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How metallic thread Spotlite enhances free motion applique

 

Are you excited yet about using WonderFil’s metallic thread Spotlite? This week I’ve shared some tips for using this thread on your domestic and longarm machines to quilt. I’ve shown you how I combine the metallic with variegated threads for added sparkle and how to use the metallic threads to literally add bling to a fabric panel.

I’ll finish the week with a single thread. Using the metallic thread, Spotlite, to show you how I create quick and easy, small quilted wallhangings. I’m using this adorable acorn example…

Spools of Spotlite threads are so versatile and add bling to your quilting.
Spools of Spotlite threads are so versatile and add bling to your quilting.

 

Last month I shared a number of placemat projects to make using WonderFil’s seasons thread packs. Some of these thread packs have a little surprise! Each of the seasons thread packs come with 8 or 9 spools of rayon thread AND 1 or 2 spools of metallic thread! So you get to try a small spools of metallic and fall in love!

The Pumpkin pack has Green, MT8867 and Nutty Brown, MT8839.  Second from the right in both rows in the image below.

Seasons Colorway in WonderFil's Thread Packs
Seasons Colorway in WonderFil’s Thread Packs

 

I’m working on a small applique project and found that black thread would be too harsh, but the Nutty Brown in the Pumpkin thread pack is just perfect!

Lovely acorn wallhanging stitched using WonderFil Spotlite #8839 Nutty Brown
Lovely acorn wallhanging stitched using WonderFil Spotlite #8839 Nutty Brown

 

Applique is simply securing pieces of fabric onto another with either glue or stitches.

To complete these quilts I use a simple free motion straight stitch to applique the pieces in place.

Hand dyed fabric blocks with narrow sashing and border create a quick and easy wallhanging.
Hand dyed fabric blocks with narrow sashing and border create a quick and easy wallhanging.

 

I start by cutting 8″ squares of block fabrics, 1½” sashing strips and 3″ border fabrics. These are recently snow dyed fabrics and say “fall” to me.

I layer my quilt top with a medium weight batting and use DecoBob to quilt in the ditch along the edges of the sashing.

I trim the quilt and add the binding. My little quilt is done….not quite.

 

Raw edge applique on acorn and leaves
Raw edge applique on acorn and leaves

 

I spend a lot of time on the internet when I’m starting a project. I’ll save ideas to Pinterest and often review my saved pins when I need a boost of inspiration. I found some images for acorns and leaves, and since I like the acorns as they are, I traced the units to the paper side of fusible web. I can’t find a leaf pattern I like so I draw out my own. I used some of my hand dyed fabrics for the appliques.

I arrange an acorn in each block, spread the leaves around the entire quilt and press them in place with a hot iron. This quilted wallhanging won’t be washed so I simply need to use a straight stitch to secure the appliques in place. I drop the feed dogs on the sewing machine and use a darning or free motion foot and stitch close to the edges of the applique.

Stitched leaf applique using WonderFil's metallic Spotlite #8839 Nutty Brown color
Stitched leaf applique using WonderFil’s metallic Spotlite #8839 Nutty Brown color

 

Stitching close to the edge of the applique helps to secure the pieces to the quilt. Adding some veins to the leaves and cross hatching to the top of the acorn adds more realism to the entire project.

Each of the leaves and acorn appliques are stitched with a free motion straight stitch through all layers of the quilt.

I made sure I sew very slowly for two reasons.

  1. I used a fusible web to glue the applique pieces to the quilt. The glue on some fusible webs can melt and gum up the needle and cause the thread to catch or stick to the needle. I have to be careful. My advice is to test out the various fusible webs that are available on the market and see which one you like the best. In this project I used 2 fusible webs. One works better than the other.
  2. I want to make sure I have long stitches so that the light reflects on the strands of metallic thread. A slower stitching speed allows me to sew with a slightly longer stitch length.

This has been a fun week of stitching with WonderFil’s metallic thread, Spotlite. At the beginning of the week I shared tips for free motion quilting on a domestic sewing machine and a longarm machine. I showed some of my quilting projects including combining Spotlite with variegated polyester and used Spotlite to quilt a beautiful wallhanging for Christmas and finally an applique project for the fall.

I think I’ve shown you how versatile Spotlite is in a variety of quilting projects. It adds shine and sparkle to any project! Give it a whirl!

 

This is part 5 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 4: The bling is the thing when quilting with Spotlite thread!

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.

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