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Secrets to Quilting an Applique Quilt

Stumped on how to quilt a quilt with a lot of applique? Angela Walters shares her tips and tricks for making those applique shapes pop!

Looking for more quilting design inspiration? See more here.

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Hi I'm Linda with American Patchwork & Quilting and I'm here with Angela Walters; ambassador for Handi Quilter and we're going to talk today about appliqued quilts because I think that's a big challenge for people; how do I quilt something once I've done all of the applique. Absolutely. Well that's the big question to quilt within or without, I ask that question all the time, Should I quilt inside the applique Honestly the short answer is it depends what your preferences are which you can imagine how much they love hearing that but for myself and my own preferences if it's a larger piece of applique, so such as this quilt that has this big block that's fusible applique then I don't mind quilting within the applique so I'll just add some echo lines but I'll keep the quilting within the applique fairly simple because I don't want to take away from the design that it makes and I don't want to really try to force a bunch of stuff in here. But if I do want to add more detail for a little more fun I might add something like this where its echo lines with small pebbles inside so nothing to crazy but just something that enhances that shape, now I also like to echo outside the applique as well, anything I can do to help this separate from the filler design really make this stand out on its own. Which this isn't so much a problem as a big piece but even with smaller pieces I would do the same. So here is another example of another quilt I appliqued, can you tell I really like the fusible applique it's a lot easier for me. But what I've done is I have this leaf shape, well again with the echoing on the outside just to help separate it from the more dense filler around it; just to help separate it. I do like to add the little echo lines inside, I always joke that I have to keep the quilting on the inside simple so I can go a little bit crazy on the outside of the applique. So a balance. Yes, Exactly. I have a quilt top to show you. That would be great, I would love to see it on something more traditional. Well and I think it's hard to imagine what to do when it's already quilted because it's already done. What you can see here it's a more traditional applique pattern, beautiful, gorgeous, and so what would I do with this and again I would probably echo around the outside of it to help separate it from the filler. Now if you have a little bit of the larger pieces such as the leaf and you feel like it needs more quilting I might add an echo line or just a simple vein in there, just something to tack that area down without taking away from the beautiful piece and overall look that it makes. Now do you think on an applique like this it's a little more traditional if I quilt the background a lot do I get a little more dimension out of the appliques. Yeah and I think that works on no matter what type of quilt your working with you really want that to kind of pop off I mean if you've taken that time to cut out that piece and layout the fabrics just so you really want that to shine, the denser quilting will really make that pop out a little bit more plus we know I love to quilt quilts to the death, so that works out great for me. Now, with something this multicolored, what color of thread would you use? Well you know when it comes to thread selection, again its personal preference, but when I'm looking at a quilt like this I would probably match the thread to the background since I'm going to be quilting along that edge. Now if you're dealing with a appliqued quilt with a lot of different colors or two very different, like a white and a black like it's going to be very noticeable, then I would try a monofilament thread, and this is what it looks like now it looks white on the roll it's actually clear, so clear I can't find the end. There it is. And what you do is you can quilt with this you wouldn't see it on the quilt so it really would make that part disappear so if you run over the applique on accident hit a little bobble, it won't be as noticeable, now the rest of your quilting won't show either so that's good or bad depending on how you're working on it. So you'll get texture and really not the designs. Or if you want to just use this to quilt and really kind of stabilize the applique and then go with your color thread you could do that as well, so either way this is a good tool if you're kind of stuck on picking out a color. Now with monofilament thread do you have to change the tension or anything on your machine? If kind of depends on the machine that your using and the normal thread that your using, you might want to loosen it up a bit how you can tell if it's too tight, if it's snapping off at the needle or if you're seeing that bobbin thread pulled up, I've seen that and that's what I wondered, if that happens you want to loosen it up just a bit but make sure you're not losing tension quality on the back but really there nice quality polyester threads so you shouldn't have to much trouble with it. So a little experimentation and then you're good to run. Thank you so much Angela, I really appreciate these tips, I think it's going to make things so much easier the next time I try. I hope this helps you build your confidence to tackle your next applique project.