Thursday, February 25, 2010

Machine Appliqué - Some Thoughts

I have decided that I want my machine appliqué stitches to show, instead of trying to achieve an invisible stitch by just taking a small bite of the cloth. I have used my elna point-de-Paris stitch cam and thread to enhance, not necessarily match, the pieces appliquéd down.

Denise Sheehan suggests tightening your bobbin tension to keep the color of the bottom thread from pulling through onto the top. I am lucky that my elna has a small dial to do just this adjustment. You can see the top thread has actually been pulled through to the back--this ensures that the top thread color will be neat and even. I also pull the threads through to the back at the beginning and ending of each stop and start and knot them, cutting them just past the knot. This keeps the back not only neat, but doesn't allow any tangles or extra bulk. I do not cut the excess backing behind the appliquéd pieces--I do not think it is necessary.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mirror-image Blocks

No matter how many times I looked at the blocks, being oh-so-careful to glue-baste-it the pieces in just the right place, I ended up with two of the same blocks. But the miracle of the Roxanne's Glue-Baste-It! allowed me to pull and tug the offending poppy up and replace it in the correct position. Now I will repress the poppy down with the iron and begin machine quilting. I use an elna Carina and a point-de-Paris appliqué stitch cam with ecru thread in the bobbin and the color of each of the appliqué pieces as the top thread. This is the first set of mirror-image blocks I am assembling from Denise Sheehan's The Graceful Garden Jacobean Quilt.
The fabrics are from Aviary, by 3 Sisters and Collections for the Cause Legacy and Heritage, all Moda fabrics.
Denise stresses in her instructions to make sure the curves are cleanly cut, else the appliqués will have little pointy bits along the edges. You can see that the blue poppy has the pointy edges. My husband could spot the mistake clear across the room! I guess it's like sewing 4 bride's maids dresses all in a row, the fourth is by far the best! Practice makes perfect is a true axiom!
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