How to Machine Appliqué
As with any technique there is always more than one way to accomplish the task.
You will be learning a very easy method of applique that does not require using either pre-cut fabric or templates.
It is important to pre-shrink your fabrics.
If you have a collection of scrap fabrics and are not sure as to whether the fabric has been washed? Spray starch, then iron your fabric before use as this will shrink your cotton fabrics. It will also firm up the fabric making it easier to use.
Applique designs will look better, longer if the applique fabric has been adhered to the background fabric. I use fabric spray adhesive to hold the fabric in place (spray onto back of fabric before taking to the machine) or you can use fusible webbing on the back of your fabrics. A mini-iron may be used to fuse the applique fabric directly in the hoop. The fabric should be fused after trimming and before stitching the final applique stitch.
I have tested my applique designs using homespun cotton fabric and medium tear away stabilizer. I also like to spray starch my background fabrics as this makes them firmer.
Four Main Steps
- Placement Line
- Cutting Line
- Tack-down Stitching
- Finishing Stitches
- Hoop your background fabric and stabilizer. The first color is your placement line. Use a color that will not show though your fabrics. Sew the first stitch sequence. Leaving the hoop in your machine, place the fabric over the outline stitching.
- Sew the second color stitch sequence, this will secure the fabric and is the cutting line. Remove the hoop from the machine. Do not remove the fabric from the hoop. Place on a hard flat surface and carefully trim away the excess applique fabric. Trim as close as possible to the stitching by holding up the excess fabric with one hand while trimming with the other for best results.
- Put the hoop back into the machine and sew the third stitch sequence. This is the tack-down stitch that will cover the fabric edge. I use a transparent monofil thread, so that it does not show though the finishing stitches.
- The last stitch is the finishing stitches, in most cases this will be a satin stitch.