Friday, February 27, 2015

Applique, Three Ways

Last fall, I bought a pattern called Little Butterflies, from Laundry Basket Quilts, along with a Bali Pop to make it with.  The pattern calls for fusible applique, but I planned to convert it to needle turn and make it my portable hand project for however long it would take to finish.

Here is my first block, hand appliqued using the needle turn method.  

Two issues:  the butterfly's body was hard to do (very small - the entire butterfly fits on a 5" square) and looks a bit wonky, and it took a long time.  Also, I have another hand project in mind and so don't need this to be my hand project of the year.  So I thought I'd give fusible a try and see how it turned out.  

Block 2, fused using Steam A Seam 2 then stitched with a small zigzag stitch on my sewing machine.

Not terrible but the stitches are visible.  Of course, with practice I could probably improve my technique.  What else can I try?

Block 3, fused, then stitched with what I call a hem stitch; #7 on my Bernina using a width of 2 and a length of 1 (very tiny).  I experimented with a variety of stitch sizes and this worked best.  A narrower stitch did not seem secure.  

The stitches are still visible but could be less so with better matching thread and improved technique.  I don't think anyone will notice the stitches after quilting and when hung on the wall, unless they are really looking for them.  I think I'll go with this one.  


  1. Those little butterflies are really cute! Have you ever tried the freezer paper applique method? I love it so much more than needle-turn -- the edges are nice and crisp which prevents the "wonky" look (although I don't see much wonk in your butterfly LOL) and it's easy to hide the stitches if you keep the needle under the piece and stitch along the edge. And for machine work, have you ever tried invisible thread on the top? Not sure if that would appeal to you, but it's another option if those stitches are bothering you.

  2. Cathy, have you tried using invisible thread? You can't see stitches with the invisible thread.

  3. I use invisible thread on all of my machine appliqué .

    Sucha cute butterfly :-D

  4. All of your reasons are why I wrestle with fusible applique too. Sounds like you've got a solution. Invisible thread has improved a lot over the years. The other gals had a good suggestion.

  5. Heather Mulder Peterson had a very detailed tutorial with tips and tricks for machine appliqué on her blog Trends and Traditions a week or two ago. I like the fabric you are using on your butterflies.


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