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Thread: Satin Stitching around an applique

  1. #1
    Member CoolJulUtah's Avatar
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    Satin Stitching around an applique

    I did some satin stitching (really close zig-zag???) around some applique pieces and it's wavy and bumpy. Is there anything I can do to smooth it down? Will washing the quilt (when it's done) smooth it down? I have a Bernina Artista 185 - is there a certain stitch I'm supposed to use instead of making a zig-zag really "short"? Sorry I don't know the correct terminology . . . I'm super new at this stuff! )

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    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Did you use any type of stabilizer? When I do a satin stitch around an applique, I use a tear-away stabilizer underneath the fabric and it makes it come out really smooth.
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  3. #3
    Member CoolJulUtah's Avatar
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    I used heat-n-bond. Was I supposed to use a stabilizer in addition to or instead of heat-n-bond???

  4. #4
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    This usually happens because the thread is filling in really close. Sometimes washing it will flatten it out. You could dampen it and see if that would help. Hope it works out for you.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

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    Even using heat and bond you should have some sort of stabilizer on the bottom of you block. Also loosen up the zig zag stich a little. It may have been too tight. I always have a piece of scrap fabric to try out my stitches before I do it on my block

  6. #6
    Super Member craftiladi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoolJulUtah View Post
    I did some satin stitching (really close zig-zag???) around some applique pieces and it's wavy and bumpy. Is there anything I can do to smooth it down? Will washing the quilt (when it's done) smooth it down? I have a Bernina Artista 185 - is there a certain stitch I'm supposed to use instead of making a zig-zag really "short"? Sorry I don't know the correct terminology . . . I'm super new at this stuff! )
    Welcome CoolJulUtah...what part of utah, I am in Cedar City and currently watching the snow fall. SewBeadIt gave the one piece of advise I am awful at following...test out your stitch first,,,,,gosh if I would just learn that I would save myself alot of heartache. You can try ironing your piece w/ steam & a pressing cloth sometimes that works for me, but I also agree use a stabilizer and loosen up your stitches.
    Dee Lowe
    Las Vegas Nv.

  7. #7
    Super Member toadmomma's Avatar
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    If you are not uptting batting on the back for trapunto, then you must us stabilizer, you were appqulieing so the fuzable was on the topof you backgroung fabric, so you have to put something underneath the background fabric under the applique, I saw a lady even use computer paper and then tear it away afterwards. Check out patsy thompons videos on Utube. youll see why.
    Deb T

  8. #8
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    You really need to use a stabiliser under the material to stop the puckering and waving of the material when you are doing dense sewing and embroidery as it helps to support the amount of stitching you are doing. If you are stitching really heavily, you should put a couple of sheets underneath, or a thick enough stabiliser to take the weight.

  9. #9
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    Hi, I have the same machine. In my experience some kind of stabilizer would help. Something as cheap and thin as some tissue paper. I have recently been sewing little appliques on the "pillowcase" dresses I have been making. I find that using the thinnest fusiable and just heating it enough to have it stick down works the best. Many of the fabrics I am using for the dresses are cotton blends and rather thin. They are going to the tropics so heavier fabrics are not welcome. It also helps if you very gently guide the item being appliqued and don't push. It might be a good idea to practice on some scrap stuff until you get the right touch. That also gives you the opportunity to play around with the stitch width etc.
    Trying to sew, quilt or read everyday.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Drue's Avatar
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    I not only use a two sided stabilizer to bond my design to my base fabric but also something like Totally Stable (a tearaway) on the bottom of the entire block or whatever you are appliquing. You also need to be sure you are using the correct foot for satin stitching as the wrong foot can cause it to not feed correctly. Also you might check the density of your stitching and loosen (widen the length of the stitch) a little til it looks correct.
    Hope you can get the puckers out with moistening and pressing. Good Luck!
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    Drue

  11. #11
    Senior Member Rosie the "Ripper"'s Avatar
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    Try misting it with water and then laying it right side down on a terry cloth towel and steaming it lightly several times. This has worked for me. A stabilizer will definitely help.
    Rosie the "ripper"

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    I use a light weight fusible and a tear away stablizer (coffee filters work). When I use the satin stitch (small zig zag) I lengthen the stitch and stitch around twice. I think this gives a smoother finish. As mentioned, I test out my stitches and thread first, and write the settings used on this sample.

  13. #13
    Senior Member lenette's Avatar
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    I always sew a straight stitch around the applique. Besides lengthening your stitch, you might let up on the pressure foot. It might be pushing down too hard for this fabric, making it too dense and stretching it.
    Lenette

  14. #14
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    As others have said, I use regular paper or newsprint (no ink) on the underside of the block when satin stitching. Someone mentioned trying to iron it flat, BUT if you want to try this, I would put a thick towel on the ironing board, then place the block face down on the towel, mist it lightly & press. The only problem you might have with this is, if you didn't prewash your fabrics they might shrink a little or pucker where the stitching is so tight. If you used Rayon thread rather than cotton, don't use a hot iron.

