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.