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Pre-washing machine applique backgrounds


I have already pre-washed all my fabrics so the shrinkage on the background fabric has occurred. Will this method still work?

I'm fussy cutting a large oriental bird to cover a convergence quilt, which one of the four fabrics is where I cut the bird.

Perhaps when I see the technique I will answer my own question? Thanks



Hi Patricia! Sounds like you're having fun with your project and making it your own! Good job!

The technique still works with pre-washed background fabrics, you just don't get the extra benefit of having the background shrink to help hide the applique stitching.

As I've used the technique more and more, I find that I bump my zigzag stitch down to 0.5 wide and 1.0 looks more like a crooked straight stitch from the back side instead of a zig-zag.

Do you have to go this small?

No. Not at all, but I do like to challenge myself, and the stitches are virtually non-existent to the naked eye. (I should admit here that I do use a magnifying glass when I quilt—I find it so much easier on my eyes and I can quilt for a longer period of time.)

The best way to keep your stitches invisible... to slow down the speed of your machine to maintain control.

When the 'zig' falls just on the fold of the applique shape and the 'zag' falls just on the background fabric, it's amazing just how good this simple technique is. My biggest problem is that when I go too fast, get too excited about seeing the next shape added, I end up with both the 'zig' and the 'zag' on top of the applique shape. Those stitches really stick out to me. (Maybe not to everyone else, but I do quilt to please myself!)

You should be just fine using this technique. I'd love to see it when you're done. Do think about adding it to our Show and Tell with quilt pictures page.


Julie Baird

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