Poppies: A Machine Appliqued Quilt Poppies: A Machine Appliqued Quilt Courtesy of Jean Wells

Machine Applique

Machine Applique is an applique technique referring to machine stitching around the outside of pieces of fabric to be added to a background fabric. The piece can be held in place with a Quilt Fusible, basted or straight stitch. Once the piece is secured in place, generally a zigzag or blaket stitch is used to cover the outside edge. There are options to add interest and color such as a contrasting thread, decorative thread or a decorative stitch.

Benefits of Machine Applique

  • Speed is one of the primary benefits of Machine Applique. Machine stitching the applique in place can be much faster than hand-stitching.
  • Today's machines offer a wide variety of decorative stitches and machine applique is a good place to use them.
  • Machine stitching is also stronger, making it a wise choice for Kids Quilts or those likely to get a lot of use.
  • Machine applique with a very fine thread like monopoly or silk with a small needle can produce results much like hand applique where the stitches are nearly invisible.

Supplies and Tools for Machine Applique

  • Basic Sewing Supplies
  • Machine Applique can involve using quilt fusibles to hold the applique pieces in place on the background. Many fusible products are available for this method: Appli Web, Steam-a-Seam, Wonder Under, Misty Fuse and other products. The fusible product used will allow the applique piece to be movable or permanent.
  • The edges of the applique can be turned under or left a as raw-cut edges; each technique has its advantages.
  • Decorative threads are very good for adding additional design features to the quilt.
  • Specialty threads require special machine needles, like Metallica or Topstitch needles.
What I Wish I Knew When I Started Machine Applique

MACHINE APPLIQUE can be faster than hand applique, but there is still a learning curve to the process. Getting points to be sharp and curves to be smooth takes some practice.

Specialty threads require a bit of practice and machine adjustment to get the stitch look the quilter desires.

Machine Applique Resources

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