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Applique Patterns

Now that the quilt top is complete or at least in sections, it’s time to add some applique to the What’s Good For the Gal is Good For the Guy challenge quilt. Because the quilt is for a guy, I’ll stick to geometric quilt patterns that fit in with the rest of the quilt design. I’m thinking hexagons and I’ve just the tools to create these applique patterns.

Now that the blocks have been sewn together and the quilt top is in sections, I can move onto the next part of this quilt challenge — applique.

Applique shapes

My main shape for the applique is going to be hexagons. I have a set of hexagon templates ranging from 1-inch to 5-inches in diameter. I’ll be using all the sizes in a variety of the Eclectic Elements fabric to be placed on the open background areas of the quilt top.

I also have a couple other templates which I may use for some different shapes.

Multiple hexagon templates
Multiple hexagon templates

 

Let’s get started with the applique

My favorite applique method is to use fusible web which, I believe, is the fastest form of applique. Needle turn is gorgeous but, I’m afraid, the quilt wouldn’t be ready until 2020 if I had to use this method for the applique. I’ll stick to the fusible.

I trace my pieces out on the paper side of the fusible with a hard leaded pencil because hard leaded pencil doesn’t smudge or get lead on your hand. You don’t want to get pencil marks on the fabric.

Tracing the shapes
Tracing the shapes

 

When I cut the pieces out, I leave about a ¼-inch of space around each one. This ensures the glue of the fusible will come to the edge of each piece when it’s cut out on the line and fraying will be prevented.

Lots of hexagons
Lots of hexagons

 

Following the manufacturer’s directions, I fuse the pieces to the wrong side of the fabric. Once in your applique career you’ll fuse it to the right side of the fabric and have to start over — it happens to all of us, don’t worry you’re not the first.

Shape fused to wrong side of fabric
Shape fused to wrong side of fabric

 

Now,cut out each shape on the pencil line with a sharp pair of scissors. For these straight lines, you could use a ruler and rotary cutter. Doing it that way would definitely ensure straight even edges on the applique shapes.

Cut shapes along the line
Cut shapes along the line

 

After cutting the shapes out, I position them on the quilt top. Once I’m happy with the layout of the pieces, I’ll fuse them to the quilt top.

Below is a picture of the idea of what I want to do. Hexagons with lines going out to other hexagons starting in the middle of the quilt and moving out to the edge. That’s a lot of shapes that still need to be drawn, fused, cut and placed!

Hexagon positioned with strips of fabric
Hexagon positioned with strips of fabric

 

Along with the solid hexagon, I also want to use this hexagon ring. I made it with the Jelly Monster template. I ended up drawing the middle section with lines and then removing the template and cutting along the lines. This was easier and much more precise than cutting in the lines on the template.

Hexagon ring
Hexagon ring

 

I left the quilt top in sections to make it easier to stitch down the applique pieces with the Pfaff Creative 4.5. Although with the design I’m creating with the applique shapes, I’m thinking that some of the pieces will have to be appliqued in place once all the sections are sewn together.

Thank goodness this machine does have a nice large throat space. It will make it much easier to sew those few remaining shapes in place once the quilt top is put together.

Lots of throat space on the Pfaff Creative 4.5
Lots of throat space on the Pfaff Creative 4.5

 

Finding a stitch

I know I should be working on the shapes, but I’ve been side tracked by all the stitches on the Creative 4.5! Trust me, the library of stitches is huge. Now, for the hard part — picking a stitch.

To pick a stitch, I need to familiarize myself with how to find the stitches on the sewing machine.

There is a bit of a map of the stitches on the top flip up cover of the sewing machine. It shows six different categories of stitches ranging from utility stitches in section one to hand look stitches in section two, decorative stitches in section four and much much more.

Each of these sections shows subsections with even more stitch choices. Oh, this is not going to be an easy task! But, I do know I need a stitch that will cover the edge of the applique shape to ensure it stays in place and doesn’t fray.

The hard copy manual shows all the stitches as well.

Top cover with index of stitches
Top cover with index of stitches

 

All the stitches are found and are accessible on the LCD screen.

When on the home screen, use the stylet to click on the icon that looks like lines in a book at the bottom right hand side of the screen.

Stylet pointing to icon for stitch catalog
Stylet pointing to icon for stitch catalog

 

The pink screen of the decorative stitch catalog is now available for me to preview all the stitches. The default setting is category one, which is the utility stitches, including several subcategories, such as “essential stitches”. This is shown in the photo below.

The other categories of stitches run along the top of the screen from 1 to 7.

Stitch catalog screen
Stitch catalog screen

 

I click on category two and now have the stylet ready to click on stitch #8, which is a blanket stitch. This is one of my favorite stitches for securing applique pieces.

Category 2 stitches with the subcategory of handlook stitches
Category 2 stitches with the subcategory of handlook stitches

 

After clicking on stitch #8, a screen appears telling me what foot I should use, that the feed dogs need to be up, an image of the stitch, and much more. The stitch length and width can also be changed on this screen using the minus and plus arrows at center bottom.

As well, if I wish to switch to another stitch in this subcategory, I can do so at the right hand side of the screen.

Info screen regarding stitch #8 the blanket stitch
Info screen regarding stitch #8 the blanket stitch

 

Accessing the stitch catalog and picking a stitch is very straight forward and user friendly on the Creative 4.5

What’s Good For the Gal is Good For the Guy quilt challenge is certainly more challenging with the geometric designs not only in the pieced blocks for the overall design but also in the applique shapes.

I’ve been busy today finishing the sections, creating shapes, and learning how to select stitches on the PFAFF Creative 4.5. Tomorrow, I’ll be test driving many of the applique and decorative stitches before I decide which to use to secure the applique patterns.

Happy Quilting

Jennifer runs Quilts by Jen, a fantastic educational resource for quilters with many great free tutorials ranging from how to choose fabrics, understanding the value of fabrics, pressing, building Bargello runs, pinning, binding, sandwiching, couching, quilting, and much more. Check them out!

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