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A variety of decorative stitches create an original applique fabric

 

This week is all about WonderFil’s Splendor rayon thread packs. There are over 20 combinations of thread with 10 spools in each pack. Choose from harmony packs which are made up of a combination of threads in one color way, or choose a theme pack with 10 spools of coordinated thread.

Decorative stitches and WonderFil's rayon threads create one of a kind fabric.
Decorative stitches and WonderFil’s rayon threads create one of a kind fabric.

 

I’ve shown you 3 placemat ideas for inspiration for your next project. Today I’m making the Alphabet Applique Placemat for my granddaughter. She started preschool this fall and is learning her letters. This placemat will stay at our house for her to use when she comes to visit.

Simple applique and decorative stitching with WonderFil's rayon thread packs
Simple applique and decorative stitching with WonderFil’s rayon thread packs

 

This is a great way to personalize a placemat or even a wall hanging. I’m using the Brights rayon thread pack from WonderFil Specialty thread. There are some great colors in this pack: purple, teal, green, red, 2 shades of blue and more!

WonderFil Bright rayon thread pack.
WonderFil Bright rayon thread pack.

 

I began by fusing some fusible interfacing to the back of a plain piece of fabric. The interfacing gives the fabric some body and prevents puckers or pulls in the fabric.

Use a variety of decorative stitches and thread colors to create a bright, colorful piece of fabric.
Use a variety of decorative stitches and thread colors to create a bright, colorful piece of fabric.

 

HINT Adjust tension for perfect stitching

Throughout the previous projects, I’ve been using low loft batting as a stabilizer for the decorative stitching and WonderFil’s DecoBob 80wt polyester threads in prewound bobbins. I didn’t really need to adjust the tension for my decorative stitching.

For this project I’m using fusible interfacing which is much thinner. I do need to turn my tension down to a lower number. I start by turning the dial down one whole number. If I can’t see the bobbin thread coming to the top of my fabric, I’m good. If I can see the bobbin thread coming to the top, I turn down half a number at a time until I’m happy.

Auditioning placemat fabrics
Auditioning placemat fabrics

 

I had originally planned to sew the placemat with the pink fabric, but as I was stitching the fabric, I thought that maybe the purple was a better choice. Purple it is.

Once I decided on the best fabric color, I cut the placemat 11″ x 15″ and later trim down to 10″ x 14″ once the applique has been stitched.

I traced the reversed applique letter onto fusible web and fused to the back of the stitched fabric. I then cut out the applique and fused to the right side of the placemat.

Use a satin stitch to secure the applique to the placemat.
Use a satin stitch to secure the applique to the placemat.

 

I want some stability as I stitch the applique in place and know that using a satin stitch will show too much on the back side of the placemat. So I layered the fused applique/placemat fabric and the low loft batting. I used a dense satin stitch to secure the applique in place. I could have chosen a blanket stitch, but I wanted to make sure to secure all the loose ends of the decorative threads.

Can you see how the tension has been adjusted to show that the needle thread is coming to the back side? This would look really messy if I were stitching through all layers.

Quilt around the edge of the placemat and around the appliqued letter.
Quilt around the edge of the placemat and around the appliqued letter.

 

Once the satin stitch was complete, I trimmed the placemat to 10″ x 14″ and placed it right side down on the backing fabric. I sewed around all edges leaving an opening for turning.

I used a straight stitch close to the edge of the placemat and used the width of the presser foot for additional lines of stitching. I also outlined the applique with a straight line. I used matching thread in the needle and bobbin and adjust my tension back to normal for the quilting.

This placemat is the 4th in my week of placemats using WonderFil’s rayon thread packs. Tomorrow is something completely different. It crosses the line of ‘quilting’, but makes some great placemats. Join me tomorrow.

 

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: How to create woven Holiday Ribbons on placemats using fabric and threads

Allison has an Education degree from University of Winnipeg and many years’ experience teaching aquatics. Allison began teaching sewing and quilting while working at a sewing machine dealer in Calgary, Alberta. She also owned her own fabric store and sewing school for 6 years where she had the wonderful opportunity to teach a wide variety of classes to many sewers, young and old. She now has a studio and classroom in her home and does customer quilts and well as longarm machine rentals. She is a National Handi Quilter Educator. Allison teaches in her studio, locally and in North America. Allison has a very, very supportive husband, 2 daughters and granddaughter close by.

1 Comment

  1. Pam

    This looks like so much fun! Thanks for sharing this.

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