Raw edge applique tutorial demo on two art quilts part 2


Where we left off on this tutorial & the making of two art quilts was all the bits and pieces had been cut out and fused to the background fabric. But now we need to finish the edges to prevent fraying and make it more finished looking.

You can see the larger pieces are fused down ,

You notice that the pieces have been layered yet the top layer with daisies is as yet unattached. You have 2 basic choices to finish the raw edges. You can sew a single line outlining each piece. Often this is done in a clear poly or nylon thread. There are a few brands, all good. Or outline with the color of each piece, a lot of thread changes here.  On either of these two choices you are using a straight free motion stitch.

Free motion stitching  is not as hard as the reputation it has received. A little practice to get the hang of it until you feel confidence is all that you need. As Diane Gaudynski, one  of a small talented group of machine quilters, who quite literally are the best of the best in the field, Keep quilting – your work gets better every day!”..If anyone’s knows, its Diane. Diane’s link is listed & I have an interview with her in the archives.

Here is a fast version. This post isn’t focusing on that subject, I”m taking for granted you have some knowledge on free motion quilting. So this is the speed version. Step 1- drop your feed dogs, the teeth that feed your fabric along under the needle as you sew. Without working feed dogs, how will the fabric move? You guessed it! You! You’ll move it with your own 2 little hands. The advantage is you can move the fabric in any direction, creating designs, outline curves, as we are doing and much more. For this process you will need a darning foot, or free motion foot as it is also called. There is a spring and an open front. You need to see where you are going..+They can be lowered by a switch on the side ot back on most machines. Or simply cover them up,

English: Singer model 27, closeup of feed dogs...
Here are those feed dogs that you are going to drop image via Wikipedia

step 2- adjustments to upper tension,  check your manual for the recommended setting and make adjustments as you continue, because there are many factors that influence the number. Play with your machine and find what works.

Step 3-You’re off….whoo whooo….Once you’ve gained a little confidence your goal is the sewing machine speed on the fast side, while you are ignoring that racing engine  sound,  are attempting to move the fabric  slowly and steadily. Do not keep pace with the machine’s speed. Slow and steady as she goers.

I left out tons of info, like pulling the bottom thread to the top, quilting machine gloves. threads, , on and on.Go get one of  Diane’s books, I recommend,  ” Guide to machine quilting”, it was the best one I read when I was learning.

Pressing on The second method of finishing the edges is to use a  zig zag stitch on free motion with a narrow width, I often go with a setting of 1. Starting off go a little wider to help stay on the edge of the fabric applique and connect with the fabric underneath. Go slow if you need to. If your applique pieces are fairly straight and no sharp curves or turns , you could zig zag the usual way  with your dogs up.It looks nice, but if you can’t follow along the edges, not so much.

Here’a some assorted pictures of the Lazy Daisies  at various stages

Do you see a obvious proble here? The stitches are spaced too far apart. It doesn't even cover the batting I used here for puffiness. Change your setting to make them closer together.
Notice the 1st setting obviously sets the width. 1.5 is OK. The 2nd one sets the denseness, or how close together the stitches are. This is better that the one used above. Regular Zig zag

Next layer started, placement and finishing the daisies.
Looks like everything's fused down and raw edges finished.

Next post; thread painting on Sunflowers.

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Barbara Harms Fiber Art & MoreBarbara Harms Fiber Art

About Myself & My Approach I come from a family filled with many artists.s always played a role in my life, in one form or another. By my teens, I had narrowed my focus to painting.I decided I was going to become a serious painter. I joined the Las Vegas Artist's Guild, at 15, the youngest member at that time. I was totally out of my league, a kid among so many serious adult artists. But to be there, exposed to art in that way was quite an experience. I was enraptured, soaking up. I tried to go unnoticed, just a fly on the wall, mute, a big ole smile plastered on my face. soaking it all up. I tryed to go unnoticed; a mute teenager, eyes wide opened and a huge smile plastered across my face. I’m pretty I was noticed, a mute kid with an enraptured look on my face. I've continued to paint throughout my life. On occasion I've sold my work, but I had more important priorities, one being raising my wonderful children. My circumstances have changed, the kids grown, I had more time and Art was like theorpy for me. I was introduced to the world of quilting & fell in love. I did miss the creative freedom painting afforded. Then I discovered mixed media fiber art, I was home. MY APPROACH TO ART It's the creative process that holds the greatest attraction for me. Starting with a tiny seed of an idea; vague and blurred around the edges, I follow where that leads. My approach is an instinctual one. Generally, I do little pre-planning. themselves, my appproacj response js an instinctual one. This approach can lead to quite a few changes in the direction the quilt takes. The outcome can come as a surprise. I love that element of surprise! Sometimes everything just comes together & I think this is one of my better ones. I can’t wait to show someone. I feel like a six year old, running home from school, a drawing in hand, excited to show Mom. At those times. I'm smiling like the Cheshire cat. I’ve had work published in several magazines., which is gratifingvl. But the most gratifying thing is having clients be really happy with their purchased quilt. Word press Etsy shop-sales Https://barbaraharms.com Contact: inquiry Personal Links kool


    1. I was just writing you and erased the message accidently. i was suggesting that thought, commissioned work costs more, those two were over $400.00 each. I have a variety of originals that are aready made up. If that is any help.


  1. Please, please email me on how I can get one of these for my mother-in-law for Mother’s Day, 2012? It CANNOT be much larger than a single-bed size! She has a phobia about guilts and comforters and blankets (anything but sheets) hanging over the bedsides more than about 4 inches each side. But I KNOW she would love this, or a similar design. PLEASE EMAIL ME, okay?


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