Do you like applique? I DO!!! It is probably one of my favourite forms of embellishment for quilts and other projects like home decorating and bags etc.
So imagine my utter delight when the EL740 came out and I discovered we had no less than 14 applique stitches to choose from!!! I have played around with most of them and also listen to various folk “out there” who talk a lot about DOUBLE BLANKET STITCHES. I knew that some our Elna machines, certainly the EL740, could offer the same fancy, special applique stitches as other brands.
So I did a fun exercise: I stitched every single one of those 14 stitches in the Applique section of the EL740. I “prettied” up my scrap stitch-outs and thought you might like to see what I discovered.
Just so you fully understand my doodlings:
M is middle needle position – in other words, the straight line of the applique stitch will be in the middle needle position (at 3.5) and the teeth of the applique stitch will swing to the left (or to the right if you mirror image the stitch, of course)
R is right needle position and L is left needle position
SW is the stitch width – you can adjust this within the parameters that stitch allows by using the + & – on the stitch width. For example: in stitch #41 you can adjust the width of those teeth all the way from 0 to 7mm. Not too sure if I’d ever want the “teeth” to “disappear” at SW0 as all I would have would be a double or triple straight stitch, but it sure does mean that you have LOTS of wiggle room for various different applique applications.
SL is obviously the stitch length – adjusting this determines the space between the “teeth” of the applique stitches.
When I refer to single I mean that the little stitches are stitched just once , like little running stitches.
Double is when the stitch is stitched twice (forwards/backwards) so looks a bit bolder.
Sometimes the stitches are stitched 3 times to form a bolder triple stitch and sometimes it goes forwards/backwards/forwards/backwards – ie 4 times for an even bolder stitch. When the teeth are also stitched 4 times, this is what some folk refer to as a double blanket stitch.
My favourite stitch is #49 which has a left needle position to run along the edge of my applique shape and a right swing into the applique. I do a lot of fused raw edge applique so I find this stitch with its triple straight stitch and teeth each stitched 4 times, gives good coverage over my raw edge so those odd little “fuzzies” get tucked away tidily. If you want to create that folk/country hand applique look (often achieved with black hand embroidery thread), then this stitch works a treat! A longer stitch width emulates the hand embroidery even further.
My usual settings are Sw2.5 & SL2.5 – not for any reason other than that is the look I like when I do my applique by machine.
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!!!!!!
Last but not least: I like to use the Elna Open toe applique foot (F2) which comes standard with some of our Elna sewing machines. It has a nice big open area in front of the needle which allows me to see very clearly where I need to be “going” around my applique shape.
An alternative is the Elna applique foot which is shorter so allows easier movement around sharp corners & curves.
What about invisible applique by machine?? WATCH THIS SPOT……..coming soon to a computer in your sewing room!