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Indispensable tips for bias tape applique quilting

Indispensable tips for bias tape applique quilting

by Tania Denyer

Yesterday, I went over how to applique the bias strips to create a picture, with bias tape made using the UNIQUE Bias Maker. Today, I’ll discuss how to quilt the applique piece.

It can be a bit intimidating to decide how to quilt your work after you have put in so much effort in the applique. I let the piece tell me how to quilt it, this is my process…

I always use a walking or an even feed foot… always. It makes all the difference to have all layers of your quilted project feeding through your machine evenly. I pick a longer stitch for machine quilting because the needle is going through three layers, you need the length to create an even and visible stitch.

I work from the inside out. I start by quilting between the noodles and every two or three quilting lines I stitch, I check the back to make sure it’s smooth.

I then stitch outside the noodles to the edge of the quilt. I didn’t go above the chopsticks or below the bowl. I like to work in sections to minimize any chance of bunching, particularly on the back.

Next I stitch the bowl.

Then I work on the top above the chopsticks and below the bowl, still working as much as possible from the outside in.

TIP Keep the quilting in the same direction. I work from the top down. When switching directions, the fabric is pushed in two different directions causing ripples on the front and often puckers in the back.

Close up of background quilting in red thread

I quilted around the applique rather than over it.

I change thread color depending on the background, in this case I used red and black. I kept the design simple and made sure there was an even amount of quilting over the entire piece.

TIP Stop quilting every so often, press your work and hold it up to make sure it’s hanging as evenly as possible. Quilts are fabric, so not meant to be perfectly straight like a sheet of paper but you’ll be able to keep distortion in check with this practice.

Enjoy the process and take your time.

Tomorrow I’ll go over the finishing steps for my bias tape project, with bias tape made using the UNIQUE Bias Maker.

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: How to draw with bias binding strips on your quilts

Go to part 5: A favorite quilt binding technique for a clean finish


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