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Machine applique 101 on THE Dream Machine 2

 

Thank you for joining me this week as I explore THE Dream Machine 2 starting with its very basic capabilities. This is a machine that can sew, quilt and embroider to a phenomenal level. Follow QUILTsocial in the months that follow as we highlight THE Dream Machine 2’s creative features, quilting and embroidery capabilities.

I decided to finish one of the quilting projects I started on QUILTsocial earlier this year and work on the applique portion of the table runner, follow this link to get the full material list and instructions.

Since most of us are very familiar with the blanket stitch programmed on most of our machines, I wanted to test the blanket stitch on this project using THE Dream Machine 2. At the same time I want to share with you a few points as to how you can get an even better blanket stitch when applying it to your quilting projects.

Getting ready to machine applique my table runner on THE Dream Machine 2
Getting ready to machine applique my table runner on THE Dream Machine 2

 

The orange flowers on my table runner are the base of each flower, but there are two more layers to each of the flowers. When we applique everything in place before stitching, it can become more complicated and sometimes a little messy with the stitching, it’s important not to stitch over another piece. When I have multiple layers to stitch, I like to fuse just the base pieces in place. I’ll then machine applique those pieces, and add each additional layer one at a time, machine appliqueing each layer as it is added to the table runner.

The blanket stitch is such a basic stitch, but it intrigued me to try it on this table runner using THE Dream Machine 2. On the display screen, under the Utility Stitch menu, I chose file 2. From file 2 I selected stitch 2-03 to applique my flowers. This is a basic applique stitch.

Look at the screen below, there are so many other decorative stitches that are quite original! You’ll have trouble choosing one…, so you’ll have to create more appliques on your quilt…

Choosing my stitch on the display screen
Choosing my stitch on the display screen

 

There’s more to applique stitching than choosing a desired applique stitch.

It’s important to test the width and length of the stitch to see if that will work well for the appliques. Playing with the width and length of the stitch and testing the stitch on a fabric scrap before beginning the stitching on your project, gets you the best expected results. For my table runner, because the applique pieces are not really large, I reduced the width and length of my stitch to 2. With my stitch size tested and confirmed, I’m ready to start my machine applique.

I positioned the piece correctly under the needle, starting with the needle in the down position where I want to start. In this case, I wanted to start near the center of the flower at the end of one of the petals. Since I added two additional pieces to each flower’s center, the stitching near the center of the flower is covered by these additional pieces.

My needle is in the down position at the starting point of my applique stitching
My needle is in the down position at the starting point of my applique stitching

 

I appliqued completely around the whole flower with a continuous stitch.

I’d like to add, when I’m appliqueing smaller pieces or any piece that has a curved edge, I prefer to use a speed that’s slower so that I can remain in control of my stitching.

When the applique shape has curves as they often do, I stop, raise the foot, manually turn my project to accommodate the stitching; lower the foot and stitch again. I may do this several times on a smaller piece; perhaps just making two or three stitches before I stop and turn the project again. The idea is to have an applique stitch that stays along the edge of my applique pieces; and a stitch that’s neat and appealing to the eye.

Flower base has been machine appliqued all the way around using the blanket stitch on THE Dream Machine 2
Flower base has been machine appliqued all the way around using the blanket stitch on THE Dream Machine 2

 

With the flower base stitched in place, I added the next layer of my flower, the purple circle, fused the next layer in place and machine stitched around that layer using the same stitch. As you can see in the photo below, the stitching closer to the center of the flower base is now hidden under the new appliqued shape.

Flower center is fused and machine appliqued in place
Flower center is fused and machine appliqued in place

 

The flower completed with a smaller black center using the same applique stitch.

Black flower center has been machine appliqued in place
Black flower center has been machine appliqued in place

 

It’s a joy to work the machine applique using THE Dream Machine 2. The ability to easily select the stitching, the sizing of the stitch from a very user friendly screen, and the no stress use of the application makes it a smooth process in going around the curves and tight spaces of the applique shapes.

Join me tomorrow, as I explore more stitching fun using THE Dream Machine 2.

 

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.

Go to part 2: Built-in decorative stitches add a lot of punch to seamed strips of fabric

Quilter/Stitcher, Designer, Teacher, Blogger. With a passion for all that is "stitchy", my goal is to share that passion with you though fun designs, informative and exciting lectures, trunk shows and workshops. Growing up next door to my paternal grandparents, I had the fantastic opportunity of sitting day after day watching my grandmother stitching away on her vintage White machine. She would often give me scraps and encourage me to be creative. Her creative spirit is the one that comes alive in me every day. My designs offer various techniques including regular piecing, foundation piecing, hand and machine applique as well as wool applique; catering to all levels. I create and have fun in my Montreal Studio-Quilt Shop, where I aim to bring you fun designs, exciting fabrics, notions and all kinds of stitching goodies. At Bill Locke Designs, stitching is definitely a passion where my goal is to keep you in stitches by unlocking your creativity and inspire you to stitch.

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