Thursday, May 2, 2013

Blanket Stitch Appliqué Process

I have been working on a quilt for my granddaughter to be born in July. The pattern I am using is Chubby Chicks by Black Mountain Quilts.
These are cute little appliqué blocks and I thought I would share with you how I am doing the appliqué. The pattern calls for fusible appliqué, but since this will hopefully be a much loved baby quilt, I have chosen to turn the edges under and do blanket stitchI

I begin tracing the appliqué pattern on freezer paper, cutting the pattern out on the traced line and then placing the freezer paper pattern on the back side of the fabric, shiny side of paper facing up.

Trim away excess fabric leaving approximately 1/4" fabric to fold over around the pattern.
Using a mini iron, fold the fabric over, pressing until the fabric adheres to the paper. You can do this with a regular iron, but the iron must be hot enough to cause the fabric to stick to the paper, just be careful you don't burn your fingers!
Once all edges are turned under, flip you appliqué over and give it a good press on all the edges.
My next step was to prepare the background fabric. I am using a Kona solid that has the look of unable ached muslin, but the wonderful feel of Kona fabrics. The only problem is that it ravels like crazy. My finished block size is 6", so normally would cut my squares at 6 1/2"' but since this is raveling and I have a good bit of handwork to do, I cut the squares at 7".
Using the placement guide in the pattern, I lightly traced the appliqué placement into the right side of the fabric, using a regular pencil. You will have to look closely to see the lines, but they are there. I used a brown micro01 pig a pen to trace the legs as these will be embroiderd after the appliqué is finished.

Remove the paper from the back of the appliqué piece, and pin in place on the background.
I simply love the small appliqué pins for this process. The white heads make the pin easier to pick up and I find that they do not get in my way when sewing.
Now the next step is something my Mom always did and I find it a big help, plus it adds strength to your appliqué. Using a thread that matches your appliqué (I am using black so you can see the stitches), sew the appliqué folded edges under, very close to the folded edge. Do this with a running stitch and a single thread of 40 or 50 wt thread of your choice. I use Coats & Clark Dual Duty, mainly because of all the colors I can easily find it in.
These stitches will remain in your appliqué, so keep them neat. The blanket stitch will cover them up so they are not noticeable, but they can be seen if you look closely and you want them to be neat.

I recorded a video of how I do the blanket stitch. This is a video of just a couple of the stitches but easier to show than to explain in writing.

I have used two strains of embroidery floss and chose to mach my thread to the applique. 

The finishing touches to the chick are embroidered eye and legs.
I used a plastic washer from the hardware store as my template for the eye. Embroidery is the satin stitch with two strains of embroidery floss. Once the satin stitch is completed, I do a stem stitch around the outer edge to give it a smooth finish.

The legs are back stitched using three strains of embroidery floss.

And now my little chick is ready to join the flock. I hope you enjoyed the dscription on how I did this little chick.