Welcome! This is the blog of Wendy Whellum and Legend and Lace Designs

Welcome to the Blog of Wendy Whellum and Legend and Lace

To find out more about Legend and Lace please visit the website http://www.legendandlace.com/

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Friday, February 24, 2012

New Tricks

I am attempting to teach myself how to do machine applique.  Yes, I know, everyone can do it!  I have never learned, and I thought I would teach myself as it could come in handy some day.  I asked friends and got all their suggestions together.  this is what I have come up with.  It is not intended to be a tutorial, just my clumsy attempt.

First thing is the list of things you need - design, fabric, vlisofix, pen, iron, tear-away, bobbin-fill, top thread, sewing machine, scissors.

 First thing is to draw your design shapes on the back of the Vlisofix - that is the paper side, not the sticky side, then cut out leaving a little space around the shapes.

Iron the shapes sticky side down onto the back of your fabrics.  Cut out on the line that you have drawn, through all layers.

Peel the paper off the back of the pieces, and place them where you want them to go.  I put them onto the drawing first, and them lifted them over onto the background fabric.  I used a block from the Maltaville Album Quilt for my drawing.

You still have to allow for the parts that go under and over, so leave a little extra fabric if you have to do this.  the top of the stem here goes under the flower.  I put the bits where I wanted and ironed them in place.  Behind the background fabric I used something called "tearaway".  I bought the iron on one, as I thought it would be easier for me as a beginner.  Not even sure if I actually need this, so will try some more without it.  Ready to go!

Get out the little book that goes with the machine, and find out what stitches you can use.  Some people recommended zig zag, others satin stitch, all kinds of ideas.  I settled on buttonhole/blanket stitch.  And, wouldn't you know it, my machine, has two varieties of these.  One goes back and forward and makes a fat looking stitch, the other is just single.  I tried the fat stitch for the bottom of the flower, and it just took ages to do.  Impatient as I am, I flicked the switch on that, and used the single stitch.  Just have to be a bit careful where the needle falls - inside or outside the line - when you start to go around corners.  Also, use the "needle down" position if your machine has that.  It helps with the corners.

Got the whole thing done in under an hour - drawing, cutting, ironing, sewing.  I could be going over to the "dark side" here....

On the back, with the tearaway still there, it looks like this.  Can you see the part at the bottom of the flower where I started with with double stitch?  Rip that paper away, and press it again.

All done!  I used only one thread on this sample - a caramel coloured Rasant thead.  I have been given lots advice on threads, and I think I just have to experiment with it and see what i like.

So, my advice here today, is if you want to try something new, just give it a go.  Talk to other people, read books, get all the ideas together, and give it a whirl.


  1. Well done on your machine applique project! I have started watching the Kay Buckley DVD, so I guess I will be starting to try something new too soon!!!

  2. Looks like you are having fun! Bravo! It looks really nice!

    1. I have been doing some more reading, and I found one well known quilter who suggested to set the stitch at 1.5 wide and 1.5 long. So I will see how that looks.