Friday, August 5, 2011

Applique tips from the applique queen

Good day folks!

Today, I'm working on new designs for both general sale AND the new set of Monthly Mini's (series #5) that are due to release at Fall Quilt Market in Houston.

One of the new designs has a large and sort of detailed snowflake.  Now, I like to keep my design shapes simplified so that they are easy to machine applique.  Although this particular snowflake has more  . . uh what's the word I'm looking for . . . . detailed edges, it is still relatively simple.  Okay, how about one notch up from simple?  Here's a sneek peek and you'll see what I mean.
I thought this would be a great opportunity to show you my actual applique process with a little video showing me doing just this.  That, and I got a new ipod last week (fancy schmancy) and it's so damn cool that I got the genius idea to take progress pictures and video of my work today.  Yeah - I'm sure I'm the first quilter to use my ipod to demonstrate - I was a child prodigy - always ahead of the curve . . . just ask my Mom.  HA!

So - I'm inserting the video here & I hope you can view it - if not please holler at me, cuz I'd love to hear your feedback.  If you can't view it . . . well then a genius I am not. HA!  Please let me know, though, because I tested it and could watch it once and then when I opened the blog again to view it - it wasn't working.  You are my guinea pig - lucky you.

When I'm appliqueing, I stop and turn many many times - especially when a shape has small curves which I can't maneuver around while in stitching motion.  This snowflake is the best example of how I take a few stitches (always stopping with my needle on the right, at the edge of the shape) stop with my needle in the down position (very important to choose that option on your machine when appliqueing) lift my foot, turn the entire project, lower the foot, and continue stitching.  By always stopping with your needle in the DOWN position and at the right of your shape, you won't get the "V" shaped stitches in your blanket stitching.  Oh, yeah I forgot to mention that I always use the blanket stitch - it's my favorite.

This snowflake shape is white, but I didn't want to use a white thread as it will just blend with the fabric.  I want the edges of my flake to POP, so I'm using a very light blue thread.  It's just enough that it will give the snowflake edges definition, yet it blends or rather, compliments the white fabric nicely.

So, that's it - my brilliant applique tip!  Seriously though, I hope you find this helpful.  I know lots of people who are scared of machine appliqueing and as long as you follow the steps I gave above, you should be machine appliqueing up a storm in no time.

Til next time, thanks for peeking in on me.  Hope you enjoyed this.



  1. Video was great, but where was the music? Just kidding. I do the month minis for my local quilt shop and have gotten very good at the machine blanket stitch. Oh, I am excited about series 5...and the new ones for general sale. I just got all the fabric put together for the one in the Fons and Porter magazine. You are marvelous!

  2. Love your designs, have made several! Sadly, unable to open the applique video which I'm sure contains lots of helpful information. Am running on Linux, so that may be part of the problem for me.
    Keep making your many very cute designs.

  3. Am working on the Monthly minis (by mail) and having a blast with them. They are such a joy to have sitting to look at while I'm working on others. I have a regular collection of your patterns and will continue to buy them as they make for quick gifts. Thanks for keeping my interest.

  4. Julie, I just love your designs. They have lots of detail making them ever so cute. I have talked with you at quilt market several times, and taken your schoolhouses and really love your bubbly attitude and friendliness to everyone. Keep those juices flowing and I will be back for many more of your patterns!!


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