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Thread: What Stitch Works Best for Machine Applique?

  1. #1
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    I am starting my first ever attempt at machine applique, and need to know what stitch works best. I was thinking of the blind hem, but if something else works better, I would love to hear it. Also, any good advice on this. I have not done even one stitch of applique, by hand or machine!!

    Thanks, people. You guys give the best advice I have found anywhere!! I am proud to be associated with this board!!!

    BTW -- Everyone have a very Happy New Year!!

  2. #2
    Power Poster cutebuns's Avatar
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    I like a blanket stitch for mine but it depends on what you are working on and how much it will be washed etc, and what if anything you are using to stick the pieces down.

  3. #3
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's another question.....fusible web, glue stick? Don't know. I'm a total novice at this. I found another post by searching, and am reading that. I think it will answer most of my questions. I should have looked before starting another topic!! :-( Anyway, thanks for the info. I appreciate it.

  4. #4
    Power Poster cutebuns's Avatar
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    i like the fusable web myself, it helps so that even if some of the stitching comes out that it shouldnt fray much or come off,

  5. #5
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    It depends on the effect you want. I have used (and prefer) blanket stitch. Sometimes, I use a topstitch close to the edege. None of the other methods worked well enough to report.

    I generally use Steam-a-seam2 interfacing because it is lightweight. When attaching large areas, I sometimes cut out the center from the interface so it won't be too stiff.

  6. #6
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I use a tiny satin stitch. That works best for me. Generally, I attach pieces using Heat and Bond.

  7. #7
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    I tend to use a double blanket stitch with a 40 wt or 50 wt thread, depending on how much I want the thread to show. I start with a few stitches straight along the edge of the applique and sew over them at the end and add a few more straight stitches when finished, to secure the stitches.

    I use very light weight Steam a Seam.

  8. #8
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    I think the blanket would work to start out.

  9. #9
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I mainly use a small stitch length blanket stitch, it makes it easier to go around the corners, it holds the fabric down better.
    However, I just did some trees and bushes. I used a decorative stitch on these, it gave the edges a more natural look.
    If I have several layers of fabric, I prefer to use elmers glue around the edges and heat set with an iron. It keeps the layers more flexible feeling, because it washes out. This worked well in the trees and bushes, I FMQ them down as well. If I am not doing as much FMQ I would use a steam a seam product.
    Play around with your machines various stitches, adjust the widths and lengths. I use 1 1/2 X 4 inch strips on a bigger piece of 12 X 12 inch fabric. Do a stitch, mark down beside it, which one it is, the stitch width and length. Each project may need a different look. :wink:

  10. #10
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    I like the blanket stitch and I use a piece of paper on the backside for a stabilizer. Then rip it off.

  11. #11
    Senior Member 4dogs's Avatar
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    I have a question about this too....what about doing something (like dryer sheets,etc) to it, and then turning it right side out; am I making sense here?

  12. #12
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I have heard of doing that, but haven't tried it yet.

  13. #13
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Eleanor Burns has a method for simple applique patterns.
    She lays the fabric right side down on the fusible that is stick side up toward the fabric and sews around the pattern that is drawn on the wrong side of the fusible. Then you cut a small slit in the fusible and turn the whole thing right side out so your seams are inside and the fusible is ready to iron onto the block.

  14. #14
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    So much depends on which applique method you use!

    For fusible, I use either a blanket stitch (with doubled regular thread or single thicker thread so it shows more) or a satin stitch.

    Mostly, though, I do freezer paper applique a la Harriet Hargrave. For that I use the blanket stitch with a much smaller stitch length and "bite". Some people prefer a small zigzag for that.

    I have tried the dryer sheet method where you sew around the outside, slit the dryer sheet, and turn the applique right side out. It works well for larger shapes that have fairly large curves to them. I found it difficult for smaller applique shapes -- less definition and accuracy than I like. Since that is a turned applique method, I would probably use blanket stitch on it.

    Satin stitch adds a lot of bulk to a turned edge, so it is probably more suitable for fusible applique than turned edge applique, although it could be used for both.

  15. #15
    Super Member lisalovesquilting's Avatar
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    Speaking of fabric softener sheets. Has anyone use them as a stabilizer?

  16. #16
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Well, I am as far as having turned the applique pieces using dryer sheets, and all the edges are nicely turned under now. The dryer sheets worked like magic!!! I tacked the applique pieces down with glue stick last night, and tonight I will start my first ever machine applique. I have decided to do the blanket stitch, very narrow, in matching thread colors so it doesn't show.

    Wish me luck!!! I am nervous but excited to keep moving forward on my quilt. It has to be complete by Jan 27, so I have to keep going. Thanks for all your inspiration and great advice!!!

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