Posted March 2, 2016, 1:09 am
March is National Craft Month, and it is also National Quilting Month! One thing that crafters and quilters usually have in common, though, is a love for applique. So, this month we thought we would share some fun ways we have used applique recently, in hopes of inspiring your own creativity – no matter what type of sewing you like to do!
One very popular use for applique is to create monograms. Both examples shown below were sewn onto the base fabric with a satin stitch (zigzag stitch with shortened stitch length). When the appliques were finished, the fabric with the “b” design was stretched around a fabric canvas, to hang on the wall. The “H” design became the center of a pillow for a girl’s room.
Here are some images from a simple quilt for a baby’s room, which features basic applique. Many of the pieces are large, making it easy to stitch around them with a satin stitch.
It’s also fun to applique as an alternative to machine embroidery. This baby onsie features a simple cupcake design. The bottom of the design was first embellished with a straight stitch, creating the “ridges” of the cupcake bottom. The top and bottom were applied to the onsie with a zigzag stitch, then the whole thing was topped off with a little purchased flower bud.
You can embellish appliques by adding surface texture instead of the traditional satin stitching. In the pillow shown below, we used a Cording Foot. A single cord was placed in the foot’s center groove, then set the machine for a narrow zigzag stitch to add the cord as a ‘border’ around the appliqued shapes on this pillow.
When it’s time to think about sewing for the holidays again, here are some ideas from projects we’ve done that might inspire you!
First is a placemat and napkin set. The “trees” were first embellished, then trimmed to size and appliqued onto the base fabric. Two of the trees feature a scallop stitch sewn with rayon thread, two of the trees feature a serpentine stitch sewn with a twin needle, and one tree has small fabric circles applied to the tree fabric with free-motion stitching. The coordinating napkin has a decorative stitch that has a triangular shape, complementing the shape of the trees appliqued to the placemat.
We also made a couple of Christmas stockings. One features a simple diamond shape (super easy!), but then a straight stitch added for embellishment – the result is an ‘argyle’ effect! Our other stocking features a little Scottie dog applique, sewn on with a simple zigzag stitch.
Of course, we had to make some pillows as well! These appliques were made from felt, cut into the shapes of holly leaves, berries and stems. Because they were made from felt, there was no need to finish the outside edges of the shapes to prevent fraying. Free-motion stitching was used to applique these to the main pillow fabric.
Another pillow was made featuring “ornament” designs. The “ornaments” were done in a similar manner as that used for the “trees” placemat. One (below left) was embellished with decorative stitching. The other (below right) was first textured with stipple quilting. The shapes were then cut out and then appliqued onto the base fabric before assembling the pillow.
We hope you’ve been inspired to look at applique in a new way! For more ideas, go to www.singerco.com.
Posted June 9, 2015, 6:00 am
June is traditionally thought of as kick-off to the bridal season, so we thought we’d inspire you by showing a wedding dress that we embellished with machine embroidery! Whether you are making a wedding dress, any other special occasion dress, or if you just want to embellish one that has already made, machine embroidery allows you to create something that is truly one-of-a-kind!
Our dress is a ball gown silhouette, made with ivory silk satin. When you take a closer look at the embroidery that goes all the way around the dress, you’ll notice that there are larger embroidered areas that alternate with smaller ones. We used a technique called Multiple Hoop Embroidery to create the design layouts, which is a feature that can be found on many SINGER sewing & embroidery machines. This feature allows you to take a design that is the size of a single hooping, and create a larger design layout in the software. This large layout is then transferred to the machine for embroidery, but stitched “one hoop at a time”.
Take a closer look and you’ll see the four “repeats” of a single design.
A smaller, coordinating design was used to embroider the smaller sections between the larger embroidery layouts:
The thread color we chose for the embroidery was similar to the fabric color, creating a tone-on-tone effect. We used rayon thread on the top of the machine, for a beautiful sheen. Bobbinfil thread was used in the bobbin. Bobbinfil thread is finer (thinner) than all-purpose thread, so when you put it in the bobbin, you can get more thread on the bobbin each time you wind – so you wind less frequently. It also helps make the embroidery less dense on the backside of the fabric. We used SINGER Chromium needles, Style 2000, in a size 11 for doing the machine embroidery. Stabilizer is also important. A fusible tear-away, plus an additional layer of non-fusible tear-away stabilizer was used. When the embroidery was finished, we gently removed the excess stabilizer to prevent distorting the design.
Finally, we used heat-set Swarovski crystals (2000 of them!) to finish it off. We mixed 2 different colors of crystals – clear and pearl.
We hope that we’ve inspired you to add machine embroidery to one of your next projects! Please share with us what you’ve made – we’d love to see it!