Applique houses – basted by machine but stitched by hand

Yesterday, I showed you how to sew together leftover fabric strips on my Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 sewing and machine to create a background for some raw edge applique shapes. Today you’ll learn how to finish up this wall quilt.

Raw edge applique quilt

I’m still using up some squares and half-square triangles leftover from two previous quilts. The squares are 2½” – 4½” and the triangles are half that size. I used a few rectangles as well. I’ll use these pieces as house shapes for this new wall quilt.

I gave each piece a spritz with Mary Ellen’s Best Press and then pressed them. The Best Press adds body to the fabric, and this is important because I’ll be using raw edge applique again and the raw edges do tend to fray a bit. This is not a technique I would use for a large quilt or an item that will be washed a lot, as the edges would fray too much. But I love this look for small pieces like the ones in Monday’s post and today’s wall quilt.

Lightly spray fabric with Mary Ellen’s Best Press.

I placed the houses randomly on the quilted background until I found an arrangement I liked. The shapes can be machine-stitched using any number of straight or decorative stiches on the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 machine. Have a look at Monday’s QUILTsocial post, Introducing raw edge applique with the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 machine, post for more information on suitable stitches.

House shapes are placed on the quilted background.

I decided to hand-stitch the houses to the machine-stitched background. I find it very relaxing to have some hand-stitching to do and these really don’t take much time to finish.

Once I had several houses on the background, it was time to baste them in place. I started by pinning the shapes in place, but it wasn’t secure enough for hand stitching. So, I used basting stitch 1-08 on the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050. It can be adjusted to several different lengths and this made the process much easier and faster. Because my pieces were small, I reduced the stitch size to 15mm. I wanted the houses to be a little bit wonky, so I didn’t worry too much about lining up edges. I started basting just a few houses in place, knowing I would be adding more houses as I went along. Make sure to use the MuVit Open-Toe Dual-Feed foot on the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 for perfect basting!

The basting stitch is easy to see on the bright LED screen.

Basting the house shapes with stitch 1–08

I decided to do a simple running stitch by hand around the edges of the shapes to applique them in place. After auditioning a few thread choices, I chose a dark brown variegated thread in a slightly heavier weight than what would be used for machine stitching.

Thread choices for hand stitching

When using this method of applique, you can trim up the outside edges and sew on your binding at any time. You can sew it on before you start stitching the houses, or even part-way through.

Binding and finishing

For projects like those I’ve shown you this week, the background was completely quilted before the applique was done, so I like to sew on my binding before the applique is started. This not only helps to stabilize the outside edges, but also helps you to see exactly where to place the applique shapes.

I cut my binding 3″ wide and sew it on with a ½” seam to give me a ½” finished size binding. There is a tutorial on my binding method on a previous QUILTsocial blog, Change up the way you make your quilt binding.

When joining binding strips together, I use the Sew Straight Laser Vision Guide on my Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 to make sure I get an accurate seam. Because the ends of the binding are cut on an angle (45° or 60°), it’s easy to get the seam a little off-center. By placing the laser guide on the intersections of the strips, you get a perfect seam every time.

Use the laser guide to help align edges of binding.

Edges of the binding are perfectly aligned

Hanging Sleeve

If you’re adding a hanging sleeve to the back of your quilt, it should be sewn on before the final hand-stitching of the binding. Here’s how to make it:

  • From backing fabric, cut 1 strip 6″ wide and 1″ – 2″ shorter than the width of the wall hanging.
  • Sew a narrow, double-fold hem on the 2 shorter ends of the hanging sleeve strip.
  • Fold the strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Press.

Press hanging sleeve, wrong sides together.

  • Using the MuVit Digital Dual Feed Foot (included with the BQ3050) machine-baste the hanging sleeve in place on the back of the quilt, with the raw edges even across the top.

Stitch hanging sleeve to back of quilt.

  • When the binding is hand-stitched in place, all the raw edges will be covered.
  • Stitch the folded edge of the sleeve in place by hand.
  • When all the houses are stitched in place, whether by machine or hand, carefully trim any frayed edges. Once the quilt is finished and hanging on the wall, the edges won’t fray anymore.

Finished house quilt

I really like the almost primitive look of this style of applique, and the added texture it gives to the quilt. I hope you’ll give it a try too.

Be sure to check in tomorrow, as I’ll be using my Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 sewing and quilting machine and some wonderful new Banyan Batik fabrics to create a raw edge applique table runner.

Banyan Batiks from the Sugar Crystals collection

This is part 3 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 2: Easy quilting using the MuVit Open-Toe Dual-Feed Foot 

Go to part 4: Machine basting and topstitching a spring table runner

Related posts

Springtime applique flowers with the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 machine

Machine basting and topstitching a spring table runner

Easy quilting using the MuVit Open-Toe Dual-Feed Foot