Friday, June 11, 2010

How to Machine Appliqué

marimekko flowersI just listed a new embroidery design in my shop. It’s an appliqué of letters with some cute Marimekko flowers adorning each letter. Have I ever blogged about how much I love Marimekko fabric? Well, I should because Marimekko is a staple in the modern design world. And has been for 40 (or is it 50?) years now. Yummy stuff.  I want every pillow pictured here on the right.
Anyway, here is a quick tutorial on how to appliqué by machine.
First, hoop your fabric and sew the first stitching—this is calling the placement line. I don’t have a photo of this, sorry. Not all designs come with a placement line, although I think they should. The appliqués in my shop do because I am fancy.
Second, take a scrap of cotton, heavily starch it, and lay it over the first stitching. Make sure it covers the entire stitching area. If there is a hole to cut out for a letter “e” like here, I would carefully cut a little slit in the fabric now, then lay the fabric back over the stitching line. It is very difficult to cut out the little slit later after it has been sew down. Ask me how I know. (Ruined many items this way by cutting through all the layers of fabric.) See the little slit in the center of the “e”? Now you’ll sew the 2nd stitching, called the tackdown.
applique letters 001
Now remove the hoop from the machine (do not remove the fabric from the hoop!!!) and carefully cut away the excess fabric using some cheap little applique scissors. I use some curved fiskars that I got at Wally-Mart for $5. Try to get as close as you can without cutting the stitches, duh. If you snip a stitch (or two) it’s all good. Replace the hoop, stitch out the 3rd stitching, as seen below. This is kind of a zig-zaggy stitch to cover most of your frayed edges.
applique letters 004
The 4th stitching will be the final satin stitching, seen below. This will be the only stitching that will actually show. The bare spots you see are where the flowers will be stitched out. Good designs always remove unnecessary bulky stitching underneath. If not, you’ll actually see the ‘bump’ underneath your final stitched design. Not to mention it will be thick and stiff in those areas. Ok, enough about that.
applique letters 005
Now you are ready to stitch out your cute little Marimekko flowers. All done! Well, with the embroidery part.
applique letters 011
I decided to make all my cute little linen squares into a banner. How cute did my linen ‘celebrate’ banner turn out with all the little Marimekko flowers? I sure love it.
 applique letters sampler
the final product:
applique letters 018 watermark

8 comments:

Candy said...

So So SO stinking cute! Seriously, you're amazing!

Marjorie said...

Love the banner and those darling letters! Some great info on machine applique too!

Brittany & Barry said...

Love it!!

Mirna said...

Love your new letters..

Little E and Company said...

Love Love Love it!

Win said...

Very cute! I want those pillows too!!

Waders said...

Fun to learn about the things you create so well.

PhotoPuddle said...

That's so cute! I really love the lettering.

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