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3 tips for machine applique using non-traditional stitches

 

Welcome back to day four of machine applique with the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 930. While we’ve covered three different types of stitching, there are a couple of basic principals of machine applique that I haven’t touched on yet. I’ll quickly run through those today and then we’re going to look at some different stitches that are great applique stitches and provide a totally different look from what we’ve seen so far. Here are 3 tips for machine applique using non-traditional stitches I like to call, the ‘wild card’ stitches.

3 basic tips for machine applique

1. Never start stitching in a corner or at a point – start on a straight edge if possible.

2. Use the FIX button to anchor the stitching at the beginning and end of the line of stitching.

3. Stitch the bottom most pieces first (those with the ends tucked underneath another piece) and work your way to the applique shapes that are on top.

 

Wild Card stitches

If you look at the built-in stitches on the Sapphire 930, you’ll find many, many interesting stitches. Who says that they can only be used in a decorative way? Why not try some of them in a functional way and use them for applique? Yep – there are guidelines, but they are just guidelines!

Some of the built-in stitches in the four stitch menus on the Sapphire 930
Some of the built-in stitches in the four stitch menus on the Sapphire 930

 

Below are some samples of how other non-traditional stitches were used for applique.

The first one is similar to the blanket stitch, but it has a jog in both directions. In this case, the middle of the stitch follows the edge of the applique and you get a very organic feel to the center of this flower.

Decorative stitch used for applique
Decorative stitch used for applique

 

Remember that some stitches may be more difficult to use for applique especially if there are corners and points to deal with. Depending on the shape, sometimes it doesn’t really make that much of a difference if the point isn’t perfect. This type of stitch below would be very difficult to turn the corner.

So I started at one end of the leaf shape and I stitched to the end. I used the FIX button to secure the line of stitching at both ends.

Then I returned to the same starting point as the original line of stitching and stitched a second line down the other side, again using the FIX button to secure both lines of stitching.

Now the “spikes” of the applique are going in the same direction down both sides. If I would’ve pivoted at the point, the spikes would be going in the opposite direction down the second side.

The "spikes" of the applique are going in the same direction down both sides
The “spikes” of the applique are going in the same direction down both sides

 

The thing to keep in mind is how complicated the stitch sequence is. The more complicated, the harder it’ll be to get around corners and into points. It can be done – it’ll just be harder.

Also, when using decorative stitches for applique, you’ll more than likely have to use the mirror function end to end and/or side to side functions. Since these are built into the Sapphire 930, there is no issue with what stitch to choose.

These next two examples are different types of satin stitch – you can really have fun with some of these ‘wild cards stitches’ and I’m only scratching the tip of the ice berg with these few samples.

This is where you need to get some fabric, set aside some time and let loose!

An uneven edge on both edges satin stitch
An uneven edge on both edges satin stitch

 

An uneven edge on one side satin stitch
An uneven edge on one side satin stitch

 

I could go on and on with the various other stitches that can be used for applique. But I’m not going to. I want you to do some stitch-outs. Send me samples – get creative. How did you use the stitches? Did you combine stitches to get an interesting look?

Although there are 3 tips for machine applique using non-traditional stitches, the possibilities are endless!

 

 

Elaine Theriault is a teacher, writer and pattern designer who is completely obsessed with quilting. Elaine’s Tech Tips column (originally published in A Needle Pulling Thread magazine) is now available online in e-book format at QUILTsocial.com. When not quilting, she enjoys spending time with her two dogs, Lexi and Murphy, or can be found cycling across the country. Her blog is crazyquilteronabike.blogspot.com.

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