Layering Your Machine Applique

There are different approaches to building your applique designs. And these vary with your technique. Today, I am going to talk about my strategy in layering, or building my machine stitched applique components,

When we start a design, breaking it down in our mind’s eye is a good first step. What component goes under what other component? What is best placed on top of another? Where can we stitch over a join and eliminate a second stitching? What progression will be tidy and eye pleasing?

Often, we are told to cut all of our shapes before fusing or gluing them to our background. And then gluing or fusing them all at once prior to stitching.

I have found then when doing fusible, machine stitch, raw edge applique that this may not be the best approach. For one, I am still changing my mind about colors! Nothing is set in stone until it is stitched down. Secondly, when working fusible media you may find some areas lifting or losing their adhesion as you manipulate your fabric through the machine throat. And last, fusing all at once does not give you the best progrssion for layering your over/under components.

The center of this block is done, now working on stems. Stems are bias tape.
Those little, curved center stems were stitched first. Then the longer stem was lain on top and stitched for a nice, smooth look.
The small under leaf was added next.
Checking placement!
Cutting the larger leaves. Be sure to cut nice smooth edges!
Second tier of leaves stitched.
Checking my bloom size. I am cutting the petals as a single component and tranferring the petal lines with a white, ceramic marker.
The top of the bloom gets stitched first. And the stamens are added so that they will tuck neetly under the front part of the bloom. Stamen placement was traced with my ceramic marker.
The first 3 stamens were stitched with a purple variegated thread. The second two were stitched with a coral variegated thread for a color pop. Stamens all stitched using my #431 deco stitch on my Bernina 480 SE.
Front of blooms added and stitched. The blooms are placed on top of the stitched leaves, and lie nice and flat.
Now onto the second bunch of blooms, stitching two at a time. The lower bloom ended up a bit off center! Oops! But I didn’t want to rip, so I re-drew my petal lines (see two photos down).
Stamens stitched using the same purple variegated as on the first group of blooms, and a solid plum color.
Adding the front of the blooms! My wonky bloom on the right now looks like it was always meant to be that way.
Adding the leaves/blooms to the lower stems. Are they leaves or blooms? I cut them as one piece.
Using a deco stitch in a variegated sage/orange thread for the center of the leaves. The pattern shows a small applique element in the centers, but I really liked the look of the deco stitch!
Done!

Applique is a constant process of experimenting, learning and repeating…building on our experience and growing.

Happy sewing all!

Lennea

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