Blanket Stitch Applique: Adding Whimsical Charm to Your Quilts

Are you a beginner quilter looking to add a touch of whimsical charm to your projects? Look no further! In this blog post, we’ll explore the art of blanket stitch applique, a delightful hand sewing technique that allows you to incorporate playful designs into your quilts. With the use of lightweight fusible interfacing to stabilize your applique shapes, you’ll find this method both enjoyable and rewarding. Let’s dive in!

What is Blanket Stitch Applique?

Hand sewn blanket stitch appliqué involves sewing fabric shapes onto a background fabric using a blanket stitch. This stitch not only securely attaches the appliqué pieces but also adds a charming decorative touch to your quilt. This method is perfect for adding whimsical applique designs to your quilts, giving them a unique and personalized touch.

Materials You’ll Need

Before we delve into the step-by-step process, let’s gather the materials you’ll need for blanket stitch applique:

  1. Fabric: Choose colorful and patterned fabrics for your applique shapes and background fabric.
  2. Lightweight Fusible Interfacing: This will stabilize your applique shapes and prevent fraying.
  3. Thread: Matching or coordinating embroidery floss, your choice
  4. Needle: Use a sharp embroidery needle suitable for hand sewing.
  5. Scissors: Have a pair of sharp fabric scissors for cutting your applique shapes.
  6. Pins: Use pins to hold your applique shapes in place before stitching.

Step-by-Step Process

  1. Prepare Your Applique Shapes: Begin by selecting the shapes you want to applique onto your background fabric. Trace the shapes onto the dull, soft side of the lightweight fusible interfacing, leaving a small space between each shape. Note: if the design you are using is asymmetrical you will need to reverse it before tracing it onto the fusible interfacing, to ensure that the final fabric shape is oriented in the correct direction.
  2. Fuse the Interfacing: Place the fusible side of the interfacing onto the wrong side of your fabric and press with a hot iron following the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the fabric to cool before cutting out the shapes along the traced lines.
  3. Position the Applique Shapes: Arrange your fabric shapes onto the background fabric in your desired design. Use pins to secure the shapes in place temporarily.
  4. Stitch the Applique Shapes: Use 2 to 3 strands of your choice of embroidery floss. Thread your needle and knot the end of the thread. Starting at one end of an applique shape, insert the needle from the backside of the background fabric and bring it up near the edge of the applique shape. Leave a small loop of thread on the fabric surface.
  5. Create the Blanket Stitch: To make a blanket stitch, insert the needle back into the background fabric about 1/4 inch away from the first stitch. Bring the needle up through both layers of fabric, passing it through the loop of thread created in the previous step. Pull the thread gently to form a snug stitch.
  6. Continue the Blanket Stitch: Repeat the previous step, making evenly spaced blanket stitches along the edge of the applique shape. As you progress, the stitches will form a neat and decorative border.
  7. Secure the Thread: To secure the thread at the end, make a small backstitch on the backside of the fabric and cut the thread close to the fabric.

Remember to adjust the stitch length and tension to achieve the desired look and functionality. Experiment with different thread colors and stitch variations to add visual interest to your design.

Why Choose Blanket Stitch Applique?

Blanket stitch applique offers several advantages for beginner quilters:

  • Versatility: This technique allows you to create intricate designs, from flowers and animals to letters and geometric shapes. The possibilities are endless!
  • Handmade Charm: Hand sewing adds a charming and personal touch to your quilts, giving them a unique character.
  • No Sewing Machine Required: If you don’t have a sewing machine or prefer the meditative quality of hand sewing, blanket stitch applique is the perfect choice.
  • Control and Precision: Hand stitching gives you full control over the placement and alignment of your appliqué pieces. It allows you to carefully navigate curves, corners, and intricate details.
  • Stability and Durability: By using lightweight fusible interfacing, your applique shapes will stay securely in place even after multiple washes.

FAQ: Common Questions about Blanket Stitch Applique

Q: Can I use blanket stitch applique on different types of fabric?

A: Absolutely! Blanket stitch applique works well on a variety of fabrics, such as cotton, linen, and even felt. Just ensure that the fabric you choose is suitable for both the applique shapes and the background fabric.

Q: Is blanket stitch applique suitable for beginners?

A: Yes! Blanket stitch applique is an excellent technique for beginners. It requires basic hand sewing skills and allows you to practice your stitches while creating beautiful designs.

Q: Can I wash a quilt with hand sewn appliqué? A: Certainly! Hand sewn blanket stitch appliqué, when done properly, withstands gentle machine washing and drying. However, it’s essential to follow the care instructions for your specific fabric and quilting materials.

Q: How can I create more complex designs with blanket stitch applique?

A: To create more complex designs, you can layer multiple applique shapes, creating depth and dimension. Experiment with different fabrics, colors, and shapes to bring your ideas to life.

Where Can You Use Hand Sewn Blanket Stitch Appliqué?

Hand sewn blanket stitch appliqué can be incorporated into various quilting projects. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  1. Quilt Blocks: Embellish your quilt blocks with appliqué motifs, such as flowers, animals, or geometric shapes. Use a combination of colors and textures to add depth and dimension.
  2. Borders and Sashing: Enhance the edges of your quilt or sashing strips with appliqué accents. This can be a charming way to tie together the overall theme of your quilt.
  3. Home Decor: Take your appliqué skills beyond quilts and adorn other home decor items. Personalize pillows, table runners, and wall hangings with hand sewn blanket stitch appliqué to create a cohesive look throughout your living space.
  4. Clothing and Accessories: Apply your newfound skills to garments and accessories. Embellish jackets, tote bags, or even create one-of-a-kind appliqué brooches to add a touch of whimsy to your wardrobe.

Join the Blanket Stitch Applique Adventure!

Are you ready to explore the world of blanket stitch applique and infuse your quilts with whimsical charm? Watch the video tutorial below for a hands-on example of this method:

So gather your fabrics, embrace the joy of hand stitching, and watch your appliqué designs flourish. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempts aren’t flawless. With each stitch, you’ll develop your skills and unlock new creative possibilities.

Happy stitching, and may your quilting journey be filled with boundless inspiration and beautiful creations!

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