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Free Motion Appliqué

Hand Appliqué

Satin Stitch Appliqué

Appliqué

Valerie Sugar

Hand Appliqué

This technique uses a small tack stitch to secure the appliqué. The raw edge is folded under the appliqué, and so a nice finished look is accomplished. It works best with cottons and other lightweight fabrics that will hold a crisp edge when finger-pressed.


Steps

  1. Draw the heart shape on the piece of fabric to be appliquéd.
  2. Cut out the heart shape appliqué, leaving a scant ¼ inch edge all around.
  3. Slit the edge of the fabric at the "dip" in the heart, almost to the heart outline.
  4. Using a thread which most closely matches the appliqué fabric, carefully turn the edge under to the drawn line and tack stitch the turned edge to the background fabric. This stitch comes up from the back through the folded-under seam allowance and out through the top fabric. The stitch should be short and straight to be as invisible as possible.


Satin Stitch Appliqué

A piece of fabric is attached to the base fabric by a very close zigzag machine stitch. This technique yields a durable appliqué that can withstand wear and machine washing.


Steps

  1. Iron a lightweight fusible interfacing to the back of the fabric to be appliquéd.
  2. Cut the heart shape.
  3. Pin the heart to the background fabric.
  4. Pin a piece of tear-away stabilizer (larger than the size of the appliqué) to the back of the background fabric. Be sure to pin from the top, avoiding stitching areas.
  5. Set your stitch to zigzag and set the width fairly wide so that it will cover the raw edge of the appliqué. Set the stitch length small to produce a satin stitch. (The stitch width and length will vary according to machine and desired look. It’s good to experiment on a scrap.)
  6. Start with your needle in the rightmost position on the right edge of the appliqué (appliqué will be on the inside of the arm). Stitch, keeping the right side of the stitch aligned with the edge of the appliqué at all times. Remember that the entire stitch is on the appliqué.
  7. To stitch the point of the heart (bottom), stitch to the edge, stop with the needle down on the right side, then pivot the appliqué, and continue stitching. If the point is narrower than the stitch width, you may have to decrease the width of the stitch as you come to the point, then increase to the original width as you stitch away from the point.
  8. To stitch the inside dip of the heart (top), stitch beyond the inside point, decreasing the width as you go. Then pivot and stitch up, increasing the width. This is a bit tricky, but can be accomplished with a little practice.
  9. When you’ve completed stitching, cut threads, bring to the back and tie.
  10. Remove the tear-away stabilizer.


Free Motion Appliqué

This technique, which is stitched over a raw edge of fabric, yields a looser look, and one which may not be suitable for garments which will require a lot of washing.


Steps

  1. Cut out the heart shape appliqué and pin to the background fabric.
  2. Drop the feed dogs to use the free motion capability.
  3. Stitch in a back and forth motion over the appliqué, using the straight stitch on the machine.
  4. After stitching around the appliqué, cut threads, bring to back and tie.