Feb 09

Appliqué Stitching on Handmade Baby Quilts

If you are looking for a new pattern for handmade baby quilts, try appliqué stitching to add to the block patterns you have chosen.  Many quilters shy away from the appliqué stitching since they are more comfortable sewing blocks with squares, rectangles, or triangles.  Here are some suggestions that will help make handmade baby quilts change just by adding a little appliqué stitching or you may decide to jump in and try and entire baby quilt in appliqué.

appliqué stitching

Note the appliqué flower amid the blocks

  1. If you are using fusible web, and there is a problem with it not sticking well to the fabric, stop first and read or reread the manufacturer’s directions and follow the steps exactly. In most cases, if you press the fusible web longer than is recommended, the glue loses its adhesive qualities and it will no longer stick to your fabric.

  2. Curved edges are tricky when appliqué stitching. Iron your fabric to the freezer paper.  Trim the seam allowances to 1/8 inch to reduce the bulk.  The wider those seams are, the harder it will be for the fabric to stick to the paper since too much fabric is harder to gather.

  3. Fusible web is great for appliqué stitching on baby quilts, but it makes your project stiff. To reduce this problem, cut away the center portion and leave ¼ inch of fusible web around the perimeter of your shape.  This is just enough to secure the baby quilt project is place but keeps them flexible for you to do the appliqué stitching.

  4. If your baby quilts requires appliqué stitching many pieces of the same shape and you are using iron-on freezer paper, first make a plastic template. It is more accurate and easier to trace around the plastic template and onto the freezer paper, than over a printer pattern.

  5. To remove the freezer paper from underneath your finished appliqué pattern, you need to cut the background fabric. Leave ¼ inch for your seam allowance.    Another option which leaves the background in place and won’t fray is made by making a diagonal snip in the background fabric.  This allows you to pull the freezer paper through the opening.

  6. Hand appliqué stitching your baby quilts offers you two ways of stitching. The top edge is referred to as the “mountain” because you are looking over the fold.  The second way is to stitch along the “valley” or the bottom edge where you can see the exact edge of the fold.   My suggestion is try both methods and see which is more comfortable for your use.

  7. A sharp pointed needle is important for hand appliqué stitching on the special fabrics you have chosen for your baby quilts. Change the needle often.

  8. Since you may want to travel, resealable plastic bags are perfect for storage and carrying your appliqué projects. They keep your appliqué stitching project neatly organized, and is portable when you are on the go.

Using these helpful tips, your beautiful fabrics, and some creativity,  appliqué stitching is just waiting for your needle.

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