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1 foolproof method for perfect, smooth and clean applique edges

 

Yesterday, I talked about WonderFil Tutti threads and why it’s so good for satin stitch applique. I also started a little wallhanging I’ll call Joyful Wallhanging and machine appliqued stems to the background fabric. This whole week will be about using the vast variety of WonderFil threads for applique purposes.

Let’s explore FabuLux threads, and applique the hearts to the stems we worked on yesterday.

Fabulux is a 40wt, 3-ply trilobal polyester thread, which has an incredibly brilliant luster. It’s available in 35 variegated colors and 5 solid, neon colors. This thread is available in both 766yd [700m] spools and 3000yd [2743m] cones. That’s a lot of thread!

 

WonderFil FabuLux threads
WonderFil FabuLux threads

 

Typically, flowers are placed on top of a stem but since I’ve got creative permission to do as I please I’ll place hearts on top of the stems instead of flowers. I guess I’m thinking ahead to Valentine’s Day!?

You remember I admitted I wasn’t good at drawing? But that’s the beauty about creating your own design elements, you can draw your own heart, stems etc…

Here’s a picture of the heart I’ll be using as a template. If you want the same one, click here for a PDF version to print. If you opt to do this, you’ll need to print the PDF and cut out the heart shape to use as a template.

 

Heart template, but I encourage you to make your own heart drawing!
Heart template, but I encourage you to make your own heart drawing!

 

You’ll recall yesterday, I used 2-sided fusible web interfacing to place and fuse the stems to the background fabric. Today, I’ll use a lightweight to make our applique hearts.

Let’s begin!

On the non-sticky side of the interfacing, draw 3 hearts, or if you printed out the PDF, trace around the heart template leaving about ½” to 1” between each heart.

TIP! When I mark interfacing, I use a pencil and draw a line that is barely visible. The lines in the next photo are darker than I normally would draw them; I wanted to be sure you’d be able to see them in the photo.

Once the hearts are drawn, place the sticky side of the interfacing on the right side of the fabric you want to use for the hearts but do not iron! Instead, go to your sewing machine and sew the interfacing heart shapes in place on the fabric.

 

Draw hearts on interfacing then place on the right side of the fabric.
Draw hearts on interfacing then place on the right side of the fabric.

 

After you finish sewing the hearts to the fabric cut them out. When using this method, I typically leave not less than and no more than ¼” seam allowance around the edge of the shape.

Make a 1” to 1½” long slit in the interfacing as shown below. Remove any excess interfacing and fabric from the seam allowance, ensuring that you leave at least ⅛” seam allowance in place.

The next step is to flip the hearts inside out and finger press ensuring that all of the interfacing is away from the edges. The interfacing should not be visible from the top.

 

Sew 3 hearts, make a slit and turn inside out.
Sew 3 hearts, make a slit and turn inside out.

 

Place the hearts on the stem top and fuse them in place.

Now, the fun begins! I used FabuLux color 06to applique the edge of the hearts using a blind hem stitch. I won’t deny that I really like variegated thread in general for machine applique. It isn’t difficult to choose Fabulux thread for applique. It’s the color changes very subtly and gradually and  carries an incredibly brilliant luster while feeling delightfully soft and supple to the touch. Designed for longarm as well as midarm and domestic machines too! It adds that little something special to applique pieces.

Same as yesterday, I’ll use the open toe presser foot, lining the needle up with the inner edge of the foot.

Before starting to applique the edges of the heart I’ll set my stitch length at 2 and at 2 for the stitch width. You may prefer different settings and that’s fine!  There are no right or wrong settings for this stitch, it’s a personal choice.

 

Using the open toe foot, use the blind hem stitch the applique the hearts to the top of the stems.
Using the open toe foot, use the blind hem stitch the applique the hearts to the top of the stems.

 

By using fusible interfacing, we don’t need to worry about any raw edges and little threads showing within the applique stitches. This is a great way to get a nice clean edge and finish.

I like how FabuLux thread adds luster to the hearts…

 

Hearts appliqued to the top of the stems
Hearts appliqued to the top of the stems

 

That’s it for today! Come back tomorrow and we’ll add leaves using InvisaFil threads.

 

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: Why WonderFil Tutti thread is so good for satin stitch applique

Go to part 3: When your quilting calls for threads to be invisible, use InvisaFil

I took my first quilting course in September 1994 in Barrie, Ontario, near the armed forces base where I was stationed. After moving to Ottawa in 1996, I joined my first guild. I took more courses and began to buy quilting books and lots of fabrics. Quilting has become my passion. I have made over 150 more quilts since then, and have never looked back. I now share my knowledge of quilting by teaching and doing presentations, and blogging!

1 Comment

  1. Carol Miki

    2018 will be my year I learn more about applique and wool applique. Love it!

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