  15. #15
    Member CoolJulUtah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by craftiladi View Post
    Welcome CoolJulUtah...what part of utah, I am in Cedar City and currently watching the snow fall. SewBeadIt gave the one piece of advise I am awful at following...test out your stitch first,,,,,gosh if I would just learn that I would save myself alot of heartache. You can try ironing your piece w/ steam & a pressing cloth sometimes that works for me, but I also agree use a stabilizer and loosen up your stitches.

    Hey Craftiladi! I'm in Fairview - about 2.5 hours-ish north of you! I have a son going to SUU right now!!! We're practically neighbors!!! ) What do you guys mean to loosen up my stitches? I want them all close so you can't see the background fabric. Sorry, I don't understand . . .

  16. #16
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    It sounds to me as if your background fabric stretched as you were stitching. Since you were stitching all around the appliques, then some of the stitching was on the bias of the background fabric. More stitches piled up on the bias and less on the straight-of-grain, resulting in waves.

    I have found that heavily starching the background fabric can substitute for using a stabilizer. By heavy starching, I mean *heavy* starching! I starch before cutting the background squares, using a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo liquid laundry starch and water. My method is to lay the folded yardage on my kitchen island, then use a large wall-painting brush to apply the solution until the fabric is saturated. Unstarched yardage stays folded to my left, and as I finish a starched section I fold it over to make sure that the other side is saturated to. Makes handling the fabric pretty easy. Once the fabric is saturated, I toss it in the dryer and then iron with steam. The resulting fabric has a stiffness similar to cardstock.

    Some people are concerned about starch "dust" getting into their sewing machine works. I have a Bernina 1230 and this has not been a problem for me.

    Experiment to see if you need to loosen your satin stitch too. (This means increasing stitch length slightly.) I have not found this to be necessary with the starched background. Another option for loosening the satin stitch is to go around each applique twice, first with a slightly narrower stitch and then again with a slightly wider stitch. Makes for a very full edge. I tried this, but felt it made the edge too stiff for the thread that I usually use, plus it doubled the stitching time!
    Last edited by Prism99; 12-03-2011 at 09:47 AM.

  17. #17
    Member CoolJulUtah's Avatar
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    Well it sounds like I need to use stabilizer and/or starch in the future! Thanks for all of your help! I knew you guys would be there for me!

  18. #18
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
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    Even when I doing satin or the blanket stitch on fusible applique, I always use a stabilizer......usually coffee filters.
    When you sleep under a quilt, you sleep under a blanket of love.

  19. #19
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    I read this instruction in a book about machine satin stitch applique and it has worked for me. Apply Wonder Under to the back of your applique. Leave the paper on while you do your satin stitching. After the stitching is finished, when you are in the sandwiching part of your quilt, then pull the paper off and let the light adhesive from the Wonder Under help with your basting. The Wonder Under keeps the fabric from stretching, and the paper makes the quiding of the fabric around the curves, etc. go marvelously easy. I haven't had one bit of a problem since I started using this instruction and I have been doing some very intricate curvy details.

  20. #20
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    When I do blanket stitch applique, just the fusible is enough stabilizer, but when doing satin stitch, I always use additional stabilizer. Because of the stitches being so close together, it draws in the fabric. You may be able to steam your block flat, depending on just how wavy it is.

  21. #21
    Super Member franc36's Avatar
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    For satin stitch or for blanket stitch applique, I use Stitch & Ditch Heirloom. It is a tear away-wash away paper stabelizer. It is very easy to tear away. I have a Bernina and this has always worked well for me.

  22. #22
    Power Poster ann clare's Avatar
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    Very helpful information here. Thanks for posting.
    What I make with my hands, I give with my heart.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Kath12's Avatar
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    I usually use spray starch on both sides of the base fabric. I also loosen the upper tension and check the settings (stitch length, width, and tension) on a sample first. You can use a stabilizer on the underside and I do on intricate applique but a lot of the time the spray starch does the trick.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member RUSewing's Avatar
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    Although I use Heat and Bond Lite, I use a tear-a-way stabilizer when using a satin stitch. For years, I've had no problems by using this technique.
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  25. #25
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    The problem you decribe is what keeps many from using the satin stitch. Chances are that nothing is going to smooth it out now, how much did you do and can you pick it out?
    With a satin stitch you need to loosen your tension slightly. Still need to use sablizer even if you use heat and bond because the outside edge of the stitch is hitting plain unbacked fabric hense the ripple. I like heat and bond LITE or steam a seam for most fused projects. always test on scraps.

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