QUILT INFO

Liberty Houses is shown in the header picture. It is a Jan Patek pattern in her book "Liberty Garden".

Sunday, June 6, 2010

RAW EDGE MACHINE APPLIQUE STITCHING

Yesterday, I was reading a little bit on a blog about commitment to showing the process of making our quilts instead of just showing a finished product. I am going to go back and read more on it as I found it interesting. I know that I like to see the different stages of a quilt that a fellow blogger is making and interesting to know that many others feel the same way. In that spirit, I am going to show you just a bit of the raw edge machine applique I am working on today.

The first picture is of "Grace". There is no explanation with the pattern as to who Grace is but I have to say she looks like a garden angel to me. This is a Cheri Saffiote-Payne pattern and I showed the fused piece in a recent post. I want to do the machine stitching on the raw edges so I can complete the wall hanging. I used Heat 'n Bond Lite for the fusing process. The pieces still have a softness to them as I used just a ring of the fusible around the edge. About 1/4" wide. Since I have already done that, I will show the process on another post when I am working on a new piece.
I use 50 wt. cotton thread for the edge stitching. I use whatever I have available that is very close to the color of the particular piece I am about to stitch on. I have Guterman, Mettler, and DMC threads in my container. The plastic container they are stored in is two-sided. I purchased three of these containers quite some time ago at Walmart in the toy department. They are meant to house the little metal cars that the boys collect. I wish I could find more of them but Walmart no longer has them.
I have a plastic case for bobbins. I am thinking about purchasing some of the rubber donut shaped rings that hold the bobbins or a better bobbin case as this does not hold the bobbins up for viewing the color very well. These were freebies that came with some plastic storage containers I bought. I keep these bobbins separate from any other bobbins I might use so that I know that I am using the correct weight and type of thread on my project.
I have a Bernina sewing machine. The foot I use is a #20 open toe foot. This allows me to easily see where I am stitching. I also have an open toe foot that has a light green bottom and is teflon coated. I don't use it but it might be handy depending on what kind of fabrics you are stitching on.
I use a #45 stitch on my machine (Bernina Aurora QE440). I found out that the stitch numbers are not the same on all Bernina models and I wonder why. I set the stitch width and length to 2.0. Oh, the stitch is what I call a button hole stitch. One that travels along the edge of your applique piece and then takes a bite in and back out. I can take the width down when I am doing sharp points or narrow edges. I also change the needle position by moving it all the way to the right. That way I can use the inside edge of the foot as a guide for it to travel along the edge of the applique fabric. I study the quilt and, just like in hand applique, choose a piece that is fused down first. In other words, the most under part. I chose the angel wings on this one as the dress is over the top of the wings. I try to think about what other pieces I might be stitching with the same color thread and plan in advance. You can have a lot of thread color changes on a more complicated applique piece. I select a thread color that is as close as possible to the applique part I will be stitching on. I find it better to go a bit darker than lighter if I can't match exactly.
After I have stitched around the applique piece, I cut the threads leaving them long enough to bring them to the back, tie a knot, and then thread them through some of the stitching. I use a self-threading needle for this. I prefer the John James self-threading needles. If you are not familiar with a self-threading needle, they have a small open slot at the top. I pull the threads taut over that slot and they pop down in. Saves trying to thread an eye of a needle. I prefer the John James because I had thread breakage using another brand. Sometimes the slot opening would fray and cut the thread as I attempted to get my threads down into the eye and leave me with too short of a piece to work with on the back.
Once I have the threads pulled to the back, I tie a double knot (surgeon's knot) and then thread the ends into the needle top again. I run the threads through 3 or 4 or five stitches on the back and then trim. This keeps the thread ends from showing through to the front. Sometimes while I am machine stitching, a thread end on the back will get caught under my stitching. I just leave it by trimming the loose part sticking out. I know you can't see any too well in this next photo but it is of the threads about to be pulled through the machine stitching.
I just recently discovered aged muslin and that is what I have used for the background on the quilt. Aged muslin is different than the tea dyed muslins you can purchase. Aged muslin has variations of color all over the fabric. It looks to me like it has been scrunched up before going into the dye bath. The purchased tea dyed muslins look solid in color to me.

I hope you found my process description interesting and helpful.

Stop back again soon.


Karen

38 comments:

  1. That was a great tutorial. I also did not know that the stitch numbers are not the same on all Bernina models. That is strange to me. I have a Bernina as well...so that's good to know.
    I have seen the aged musling too but have not had reason to buy any just yet. I liked the look of it in your photo before I got down far enough to know that you were using something 'aged'. Pretty neat:)

    Thanks again!

    Sue

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  2. Thank you for going through your process for raw edge applique. I like the idea of using a small amount of adhesive so that the piece is softer. I use the car plastic boxes as well for my thread. Do you have a Toys R Us nearby? They also carry the car containers.

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  3. Yes, it was very helpful. Thanks!

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  4. I almost talked myself out of buying an applique pattern this week because I questioned if I could figure it out. I'm glad I bought it and now I can't wait to get to work!!! Thank You!

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  5. We have the same model sewing "computer," so this post was especially interesting to me. Thank you. Karmen

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  6. Thanks Karen, I was wondering what you meant when you said you did "raw edge applique". I love your little quilt and also love the aged muslins!

