Saturday Sewing: Machine Appliqué with the look of Hand Stitching

This is my favourite Machine Appliqué technique.  As I mentioned previously,  I love appliqué quilts.  I love everything about them from designing to stitching them to quilting.  What I don’t like is how long it takes for me to hand sew each piece to the background piece. 

There are many different machine appliqué techniques like raw edge with a blanket stitch but in this post, I will showcase the hand look appliqué using the  blanket stitch.  My previous post I covered raw edge machine appliqué with a satin stitch.

All the individual pieces in this block have been cut about 1/8” to ¼”  bigger than the actual size using a digital cutter.  Then I cut a fusible interfacing the actual size of the appliqué piece. Remember to pay attention when cutting the interfacing pieces that they may have to be reversed in order to iron to the back of the fabric piece.  Using a fabric glue stick (your preference) I folded all the edges to the inside of the appliqué piece and glued them in place. 

Using the block template as a guide, I placed all the pieces with a bit of glue on the back to hold them in place. 

Using the AP appliqué foot I will test on a scrap fabric the width and length of the blind hem stitch I want to use.   I write down the width and length of the stitch I prefer with a marker for later use.

The trick to this technique is the thread and the stitch.  I use a very fine thread and I match the colour as close as possible to the appliqué piece. The stitch is the blanket stitch but I adjust settings to make sure it is very narrow and short – many Janome machines have this capability. The Madeira 75wt thread will disappear into the fabric, the stitch will just lightly pick at the applique piece and look like it was hand done.  A light stabilizer by Madeira on the back is a good idea to prevent puckering and tunneling. 

 I use the applique foot in order to see where the needle goes.  Sew on the right side of the appliqué in the ditch on the background fabric close to the edge of the appliqué. In this example I did not match the colour of the thread so you can see the stitches.

Here is a sample of using a matching colour thread and the blanket stitch.

Happy Sewing


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2 Responses to Saturday Sewing: Machine Appliqué with the look of Hand Stitching

  1. Beverly says:

    how do I set my Skyline S9 to sew “ stitch in the ditch” outlining on my quilt? What foot do I use and what settings? I can’t seem to find any reference to it in the manual. Help.


    • Liz Thompson says:

      Hi Beverly,
      My advice would be to use either your Acufeed flex foot with optional accessory Ditch quilting foot/sole plate OR the optional accessory S ditch quilting foot which clips on. Both have a guide in the middle of the foot which will assist you to keep stitching where you desire. you can also move your needle position to left or right if you wish to stitch outside of the ditch. Settings would be adjusted depending on what stitch you select. It does not have to be a straight stitch – you can also use decorative stitches. Test sew adjusting the SL and SW to see the best result you wish to have.



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