Welcome to Week 3 of the Hypersonic Sew Along! You’ve made it! This week we’ll start sewing (FINALLY!) and get to see our quilt tops all laid out. It’s gonna be great!
Creating the Appliqué Half-Ovals
To get started, lets grab the squares you set aside for half-ovals and the wash-n-gone squares that you cut out and traced on.
Remember, if you’re not using a gradient fabric, follow the instructions on how to create these half-ovals from a single oval…it’ll save you a lot of time!
I like to set up my machine a little differently when creating these sort of appliqué shapes.
- I like to set my machine to a tiny stitch. This will help me get a nice smooth curve. Something between 1.5—2mm is nice.
- I like to use a straight stitch (or 0mm) stitch plate so that my fabrics don’t get eaten by my machine (read more about why I like straight stitch plates here!)
- If you have 1/4″ foot, put that on now. If not, take a look around your machine feet and find one that has an edge that lines up with your 1/4″ mark.
Now that we are all set up, we can get sewing! First, place your Wash-n-Gone on the right side of one square.
With the edge of the foot on the traced line (meaning the needle is landing inside of the oval) stitch from end to end. Leave the raw edge of the oval open so that we can easily turn it.
Repeat this as many times as you need to get the appropriate number of half-ovals.
Trimming the Appliqué Pieces
Now it is trimming time – this is my favorite part of this whole quilt!
I like to take a pinking blade and put it on my rotary cutter (be careful- these blades are SHARP and easy to catch a finger with.) Then I use that to trim the edges off of my ovals. This does two jobs at once and clips the curve while trimming off the excess.
Now it’s time to flip your appliqué inside out. It’s exciting to see your perfect little curves. If you need help getting them smoother, try That Purple Thang– it’s a great tool. Go ahead and press them but MAKE SURE THERE IS NO STEAM IN YOUR IRON! Remember, we are working with water-soluble stabilizer here. Steam will dissolve it and make a weird mess on your ironing board.
Also, if you’re having a hard time getting a smooth curve, I found that if I ironed up from the opening, things worked out nicely.
Also, don’t ask me how I know, but if you used Frixion pens to mark your pieces, make sure you re-label as you go!
Invisible Machine Appliqué
Before we start appliquéing on our little curves, you’ll want to lay out your quilt and make sure that your pieces are in the correct order. I got really excited at this step because I finally saw it all coming together! Pay attention to how your gradients are running (I had my darkest pieces at the bottom)
Also, make sure you pin each half-oval to the strip that you’ll be sewing it to, rather than it’s match at this point.
It’s time to set up our machines again! Here’s how I like mine for Invisible Machine Appliqué:
- Wide stitch plate (also known as a 5mm or zig-zag stitch plate)
- Microtex Needle (60/80)
- Zig-zag stitch
- I set my stitch width and length to 1.5
- I lowered my top tension pretty significantly as well. I rarely do this, but when working with monofilament thread, I have better results. (Hint: take a picture of where your tension was set before so that you can get it just right when you’re finished.)
- Load monofilament thread into your VERTICAL spool holder (if possible)
- Load bobbin with thread that matches the appliqué piece. Ideally you would use poly thread. I didn’t have any on-hand at the moment and cotton worked out just fine.
Don’t be afraid to do a few test runs before sewing your actual pieces on. This technique takes a little bit of getting used to!
I used a little bit of glue stick to hold my appliqué in place and then…
Carefully stitch around the piece. I like to keep in mind that my zig zag is really narrow, so it should just be “kissing” the background fabric, right outside of the appliqué piece, the rest of the zig-zag stitch is in my appliqué piece.
Appliqué your heart out until all pieces are sewn on. Next week, we’ll get to piece the top and start dreaming about quilting <3
Make sure to lay out your quilt top and share it on Facebook and Instagram!