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  7. I found it very interesting. I like how you described every detail..
    Maggey

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  8. What a great post - it's like a private lesson. I know I'll read it more than once. Thanks.

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  9. Thanks so much, Karen! This was interesting and VERY helpful to me. I like "seeing" the process, and the addition of your written tutorial was great.

    I've done satin stitching by machine but not the button hole stitch by machine... will have to try this now! ...Karen

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  10. You do it the same way I do!!

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  11. love seeing how other's do their work...I have 2 Pfaff machines and the stitches are numbered differently on them as well! (Surely there is a good reason for this, surely!)
    Going to have to check out "aged muslin".

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  12. Thanks, Karen, for the tutorial. I loved the detail. I have a Viking, but the instructions are transferrable. I'm wanting to get into machine applique, so this will be very helpful. I'll look for the aged muslin --it sounds like my tea dye jobs. lol But of course my tea dye jobs will eventually fade in the wash.
    Lindah
    BPF

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  13. Thanks for that-I really love seeing how others do their work-I am self taught and often wonder what others do,

    Blessings, Shazy x

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  14. Thanks for showing us how you do raw edge applique. I love all the hints as you do each step. Always interesting to see other stitcher's methods.

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  15. well I just love Grace...
    yes I took the process pledge too, I really enjoy the process of quilting and well if the quilt gets finished by me or someone else I am fine with that.
    Its all about the journey.
    sometimes I just want to try something out, like the string blocks I had fun making them.
    I had to try it out for myself.
    I love the aged muslin too....
    agree with you.
    Kathie

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  16. Excellent, Karen with some great and handy tips. Thanks for taking the time to share.

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  17. I think the buttonhole stitch is perfect for this block. Nice tutorial and very clear.

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  18. Great tutorial Karen. Though I don't machine applique, I love reading how it is done....ya never know when this information will come in handy :0)

    Crispy

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  19. Wonderful tutorial, Karen. I've been wanting to do machine applique but find it a bit mentally overwhelming. Your tutorial will come in handy. I love Grace - she's adorable.

    We reach the end of a project and feel elation but we forget to enjoy the process or the journey as I call it. I can't think of the number of times I've been excited as I've worked on a project and had a quiet celebration. Celebrations should be shared. Thank you for sharing.

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  20. Hi again karen,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to visit and leave a comment:)

    You were right-the sheep is a Buttermilk Basin pattern-Patriotic Sheep; I just made the penny rug myself, for a little difference and used cinnamon sticks for the legs (they use dowels)

    Blessings, Shazy x

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  21. I think I have one of those cases in the closet.....

    I'll check and email you.

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  22. Wow! Thank you so much for the process and tips. I have 2 favorites...the idea of burying the thread endings rather than back stitching (excellant idea!) and also the idea of only having the fusible around the edge. Could explain more how you do that? Do you cut out a thin piece of it to mold around the edge..or cut out a full thin piece in the pattern shape? I hope that question makes sense :-)

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  23. This is wonderful. I am so excited to read your blog. Thanks for your comment on mine. I am learning more about reproduction fabrics and Jo Morton is one designer I like.

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  24. I like this kind of applique and do it pretty often. You did a great tutorial! I do use the plastic bobbin holders and love them. Not only can you see the colors but it keeps the thread ends tidy. blessings, marlene

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  25. Fantastic post Karen! It is very interesting to see how everyone else uses a certain method and today I have learned how to carry those threads to the back neatly. Thank you!

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  26. 人生中最重要的是要自尊、自愛、自立、自強、自信。 ....................................................

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  27. What a wonderful post; thanks for sharing. Your project is adorable.

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  28. I love these types of posts where I can learn another quilter's process and techniques -- nice job, Karen!

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  29. I did find this helpful. I have not done a lot of machine applique and so the tip about the taking the threads to the back is a great tip for me.

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  30. Great suggestions.. I like to keep my threak on the racks with little spokes. I put the bobbin on first, and the spool over it on the same spoke. That way the two parts of the matching pair are always together.
    Humor my ignorance.... I know how to pull threads to the FRONT, but how do you pull the threads to the back?

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  31. Nice tutorial. I have not tried this kind of raw edge applique and may give it a whirl after reading your explanation.

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  32. great post! I have been thinking about the "process" approach to blogging as well.
    Lovely piece-

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  33. Very nice post!~ I love your project! Those little car carriers sure brought back memories! Check a toy store. ;-) Happy stitchin'!

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  34. Now this is a skilful post. Excellent and lots of good information here. Love the project you're working on.

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  35. I saw this post a couple days ago and meant to post. What happened...who knows. Anyway, thanks for the info. I have the same machine without the embroidery module. I haven't taken enough time to play with all the settings so I am glad you gave me a starting point. Can't wait to see this one finished.

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  36. What great tips. I wish I had a decent blanket stitch on my machine; I'd do more (any!) applique.

    Check out the bobbin tower at Connecting Threads. I have the rubber ring you mentioned, but I think the tower may hold more bobbins.

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  37. Thank you, Karen, for all the time, effort and photos you put in this great tutorial post. I found it very informing and coming from someone who I consider an expert, I have reread it AND enlarged your photos to get even a closer look.

    I have a couple Berninas and you're right, the stitches in each one are numbered differently...strange.

    I am a true admirer of yours. Your work is exquisite.

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