11:07 AM
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Be very careful because you might fall in love with wool applique like I did. Just another addiction but we need more hours in the day. My biggest problem is finding decent wool. I may just have to start buying wool at the fabric store and felting it myself or checking out the charity shops to see if they have any wool garments at a good price. Good luck and have fun!
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Old 02-21-2017, 02:55 PM
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Do you always use a blanket stitch to applique? Not always, but usually. Sometimes I'll just fuse it on & use a running stitch.

What about hand stitching vs. machine stitching? I personally prefer hand stitching, but I've seen people who've done it by machine with 12wt thread.

If hand stitching, do you use thread or floss or does it really matter? I've used Aurifloss, perle cotton & 2 strands of embroidery floss. They all work. The reason for using something thicker is due to the stitch length/spacing. When working with felted wool, you have a longer stitch length because the thread is traveling the height of the felt in addition to whatever horizontal spacing between your stitches. I usually will do 1/4" for both the length of the stitch & the width between stitches (generally they should be the same with a blanket stitch). That's a stitch length of over 6mm, so I want something that is at least a 12wt cotton (or a wool/cotton blend like Aurifil's Lana). If you were somehow doing a shorter stitch, you could maybe try a thinner poly thread, but I'm not sure why you would want to. If you don't want it to show, pick a matching color of thread. A thin thread looks a bit strange to me on the edges of felt. It's hard to get it to lay nicely & it also leaves much of the edge exposed, with just thin little bits of thread running across the edge. Unless that's done intentionally -- for artistic reasons -- it's rarely as nice of a finish as a heavier weight thread/floss.
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Old 02-21-2017, 04:48 PM
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Bree123 has great information for you. I forgot to mention that I currently use 2 strands of embroidery floss for the wool stitching. However, in the future I will be switching to Pearl Cotton probably #5 or thereabouts. I find that the floss sometimes it difficult to work with since it is two strands. I like the idea of only having to deal with one strand that will cover the drawn design line well but that may not matter to others. I think it might be nice to use wool threads also but I think that can get pricey. I cannot remember if you mentioned whether you already have a project in mind. Have you decided what you want to start on first?
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Old 02-22-2017, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Bree123 View Post
Do you always use a blanket stitch to applique? Not always, but usually. Sometimes I'll just fuse it on & use a running stitch.

What about hand stitching vs. machine stitching? I personally prefer hand stitching, but I've seen people who've done it by machine with 12wt thread.

If hand stitching, do you use thread or floss or does it really matter? I've used Aurifloss, perle cotton & 2 strands of embroidery floss. They all work. The reason for using something thicker is due to the stitch length/spacing. When working with felted wool, you have a longer stitch length because the thread is traveling the height of the felt in addition to whatever horizontal spacing between your stitches. I usually will do 1/4" for both the length of the stitch & the width between stitches (generally they should be the same with a blanket stitch). That's a stitch length of over 6mm, so I want something that is at least a 12wt cotton (or a wool/cotton blend like Aurifil's Lana). If you were somehow doing a shorter stitch, you could maybe try a thinner poly thread, but I'm not sure why you would want to. If you don't want it to show, pick a matching color of thread. A thin thread looks a bit strange to me on the edges of felt. It's hard to get it to lay nicely & it also leaves much of the edge exposed, with just thin little bits of thread running across the edge. Unless that's done intentionally -- for artistic reasons -- it's rarely as nice of a finish as a heavier weight thread/floss.
Thanks so much for all your good advice - I appreciate it!
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Old 02-22-2017, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by KLO View Post
Bree123 has great information for you. I forgot to mention that I currently use 2 strands of embroidery floss for the wool stitching. However, in the future I will be switching to Pearl Cotton probably #5 or thereabouts. I find that the floss sometimes it difficult to work with since it is two strands. I like the idea of only having to deal with one strand that will cover the drawn design line well but that may not matter to others. I think it might be nice to use wool threads also but I think that can get pricey. I cannot remember if you mentioned whether you already have a project in mind. Have you decided what you want to start on first?
Yes, I have a project - my quilt guild is doing a BOM called Summertime Sampler by Erica Kaprow - it should be fun
Attached Thumbnails sumertime-sampler.jpg  
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Old 02-22-2017, 04:44 PM
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Not only is it going to be fun but it's going to be beautiful also! So colorful!!! I have never seen that pattern before. Does the author have suggestions about the stitching or type of thread to use? (Of course I am assuming that you already have the book.) I am pretty sure that I would be fusing these blocks in order to not lose any of the applique pieces. However, if you are well organized and doing one block a month, you can probably pick and choose the way you want to go. Here's hoping you will show us a finished block each month. I for one will be watching for it for sure.
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Old 02-22-2017, 07:23 PM
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For me it depends on the look I want. For small involved pieces I use thread and a whip stitch as I don't want all that blanket stitch (12 perle cotton) being so noticeable. Whimsical things usually get blanket, sometimes matching, sometimes not. Search images of wool appliqué online and you will quickly see what you prefer. I do hope you enjoy it. It goes really quickly since no raw edges to turn.
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