String Circles: Starting Over… With Applique #3


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Thanks so much for commenting on which of the three applique techniques you liked and why.

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Three, it is… Not only did #3 get the most mentions, my eyes kept scanning all three and I have to agree with you that #3 does have the “cleanest” look. The applique blends with the circle and doesn’t stand out as much.

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It wasn’t the easiest. Sewing-wise. That would be Applique #1. But I took my time and did my best to be consistent. Trying for the same look.

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Those circles done with Applique #1 have been ripped out, redone and finished. I got different results from the various background fabrics. Some I loved how the applique turned out.

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A few others. Not so much. This ivory fabric with black dots acted so ugly. I think it was too stiff for applique.

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I was only able to get two using the ivory with dots to lie flat. I ripped out and redid them so many times, the fabric looks like swiss cheese. For sure headed to the scrap bin. Or the Trash Bin!!

Remember the yellow ones I HATED? Well, I have to retract that. I am liking them more now. Here is one of them.

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It looks OK. Better this way than before.

Now that the applique decision is behind me, I can move on. I have to decide whether to go borderless or with borders. Log Cabin borders.

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And if I go the Log Cabin route, where should the border go. Sides? Top and bottom? Two borders? Four. More decisions. Or I could just sew all the blocks together plain, no individual borders. And do sashing horizontal or vertical under or between the rows. Decisions. Decisions.

It will be more work and more scrap bin diving but I think I like the individual border arrangement.

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A border on each side using four of the fabrics used in the circle. We shall see. It depends on how much time I want to spend working on it. I have so many other quilt designs in my head. Itching to start on something “fresh.”

Thanks again for commenting and helping me make my applique decision. Hope you will stick around and come back to see my progress.

I just might be finished by Christmas. 😀

One last thing to show you from October. My pillowcases. I made the usual charity ones PLUS I also made a few I will put in my Etsy Shop. So please come back to see them. I will post them in two days. Trying to spread out my posts so you aren’t overwhelmed. 😀

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Testing, Testing… Dipping My Toe Into The “Applique” Waters


HELP!! I am so out of my comfort zone. Going to applique my String Circles.

I have only done mostly zig-zag stitches around raw fabric edges. I have to rewind back to St Pat’s Day to remember the first time I tried something different. Blanket stitching. Remember? But this time I wanted to try the applique stitch.

Got my sewing machine ready. Cleaned out the bobbin area. Put in a new needle. Swapped my quarter inch foot for the “F” foot and practiced making a few stitches to see if I needed to adjust anything. Nope. Stitch length seemed about right.

The first string circle I practiced on was one of the yellow ones.

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I pulled it from the pile for two reasons. It wasn’t my favorite. Kind of pale looking and I had been thinking it wouldn’t make the cut. Wouldn’t be used in my quilt. And also the strings crinkled when I ironed them. Meaning either bad fabric or bad sewing. So I figured, what the hay, stitch around it to see what happens.

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Not happy. Nothing to write home about.

On to the 2nd one. Turquoise/Aqua. A circle I liked and for sure wanted it to be part of my quilt.

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I got about the same result. Pulling in around the edges of the circle. Not the flat look I was trying for.

OK.. so what gives.. what was I doing wrong?

Ah, Ha. I know!! Something in my head said “stabilizer”. Some sort of backing. Off I went to dig out what I bought YEARS ago around the same time I purchased my sewing machine (which BTW, embroiders).

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Since I was clueless on which did what, I experimented with both, using the same background fabric.

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And they both turned out the same. No pulling, no ruffles. So… that is what I needed. A stabilizer. (It appears I spent WAY too much on one of these.) But glad to know I could achieve a flat look.

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These aren’t the best applique but with practice and perhaps using my embroidery thread, I should get better at it.

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Questions for you applique experts out there.

  • What stitch do you use for applique?
  • Do you use any special thread?
  • Any tips for me, the Newbie?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. 😀