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Applique- More than Satin Stitching!

quilting icon quilting

Appliqué can be done with most stitches in your sewing machine—straight, zigzag, blindhem, blanket stitch and most decorative stitches. This versatile embellishing technique takes on a different persona depending of which stitch you choose.

Even with the same stitch, changing the thread can give the piece a totally different look — think about using Coats Polyester Embroidery thread, Dual Duty XP general Purpose thread, Coats & Clark Metallic thread, Coats & Clark Glow-in-the-Dark or even Coats Transparent for the edge finishing.

Follow these handy tips for appliqué success:

Applique: More than Satin Stitching!

Satin stitch applique.

  • Use matching thread in the bobbin. A fine weight of thread, such as Dual Duty XP Fine, in the same color as the appliqué thread is an ideal pairing.

  • Layer your appliqué with stabilizer under the base fabric for pucker-free stitching.

  • Applique: More than Satin Stitching!

    Satin stitch applique.

  • Take advantage of the machine’s needle-down setting for easier corner pivoting.

  • If your appliqué is a lighter color than the background fabric, use tricot interfacing on the underside of the shape to prevent show-through. Interfacing also helps prevent raveling on trickier appliqué fabrics like satins, silks or lamés.

  • For a sure hold, back the appliqué shape with fusible web and fuse in place before stitching.

  • Use either a metal or clear open-toe presser foot for maximum visibility as you stitch.

  • Choose threads that match or contrast with the appliqué fabric, depending on the desired look. If you prefer a “no-edge” look, choose invisible thread in either clear or smoke.

  • Applique: More than Satin Stitching!
  • Be sure your stitching is primarily on the appliqué fabric and that it covers the edge. If the stitching line is too far out, the appliqué may pull out; if it’s too far in, you may see pokies of the fabric showing beyond the stitching line. Test-stitching will determine what’s “just right.”

  • Always keep the stitches at a right angle to the edge of the appliqué shape. This will involve pivoting around curves—just leave the needle down in the fabric, lift up the presser foot, and reposition the fabric slightly before you continue stitching.

  • If your appliqué stitching doesn’t end in a seam, or under another layer, pull the threads to the back to secure them; avoid backstitching.

  • Applique: More than Satin Stitching!

    Satin stitch applique.