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Monogrammed Applique

The Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby Royale is such an impressive sewing machine. My head is buzzing with all kinds of projects I want to start and others I want to finish up. Let’s face it, I don’t need to start new projects so I’m trying to find creative ways to finish what I’ve started already. I started making this bag a couple of months ago. It’s distinctly mine because it’s bright orange, but I want to dress it up a bit so I decided that a monogrammed applique would be the perfect touch. Then, the bag would be finished.

The monogrammed applique is very simple – you can dress it up how you like – there is much flexibility here.

While I could choose to do the same thing with the embroidery unit on the Designer Ruby Royale, I want to show you some things about applique before we get to machine embroidery.

Satin Stitching

I love the abilities of the Designer Ruby Royale for applique, in particular, the satin stitch. The stitch is beautiful and I’ve so many options for increasing the density, the width, and the edges (smooth or jagged). But, best of all, I love the Sensor foot up as the presser foot raises whenever I stop which makes pivoting around corners a snap. I did cover satin stitch and a video for the Sensor Foot Up in a previous post.

Before we get started, I want to show you the presser foot that you should use for applique. The Sewing Advisor will choose Presser Foot B.

Why Presser Foot B?  Let’s look at the back of Presser Foot A (on the right) and Presser Foot B (on the left). See that groove? That groove allows the presser foot to glide over the raised stitches formed when doing any kind of applique. If you do not use this foot, there’s more likelihood the machine will get jammed on the stitches.

Presser Foot B (on the left) has a groove while Presser Foot A (on the right) doesn't
Presser Foot B (on the left) has a groove while Presser Foot A (on the right) doesn’t

 

Because of the grooved back, Presser Foot B is able to glide over the applique stitches
Because of the grooved back, Presser Foot B is able to glide over the applique stitches

 

Project: Monogrammed Applique

Choose a font

Choosing a font is easy. I use Microsoft Word and type out the letter(s) that I want. Next I increase the font size to what I think I want. I believe the size of my letter “e” was 310. The actual size will depend on the letter and the font you choose. Then, use the pull down menu and scroll through the fonts. If your letter(s) are highlighted, you can see what your font will look like in each of the different fonts.

Once you choose the font you want, go into the font settings and choose “no fill” and increase the thickness of the black outline of the letter.

Print the letter and, voila! …you have your own pattern in the size you want and in the font you want. The possibilities are endless. I’m sure there’s a way to mirror that image to make it easier to trace, but I don’t know how to do that.

My pattern for the monogrammed applique
My pattern for the monogrammed applique

 

Here are the supplies needed:

  • My letter to trace
  • A fusible web
  • Rick rack or other trim
  • Fabric for the letter
  • Background for the applique
Supplies needed for monogrammed applique (fusible web not shown)
Supplies needed for monogrammed applique (fusible web not shown)

 

Next step, trace the letter “e” from the wrong side. Since I’m working with fusible web on the wrong side of my fabric, any lettering will have to be traced in reverse in order for the lettering to appear in the correct orientation on the right side.

Letter "e" traced onto fusible web
Letter “e” traced onto fusible web

 

I covered the fusible web applique technique in an earlier post. You can check it out if you are not familiar with the technique.

The shape of the lower case “e” is pretty much a circle for this font (Comic Sans). I want the background to be a circle to echo the shape of the letter “e”. I used freezer paper to cut out a circle and then auditioned the size on the side of my bag before I cut out the background fabric.

Auditioning the applique background (with freezer paper) before cutting the background fabric.
Auditioning the applique background (with freezer paper) before cutting the background fabric.

 

Another reason I chose a circle for the applique background is that my bag is pieced from 5-inch squares. I wanted a different shape to help the applique stand out from the bag.

Next up, using the freezer paper as a template. I cut a circle for the applique background leaving 1/4″ seam allowance. This method of applique was covered in an earlier post. But, I’ll provide a quick review here. I like to use the starch method to turn under the edges, but you can use fusible web to fuse the background to the bag if you prefer.

Tools required to turn the edge of the applique edge. Liquid starch (in the small container), stencil brush, scissors and the applique shape (freezer paper) ironed onto the wrong side of my applique background.
Tools required to turn the edge of the applique edge. Liquid starch (in the small container), stencil brush, scissors and the applique shape (freezer paper) ironed onto the wrong side of my applique background.

 

I turn the edge of the applique under before I fuse and stitch the monogram. However, it would be better to stitch the letter first and then turn the edges under. I got so excited I just turned the edge under. There isn’t a lot of stitching so it wasn’t a big deal, but stitching applique can distort the final piece so best to do the stitching first and then cut out the shape for the background.

