Instruction Tutorial / How-to for Using a Sewing Machine for a
Speedy HAND LOOK for Applique or Binding finish

How: Enter the Adjustable Zipper Foot, Very Fine Threads & Invisible Machine Appliqué, Quilt Bindings, and Cathedral Windows.

Also apply this idea to Stitch In The Ditch Quilting!

By Sharla R. Hicks © 1998-2001

Step-by-step tutorial instruction for Invisible Machine Applique, Cathedral Windows, or Quilt Binding finished by machine using your sewing machine with very fine invisable threads, an adjustable zipper foot and a tiny blind hem or zigzag stich and very fine thread that produces such a fine stitch that it looks like hand applique. Apply this technique to Cathedral Windows, Finishing your binding and and change to straight stitching for the Stitch in the Ditch quilting.

Zipperfoot adjust position for Invisable Machine Applique
The tiny zig zag bite does NOT SHOW
looks like hand stitching when using very fine threads: monofilament, monopoly or InvisaFil

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the Fine Thread and Zipperfeet recommended in this Tutorial
Zipperfeet, monofilament, monopoly or InvisaFil threads


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The following Technique works best when using some type of foundation for the appliqué like Freezer Paper, binding the edge on a quilt, and Cathedral Windows.

Equipment & Supply Requirements

  • Zigzag sewing machine needed.
  • Blindhem setting best but not essential to technique.
  • Adjustable Zipper Foot (the old fashioned kind with the adjustable screw on the back)
    • Note: Other feet may also work, but I have found that a foot that allows you to guide around an edge is best. Check out your sewing accessories and see what you have
  • Thread to match fabric: Smoke or Clear Monofilament or Monopoly thread or InvisaFil Threads (tints & tones 100 wt) )
  • The following Technique works best when using some type of foundation for the appliqué like Freezer Paper, binding the edge on a quilt, and Cathedral Windows.
    • Note: Regarding Applique Pattern foundation: Turn under the seam allowance using freezer paper iron technique, water soluble glue, or basting.
Zipper Foot ExamplesZipper Feet Examples
Zipper Feet to use for Invisible Machine Applique or Stitch in the ditche quilting
Monofilament
Monopoly .004
Invisifil
Invisafil is a VERY Fine cottonized polyester
100 wt (high the # the finer the thread)
Superior Threads:

MonoPoly Invisible Polyester Thread

in Clear or Smoke

Invisible Machine Applique that looks like hand stitching

Instruction

SLOWLY wind a half a bobbin with clear or smoke fine monofilament thread depending on how light or dark the background fabric is. Use fine monofilament as the top thread also.

Normal Straight Stitch Setting for Quilt Binding

  • Set your sewing machine at 10-12 stitches to the inch (on metric machines this is 2 - 2.5)

Blindhem Settings for Invisible Stitch

Note: If your sewing machine does not have a blind hem setting or is programmed so that the blind hem stitch is too wide to be invisible and you do not have a double needle setting, use the Zigzag settings.

  • Set your sewing machine at 20-25 stitches to the inch (on metric machines this is close to 0)
  • 1/2 to 1 zigzag width
  • on Computerized Sewing Machines: If needed, select the double needle setting
  • NOTE: The stitch length is very close because you want each bite of the zigzag to be no more than 1/4" or less apart, just as in hand appliqué.  The extra benefit of the close stitches is that they contribute greatly to the invisible look.  So feel comfortable that the short stitch is okay.  Trust me here, this is the recommended stitch length for invisible machine appliqué.  I know it sounds short, but it works well.

Zigzag Only Settings for Invisible Stitch

For those of you with a basic zigzag machine without fancy stitches, you can use the bite of each zig to catch the Window Pane edge and the Pane insert as you zigzag around each pane.  I have found this technique works when you have no blind hem stitch or you are unable to work around a preprogrammed blind hem stitch width.

  • Stitch length 12-15 stitches to the inches or 2 on metric machines.
  • 1/2 to 1 zigzag width
  • Note: Tying off at the beginning and the end is essential when using the zigzag setting because it is much looser than the blind hem settings and WILL pull out if not tied off.

Sewing Instructions

1. Setup the adjustable zipperfoot to do the sewing method so that it follows the ridge of the binding or appliqué piece

Sew a line of stitching to see the needle relationship to the "Adjustable Zipper Foot". Note: To prevent broken needles, Stitch first line needle position far away from the foot. The go to step 2 to make foot adjustments.

Zipperfoot adjust position for Invisable Machine Applique
The tiny zig zag bite does NOT SHOW
looks like hand stitching when using very fine threads: monofilament, monopoly or InvisaFil

2. Then: Loosen the screw and move the "adjustable zipperfoot" so the needle is half out and half in the indentation on the base of zipper foot -- test a line of stitching and the needle should be sewing right along on the very outside ridge. IF NOT, adjust until it does! Now your are ready to sew!

3. Sew with zipperfoot lined up with and sewing along the outside ridge. NOTE: The ridge of paper, quilt binding or Cathedral Window will act as the guide for the foot. On the invisible stitch, the bite of the zigzag will take a tiny bite out of the edge. See in the picture how the tiny stitch does NOT show.

4. When completed, remove appliqué template paper if necessary and iron lightly toward the stitching, this will shift the fabric ever so slightly and make the stitching even more invisible.


FAQS
faq index computer quilting eqcopyrightupgrades
foiling photo transfer
metallic-threadinvisible mach appliquenewsletters