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Why WonderFil Tutti thread is so good for satin stitch applique

 

This week we’ll be playing with WonderFil threads.

If you’re like me, you appreciate and admire people who can hand applique. Personally, I’m not a fan of this art. Thank goodness for sewing machines that can do the work!

I’ll review some techniques that you may have forgotten and show you some new tricks in machine applique. I hope this will give you more choices when it’s your turn to play with machine applique.

In my posts this week, I’ll explore the different types of WonderFil threads and the different ways to use them when appliqueing.


 

Some of the threads from the WonderFil collection
Some of the threads from the WonderFil collection

 

Machine applique like every other skill, gets better with practice. 

Let’s start with WonderFil Tutti threads. 

Tutti is a 50wt 100% Egyptian cotton thread available in 41 vibrant, variegated colors. They’re available in both 1094yd [1000m] and 2500yd [2286m] cones.

What I love about Tutti thread, particularly for appliqueing, is the spacing of the color changes. This gives the applique work the illusion of movement. Tutti thread is also free of waxes or coatings that can cause build up in machines and is a super low lint thread, making the overall look crisp with a delicate sheen.

 

WonderFil Tutti 50wt variegated threads
WonderFil Tutti 50wt variegated threads

 

Let’s get started on this week’s project: Joyful Wallhanging. 

Of note, a 4 year old’s drawing skills are probably better than mine…

 

Image result for winky emoji

 

Making this small quilt top to show several machine applique techniques using WonderFil Threads.
Making this small quilt top to show several machine applique techniques using WonderFil Threads.

 

Note: Alternatively, you might prefer to make a few of these blocks to construct a crib-size quilt.

materials

  • 1 fat quarter for the background fabric
  • suitable scraps for the applique pieces
  • double sided fusible web
  • a pencil 

Other than the background fabric, which is a fat quarter from my stash, the fabrics I used for the applique pieces are all from my scrap bin. If you have a scrap bin, I suggest you go through it searching for the ideal fabrics for this project. Waste not!

For the first part of this applique project, we’ll work on the flower stems using the 2-sided fusible web. 

Start drawing three stems each about ½” wide on the fusible web. Then fuse the fusible web to the wrong side of selected stem fabric.

 

On the fusible web draw three ½” wide strips that are about 8" in length then fuse to fabric.
On the fusible web draw three ½” wide strips that are about 8″ in length then fuse to fabric.

 

Once your fusible web stems are fused to the stem fabric, cut out the stems. You may wish to cut your stems all different lengths. Place and fuse the stems onto the right side of background fabric. I allowed approximately 4” between the stems.

 

Fuse stems to background fabric.
Fuse stems to background fabric.

 

I used an open toe presser foot for this step since I used one of my favorite stitches: satin stitch. This foot is the one I normally use for machine applique, but I just discovered a new way to use it with applique. I used to try to keep the applique edge centered on the foot; I won’t do that anymore! I now move the needle to the inner edge of the presser foot and use the edge of the presser foot as my sewing guide.

To do a satin stitch, set your machine to zigzag. I set my machine to a .2 or .3 stitch length with a stitch width of 2.

As with any machine applique stitch, it’s better to go slow and steady. For the satin stitch it’s also important that you check as you start to sew to ensure that the zigzag is closed but that the threads are not overlapping.

Once your settings are correct, it’s time to machine applique the 3 stems stitching all the way around each stem. You’ll find that the satin stitch hides the raw edge of an applique piece very well.

TIP To prevent puckering when machine appliqueing use a stabilizer on the back of the quilt top.

 

Use the open toe foot, to satin stitch the stems.
Use the open toe foot, to satin stitch the stems.

 

Applique all three stems in the same fashion. 

 

3 stems satin stitched in place to the background fabric using WonderFil Tutti thread
3 stems satin stitched in place to the background fabric using WonderFil Tutti thread

 

Once you’re finished appliqueing the stems in place, you’ve completed today’s work.

Join me tomorrow for another tutorial, adding the hearts to the quilt top using another thread from the WonderFil collection!

 

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.

Go to part 2: 1 foolproof method for perfect, smooth and clean applique edges

I took my first quilting course in September 1994 in Barrie, Ontario, near the armed forces base where I was stationed. After moving to Ottawa in 1996, I joined my first guild. I took more courses and began to buy quilting books and lots of fabrics. Quilting has become my passion. I have made over 150 more quilts since then, and have never looked back. I now share my knowledge of quilting by teaching and doing presentations, and blogging!

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