Sew What? with Karen Charles - Applique the Easy Way

Posted by Karen Charles
I have always loved making hand-appliquéd quilts, but it is a very time-consuming way to quilt.  When I started making my own appliqué designs in our Premier+ software and stitching them with my embroidery machine, it was much faster, and I loved the results!
The best part about making freestanding appliqué designs is that each design can be combined with other shapes to make a new quilt.  When you look at most appliquéd quilts, you will notice that they use relatively simple shapes, which is why it is so easy to duplicate the technique in our Premier+ software.  Our software even has the ability to save the appliqué shape for you to send to an electronic cutter to precut the fabric, for those of you that have one. The design for this quilt was made by making a heart applique and some feathers.  I played with them on the screen to decide what I wanted the quilt to look like, and then I saved them in groups to make them easier and faster to embroider in the hoop.  The quilt below was made the same way.


Once your designs are created, marking your fabric is the next step so you know where to hoop the fabric.  Use a blue wash away pen or an iron away pen to mark your fabric. The lines need to be visible until you are finished embroidering the whole top.  An air erase fabric marking pen may be tempting to use but it disappears too fast.
To see how to hoop and learn more about making your own appliqué quilts, click here and watch the Quilters Newsletter video I made about the technique

I love sharing the projects that I have made with all of you. The one downside for me is writing instructions, because I love dreaming up new projects more than I love writing.  In this week’s blog, Cindy Bell Sarabia from the Sewing Center of Tampa Bay graciously wrote the instructions on how to create the appliqué designs for this quilt in our Premier+Ultra Software.  Thank you Cindy!  I love your enthusiasm, and it was very generous of you to share your instructions with everyone!

Click here to download Cindy's project instructions!

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