Every once in a while, we like to share a basic quilting technique with you. These are great for those learning, or as a refresher for our seasoned quilters out there. Today, we’re going to show you how easy it is to do applique with your sewing machine and fusible interfacing. One thing we love about this technique is that it has many more applications than just quilting– t-shirts, bags, pillows, pretty much anything you can think of can be appliqued! Our tutorial will show you how to machine applique for a quilt block. so no extra stabilizers or interfacing is needed.
-Background fabric (these are our white squares)
-Applique fabric (the teal fabric)
-Thread that matches the applique fabric. We are using Aurifil 50 weight thread. (affiliate link*)
-Double-sided adhesive fusible interfacing. We are using Heat’n Bond Lite, which has been and continues to be our favorite. (affiliate link)
-Applique shape template, or draw your own shape
Begin by ironing the adhesive to your applique fabric, with the paper side up. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for fusing.Next, trace your applique shape onto the fused paper. If you don’t have a shape to trace, this is the point that you can draw your own shape. Just remember, the actual shape will be the mirror-image of the drawing.Cut out the shapes.Peel off the paper backing and place the shape where you want it to be. Place carefully, because you won’t be able to move it once it’s fused!Use the iron to fuse the shape in place. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions here, because you want a good bond that will last forever.Pick a matching thread color. One of our favorite tricks for matching thread is to unwind the end of the spool and lay it across the fabric you are trying to match. This gives a much more accurate representation of how it will look than seeing it all wound up together on the spool. The color we picked for this wasn’t a perfect match on the spool, but it looks great once it’s unwound!On your sewing machine, use a blanket stitch with an open-toe foot. If you don’t have those, a zigzag stitch and regular foot will also work. The open toe foot makes it easier to see what you are doing, and the blanket stitch is our favorite finish. On a Bernina machine, use stitch #45 and foot #20. Once you have your setup ready, take a few practice stitches on a scrap if you want to test it out first.Start with a back stitch, then sew all the way around the shape, with the needle going just off the shape. The blanket stitch creates a nice stitched edge that lays right along the edge of the shape. At corners, stop with the needle down and rotate the shape so that the stitch goes in perpendicularly to the corner.Once you’ve stitched the corner, stop with the needle down, and turn again. Sew to where you started, making sure to back stitch.
Press the block again once it’s sewn, and there you have it– a beautifully appliqued quilt block.
We also love to applique with wool felt, using the same idea as this method, but without the fusible adhesive. What other basic quilting techniques would you like to learn more about? Leave us some ideas in the comments, and it may turn into a future post!
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