The first thing that happens with machine appliqué is a placement line that stitches onto the fabric. This is where you will be laying your appliqué fabric.
Next, take that piece of fabric, which is usually just a small piece, and lay it over the placement line. Great way to use your scraps! Often you can use a print to give your appliqué so much more pizzazz than a fill stitch gives. Just lay your fabric on top of the placement line for the tack down of the fabric.
After the tack down, there will be some excess fabric on the outside edges of the appliqué. Take your double curve scissors or a very sharp pair of regular scissors and get as close to the stitches without going into the stitches to trim the excess fabric. Double curve scissors just make it a lot easier because that is what they’re made for!
Take the hoop back to your embroidery machine for the satin stitch that covers & secures the raw edges of the appliqué.
You always have 4 steps…..
- Placement line
- Tack down of the fabric
- Trimming of the excess fabric appliqué
- Covering the raw edges with a satin stitch
Many times, the appliqué fabric is embellished with additional embroidery on top of the appliqué, as our Teacher Owl in the photo below shows.
If you were to stitch the body of this owl as a fill stitch it would use up a lot of thread and take a good amount of time to stitch the entire body. Using appliqués minimize the stitch time, thread expense and uses up those scrap fabric pieces! A win-win all the way around!