Amy from the Cute Life asked me if I'd like to try something new this year and share it with you all. After some thought, I decided on machine applique. I have to admit, this wasn't totally new to me. I had tried and failed in the past. So I wanted to tackle it again. My friend Denise gave me the courage to try again and helped me iron out the kinks. Big thanks to her for the help. Sometimes you just need someone to hold your hand. Hopefully this will be that for you! This was my first project to use my new skill and it was fun to put this little tutorial together for you.
There are a million ways to do applique, this is just what I do (correct or incorrect). My block is a take on scallop quilts. Here is the link for how to make the clamshell shape. You will need to make 9 clamshells for this block. I made my clamshells with a 4" square. Thanks to Amy, here is a template you can download.
I'm not going to go into detail on prepping the piece for sewing since there are also a million ways to do this. I used a plastic, iron resistant template and starch to turn my edges. Another favorite method is freezer paper - google it and you'll get lots of great tutorials. When you make the scallop, you only need to turn the top rounded edge for all pieces except for the bottom since the other pieces will be sewn over. This will make more sense when you see the pictures.
One quick tip for when you are prepping your pieces. If you have a circle cut ruler it can really help cutting the piece. Here you can see the marker line on my plastic template and then I cut on the 4" line above that. You can just freehand it since you'll be folding that under, but the circle template makes it much easier if you have one.
So, on to your supplies. I used a mono-filiment thread in clear that I got at my LQS.
This comes in a smoke color too if you are using dark colors.
Or you can just use a thread color that matches your fabric choice.
Next is your settings on your machine. You should get some practice fabrics to test out the right settings. I found that I need to use the mono-filiment in the bobbin as well as the top or I could NOT get a good tension going. (Be aware when winding your bobbin - the mono-filiment can get hot if spun too fast around pegs on the top of the machine).
I used stitch #27 below. Find the similar stitch on your machine. You want the machine to stitch 3 or 4 times in a straight line, then take a notch to the left. On some machines you might have a stitch like this that goes to the right and be able to reverse it. My machine is not that fancy.
Then you should bump up your width and stitch length a bit. You can see below that I did 2 notches on both of them and that I have my machine on 1/2 speed. I have a lead food and this isn't the time for that!
Once you find your settings, I recommend putting a note on your machine so if you have to come back to it later you'll know where you were.
Okay - that was the time consuming part. The rest is easy peasy, I promise!
First we need to lay everything out as we want it to be finished. This is what our finished block will look like.
Pin the top scallop down and remove the rest. I'm not a big pinner so I didn't use a lot. Please use what you are comfortable with. And only pin the top scallop (unlike my photo above).
At the machine, make sure all your settings are correct. We are going to sew around the top edge only. The straight line stitches will be outside the scallop like this:
Then the little hop to the left will catch your scallop like this:
Can you see your stitches? They should look something like this (if you can see them!)
Stitch across the entire top only. Don't worry about the bottom portions. We'll lay out the next scallops and they will cover that up! Pin them and sew.
Sew across those two and repeat each row until finished. Then it's time to trim to 7.5" by 14.5".
And you have your finished block!
I had a hard time photographing the stitches so you could see them. They are so hard to see and so hard to photograph. In my opinion, that's what you want! Look, you can see the dirt on my fabric, but not the stitches! HAHA!
Hope you found this tutorial helpful. Some of the steps were hard to describe so please ask if you have any questions! And don't forget that Amy's going to have prizes on her site at the end so link up your finished tops there!