Today’s Topic: How to Machine Quilt Applique Blocks
Welcome to Week Twenty Three of The Better Machine Quilt-a-long based on my book 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting.
Find all of the previous Lessons HERE.
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Happy New Year, Quilters!
While 2020 was a difficult year for many of us, it was not without bright spots.
For me, launching my book, 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting and working through the lessons in our 25 week quilt-a-long–was certainly a bright spot.
I’d hoped to complete our lessons last year, but it wasn’t meant to be.
And now I’m grateful that we have a few more lessons to begin 2021.
The Lesson Plan for 2021
We will begin with Lesson 23 (page 112) on How to Machine Quilt Applique Blocks and then we’ll continue with the Lessons on Design Tips, and Custom Quilting.
The final three lessons have big projects…some of my favorite projects ever!
Then we will circle back to a few of the old lessons–where I’d like to dig in a bit more.
And a big finish with a round up of all the projects.
After…I have a HUGE project I’d like to share with you…something I’m equally thrilled and terrified by…and hope YOU will help ME!
Without further ado…
How to Machine Quilt Applique Blocks
When you take the time to qpplique quilt blocks, be sure to show them off with quilting that enhances the shapes–(From 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting)
This is the essence of machine quilting applique blocks–the applique is the the star of the show.
The machine quilting plays a supporting role.
The machine quilting should make the applique shine.
Five Ways to Machine Quilt Around Applique
Whenever lightly quilted areas are surrounded by high density quilting, the area with lower density “pops”–it becomes a more visible focal point. This is especially noticeable when using high loft batting. The low density quilted area is physically lifted higher than the more densely quilted area–creating even more “pop”. We can use this to our advantage when quilting applique. Quilt lightly (or not at all) on the applique shape, and then quilt heavily around it. POP! As simple as that–the applique becomes the focal point!
To achieve a very crisp line around the applique, closely echo stitch around each shape. This anchors the applique edge in the batting and helps lift the applique shape. I usually prefer to quilt on the “well” side of the applique-in the background fabric rather than on the applique shape.
Add rows of echo stitching around the shape to further outline the design.
embellish with motifs
After closely echo stitching the shape one or more times, add other motifs to enhance the design.
negative space designs
Another way to support the applique design is to repeat the applique motifs within the quilting design. For example, repeat the flower shapes in the quilting. This helps bring the eye back to the applique shape.
raw edge applique
Machine quilting can also be used to stabilize fabric when creating raw edge applique.
Quilt on and off the edge of the shape to embellish while stabilizing.
add stitched details
If the applique shape is large enough, add simple details, like veins in leaves or spirals in flowers, to support the design.
Remember to keep the quilting light within the shape for more pop.
One Thing to Avoid Machine When Quilting Applique Blocks
One thing that is not pleasing to my eye–though this is personal–is overall motifs quilted on top of applique. For example, I have seen quilters stipple or meander on top of elaborate applique designs–even Baltimore album blocks. IMHO there is always a better way to quilt applique designs.
Do YOU have an applique block in your collection?
If so, use your vinyl overlay to practice a machine quilted design.
Later this week we will be designing a raw edge block. Think about shapes you would like to include in your design.
Choose a color scheme and add fusible web to a few scraps of fabric. (More details to follow or review chapter 23, pages 114, 115 of 25 Days to Better Machine Quilitng.)
Here’s to quilting with POP in 2021
Please Join Me!
I will be teaching Easy Machine Quilting at Road to California (Zoom Event) on Saturday, January 23.
Join me as we discuss the Four Skills of Machine Quilting!
(Refer to the “Road at Home” Link)
PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy Quilts and are intended for personal use only. Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to LKQ. For all other purposes, please contact me at Lori@LoriKennedyQuilts.com. Thank you!
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