Machine Minute: Blind-Hem Stitch for Mock-Hand Look
Great tips for achieving a hand-applique look using your sewing machine!
Hi, I'm Jennifer here with another Machine Minute brought to you by Baby Lock and the Symphony machine. Who doesn't love the look of a great applique quilt? I know I do, but I don't have time to do everything by hand. I love using my machine and the look of mock-hand applique is one that is gaining popularity in the applique world. It's great when you see a beautifully appliqued quilt and you can't tell whether it's been done by machine or by hand. So what's the secret? Well first of all, it's not using fusible web for mock-hand applique. You need to prepare your appliques in such a way, whether you use freezer paper or glue baste them, but in such a way that your appliques aren't bonded entirely to the quilt top. So once you prepare your appliques, stitching them in place with your machine, there are a couple of tips. One is the stitch that you choose. Rather than using a satin stitch or something that adheres all the edges down, consider using an overlock or blind-hem stitch. Now I've stitched sort of an exaggerated example out here for you, but a blind-hem stitch will take a couple of straight stitches, a bite into the fabric, and then a couple more straight stitches and another bite into the fabric, and overlock stitch does the same thing. You want to set it for as narrow a width and length as possible so that you're just taking a little bite into your applique. And that gives that edge along the outer edge of your applique a little bit of lift that gives it that mock-hand applique appearance. The other secret is your thread choice. You want to use either a matching thread to your applique or a nylon thread, either in clear or smoke color. Smoke color for darker appliques can sometimes avoid the reflection you might get. But in choosing those monofilament threads, your threads won't show. It'll be all about your applique shape on the quilt top. And you can perhaps fool some people into thinking you did it all by hand, even though you had the help of your machine. Give mock-hand applique a try.