Friday, April 19, 2013

Applique Stitches

Have you ever tried fused machine applique—on a quilt project? I’ve collected some of my work; and with these images, want to demonstrate the various stitching methods and thread colors that can be used. You may use only one stitching method or a combination of these stitches on your project.

Here is how easy it is to create beautiful designs.

Buttonhole Stitch:

This is a favorite stitch for finishing up the edges of the raw-edge fused applique method. It can be done by hand or by machine. Some people like to do it in the traditional color of black; however, any color can be used, as it depends on what project goals are in mind. 

I love experimenting with thread color and so have done it using different colors, such as: black, green. Generally, I like using green for floral designs and plant life; and black for most other designs. If you don't like the black, as shown below, then choose other colors.
Coneflower--buttonhole stitch
Appliqued with all green thread.

Butterfly--buttonhole stitch
Appliqued with all black thread.


Holly and Ivy--combines buttonhole and zigzag stitching
Leaves-green thread; Berries-red thread
Images: The holly and ivy design was all done by machine. For those curvy lines, I just used a straight stitch and went over the lines twice. 


Applique Stitch:

Another stitch that is similar to the buttonhole stitch; it is called the applique stitch. I have this one on my sewing machine. It is a bit less bulky, and is also a faster method because it uses less back and forth stitches in the process of creating each stitch.

This stitch I have done using a variety of colors and they all look great in the design. The thread color can match the applique piece; or be in contrasting colors, such as: white on black, red on red, black on any color. 

Orange heart--applique stitch
Blue/Green tulip--buttonhole stitch
Green/Yellow leaves--zigzag stitch

Hexagons--applique stitch
Appliqued with all green thread.
Hexagon snowman--applique stitch
Appliqued with all white thread.

Images: The hexagon blocks are from Block of the Month 2012 on Craftsy.
If you find creating hexagons too difficult on your hands or like that method, as little as I do; why not use a machine stitching to attach to your quilt.

Zigzag Stitch:

The zigzag stitch is a favorite stitch to use, as well, for applique designs. All machines have this stitch, and so if your machine doesn’t have the buttonhole or other applique stitches on it; you can still finish fused applique designs with stunning results.

It is the quickest stitch and allows one to finish up a quilt block with much greater speed. This may be one factor in choosing this stitch. My experience confirms that it can also be a great stitch to use when the applique piece has many curves or bends in it, as it can much more easily go around these shapes. The finished results feel smooth to the touch and can be a better choice, if you want a delicate result. 

Ghost--combines buttonhole and zigzag stitching
Appliqued with all black thread.

Orange blossom--zigzag stitch
Appliqued with thread matching fabric colors.


Peony--zigzag stitching
Appliqued with a variety of thread matching fabrics.

The quilt blocks for my "Flag Quest" designs will be appliqued with a variety of colors and using the zigzag stitch as shown on the Peony. These will be showcased later in another project. 
I wanted to show you how these stitches can make any design beautiful; and when you consider your next quilting project; perhaps you’ll be able to give this applique method a try.

For a quick little project, check out my mouse pad mini quilts on “My Craftsy Store”. Along with one free pattern, there are a variety of designs to choose from with more coming soon.

Hang in there, and happy crafting!!


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