My September Stitch Along Week 3

Posted by Ruth on 18 September 2016 | 0 Comments
This content belongs to Arbee Designs.


This part was all about constructing the applique. I needed to add my bridge and also a small boat or yacht in the water.

I will use fusible webbing with soft-edge stitching for my applique bridge and needle-turn for my yacht. Both techniques are very different. The first is all machine stitched and requires no seam allowances to be added while the latter is all done by hand and small seam allowances are required. Even though there is more detail in the soft-edge applique section for this piece, it is definitely faster to put together, yet on the other hand, needle-turn is portable and much more relaxing to work as well as pleasantly quiet to do. I’ve always liked both methods, however have more often used the machine so I can get more production of patterns.

First I trace the main tower and deck of the bridge onto fusible webbing, then press this onto the wrong side of my C = cream fabric. I cut this out and add it to the background. I then cut out my yacht to include O = orange sails. I have cut out the three sections for the yacht, all of which have a small seam allowance added to them.

Because I prefer to do the soft-edge applique stitching through all layers, I’ll need to do the needle-turn first.

Needle-turn applique is a technique done by hand where you use the needle to turn under the seam allowance as you stitch. There are various techniques for doing this. I start with threading a fine needle with a thread that matches the piece to be appliqued. I find a needle threader is quite handy as my eyes are not quite as good as they once were, even with glasses.

needleturn applique starting on straight edgeI started with the large sail, stitching the straight vertical edge first as it is most important to get this straight. I always have the applique piece furthest away from me so I can see the folded edge, this way the needle comes up in the correct place and the stitch is invisible. I do find it necessary to trim the seam allowance a little on the pointed corners.

I start the second piece also on the straight vertical edge as it is easier to keep the two sections parallel. For the base of the boat I start along the top edge so it stays even with the sails. For the base, I decided to make the bottom a little wavy as I plan to add ripples in the water so a straight bottom wouldn’t work so well.

needleturn appliqued sail

needleturn appliqued yacht

With the three sections of yacht stitched in place, I can go ahead and layer my quilt with batting and backing.applique bridge fused in place, yacht hand stitched and backing/batting in place

Now the soft-edge applique! I always double stitch around the raw edge. I did this all around the bridge section without cutting the thread.

softedge applique stitching on bridge

To make the criss-cross design, I measured evenly down each side so I knew where I was stitching to. I lightly drew in the lines to help guide me. I did use free-motion, but it probably would have looked straighter if I’d used straight stitching with the feeds up.

cross bars on bridge free motion stitched

Lastly, I couched the cables in place. For this, I always make the yarn longer than needed, then trim it back. It is near impossible trying to get the start to stay exactly on the point without it moving.couching stitched showing extended yarn

couched yarn trimmed even

Notice how I trimmed away the areas to make it appear behind the bridge tower.couched yarn for bridge cables

That was fun, I'm looking forward to getting this finished off next weekend!

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