Monday, March 17, 2014


First of all I have joined Sew Cal in her Christmas Challenge, to make something for Christmas each month as gifts.  Notice my side will take you there for the rules if you want to join.

 I purchased (don't know how many) of these towels at JoAnn's when they were on sale.  I believe I have posted some I had completed. are my penguins of the day.  I used one of the plaid towels for the scarf.

Here is what I have learned during the course of my Raw Edge Applique learning.

1.  Of course, I use a blanket stitch.

2.  For one, I used to tie my loose threads.  In my horror I had given a quilt to someone and when they held it up I noticed that the stitches were coming out.  How embarrassing is that? I take about eight to ten straight stitches before I begin my blanket stitch and then when I come to the blanket stitches at the end of my stitching I take eight to ten more stitches (trying to make them tiny).  This seems to work.

3.  I have found that using a mechanical pencil to trace my patterns onto the paper back of my fusible works the best for me.

4.  Always follow the instructions for your Fusible of choice.

5.  Sometimes using glue is just as good.  My favorite glue is Elmers Glue Sticks, I have tried about five other kinds and have found that Elmers is what works best for me.  Also, you may have a few tiny puckers using glue so if the project means a lot to you, I would stick with the fusible.

6.  I have also found that it is easier to do a continuous stitch, meaning that when I start my blanket stitch I continue on....when I come to a part that does not need to be blanket stitched I put my machine on straight stitch and just go around until I find the next spot that needs to be blanket stitched.

7.  Never be afraid to lower your stitch length when going around smaller parts, you can always return it to the regular stitch you were using when done with the small part.

8.  Try not to be too heavy footed when blanket stitching, sometimes when you go to fast you get the "V" shape especially when you go around the curves.

9.  When I first started Blanket Stitching I thought that it always had to be in black thread.  I think any color you want...there are no rules (are there?)....if so, I have probably broken all of them.

10.  To save time I have sometimes blanket stitch through the quilt sandwich. (the top, batting, and backing)

11.  If by chance you accidentally iron the piece in the wrong place, quickly pull it up.  Use a paper towel or a scrap of fabric, place over the spot and iron.  Keep ironing until you get all of the adhesive up.  It really does work (don't ask me how I know).....

12.  I you are familiar with my blog you will know that I was in love with Steam a Seam, then the Steam a Seam was becoming harder and harder to find.  That is when I switched to Heat N Bond Lite (make sure it is lite and not heavy for you appliqueing).  I love Heat N Bond and have found that is is cheaper than Steam a Seam.


  1. I'll have to look for Heat N Bond Lite. You're right; Steam a Seam is expensive. Thanks for the tip.

    Take care,
    Susan in Texas

  2. Your penguins are adorable! I use the blanket stitch a lot and will try some of your tips!

  3. Those penguins are exceptional cute. I should do the challenge and start making Christmas presents now.

  4. Great tips Barb and I have been using Heat N Bond Lite for years and years!

  5. All wonderful tips! Love my machine appliqueing. Good luck on the Christmas gift making plan.I am having enough trouble sewing birthday gifts on time ! hahah!

  6. I think I am going to try fusible next. I tried freezer paper appliqué first with hand stitching. I trouble with my points.

  7. Wonderful helpful hints! I wish I knew about #11. Many times I have ironed things in the wrong place or put the fusible on the wrong side of the fabric.

    I've always enjoyed the blanket stitch especially with hand embroidery. I like that depending on the thread it can be a bold accent or a subtle outline.

  8. Great hints, Barb. The penguin towels are adorable too!

  9. I love Heat and Bond and it looks like you and I are doing the same kind of things right now, I am on the towel applique now , have many towels and I will not buy more stuff till I get all this done and I will make room again. Have a wonderful day. HUgs, Marie

  10. Your towels are so adorable Barb! Your tips are really helpful especially for those who have not done a lot of raw edge applique...

  11. Thanks for the tips. I have never tried raw edge applique or used the blanket stitch. In number 2, when you start with straight stitches, are you then going around the applique with the blanket stitch and coming back to the beginning and sewing over the initial straight stitches with the blanket stitch?

  12. Good tips Barb. Love your penguins.

  13. Those are adorable! Thanks for the tips! (I had the same question as KatieQ above....could you clue me in?)

  14. Thanks for the tips Barb, I have done some machine appliqué but not a lot so I am grateful to learn anything to help. Your penguins are adorable and I to should start to make Christmas gifts

  15. I was thinking of getting Ricky Timm's Stable Stuff...have you tried it, heard of it?? I like the towel idea, they are so cute.


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