I slip a piece of stabilizer under my work. I’m going to touch on stabilizers in a future post, but you must put stabilizer under any satin stitch. If you don’t, you are asking for a big mess.

Next, I set the Designer Ruby Royale for satin stitch, snap on Presser Foot B, and I’m ready to stitch.

Stitching out the applique
Stitching out the applique

 

Can’t say enough about the Sensor Foot Up for applique. When you engage the Needle Stop Up/Down, every time you stop, the needle stays in your project and the Sensor Foot Up will lift slightly to pivot. This makes the applique so easy to do. In the picture below, you can see that I had to pivot a lot to ensure a smooth turn around those sharp edges and the not so sharp edges. The more you pivot, the smoother those corners and curves will be.

Smooth and even satin stitch around the edges and in the corners
Smooth and even satin stitch around the edges and in the corners

 

I want to add some trim to my monogrammed applique and I chose rick rack. There are all kinds of trim to use on the outside, if you want. Alternatively, I could use a blue background with an orange “e” and no trim. In this case, the trim helps to highlight the background of the applique fabric.

I basted the rick rack to the outer edge of the applique background. Notice I stitched about 1/8″ inside the edge so that when I stitch the background to the bag, I won’t be stitching over my basting. This will make removing the basting stitches very easy.

Basting is one of the sewing techniques on the Designer Ruby Royale Sewing Advisor
Basting is one of the sewing techniques on the Designer Ruby Royale Sewing Advisor

 

Basting the rick rack to the outer edge of the applique background
Basting the rick rack to the outer edge of the applique background

 

Checking out the monogrammed applique before it gets stitched down
Checking out the monogrammed applique before it gets stitched down

 

Once I’m happy with the placement of the monogrammed applique, I can use a straight stitch to stitch the applique to the side of the bag.

Then, I can easily remove the basting stitches. As you pull the basting stitches out, you can pull the bobbin basting stitch up through the top to get rid of it.

The bobbin basting stitches have pulled to the top so they are easy to remove
The bobbin basting stitches have pulled to the top so they are easy to remove

 

I then set the Designer Ruby Royale up for free motion stitching, which is easy as there is a button on the large interactive screen. All the settings are changed and I just have to put on the Sensor Q-foot.

My bag has a layer of fusible fleece on the underside and I thought it would be nice to “highlight” the applique by stitching in the ditch around the letter.

The "free motion" button on the large interactive screen
The “free motion” button on the large interactive screen

 

I admit that when the free motion menu popped up, I didn’t know if I wanted Free Motion Floating or Free Motion Spring Action. I wasn’t sure which free motion mode the Sensor Q-foot was to be used in, so I checked Quick Help and it told me immediately that I needed the Free Motion Spring Action mode. That was easy! No manual to search for, no Google search required. Two clicks and I had my answer. So easy!

Free motion quilting the monogrammed applique
Free motion quilting the monogrammed applique

 

If you’re lucky, the ends of the rick rack will match up and, hopefully, you can cut the rick rack so all raw edges will be tucked beneath the applique shape. If not, cut the rick rack close to the seams and use a little Fray Block on it to prevent raveling.

Cut the ends of the rick rack close and seal with Fray Block
Cut the ends of the rick rack close and seal with Fray Block

 

The completed monogrammed applique
The completed monogrammed applique

 

The finished bag Pattern Source: Chubby Charmer by Quiltsillustrated, Inc.
The finished bag
Pattern Source: Chubby Charmer by Quiltsillustrated, Inc.

 

There you have it! A very simple way to personalize any project. In my case, I appliqued this to a bag, but you can easily add this to a quilt. Don’t want letters? Then choose a simple applique shape and applique that. It’s fun and dresses up an otherwise ordinary piece.

That’s it for me this week. I hope you enjoyed this adventure with the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby Royale. I’ve learned so much and there’s so much more to come. Next time, we’re going to take the embroidery unit for a spin. I can’t wait to show you how to incorporate embroidery into the quilting process. It’s going to be very exciting!

See you in a couple of weeks and, if you make a monogrammed applique, send us a picture. I would love to see the final project and your applique. Have a great day! Ciao!

Elaine Theriault is a teacher, writer and pattern designer who is completely obsessed with quilting. Elaine’s Tech Tips column (originally published in A Needle Pulling Thread magazine) is now available online in e-book format at QUILTsocial.com. When not quilting, she enjoys spending time with her two dogs, Lexi and Murphy, or can be found cycling across the country. Her blog is crazyquilteronabike.blogspot.com.

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