I am so excited to be on the last appliqué block for my Oak Reel Block quilt! I sucked it up and will make myself finish piecing and appliquéing it… hopefully this week! I might be a little short on time today, as I am making fresh egg pasta, and invited my mom over for dinner… our basil is going nuts this year so we’ve been eating plenty of pesto.
Tomorrow is my day at The Quilt House over in Clarksville… such a fabulous little shop where quilters are welcome to pull up a chair, brew a mug of tea or coffee, and join in the fun. I usually take my hand sewn hexie project for that. With enough Wednesdays, I will eventually finish it!
My sewing room gets messy when I’m in the middle of a project. Machine appliqué is hard on my eyes and my body as I twist into odd contortions while I’m sewing, so I have my Bernina 740 set up for piecing, and my Bernina 430 setup for appliqué.
I will do a little appliqué work, then switch machines and do some piecing.
I like Superior Threads Bottom Line thread for machine appliqué in a coordinating color for my fabrics. On my Bernina 430, I set up my machine as follows.
Bobbin case threaded for embroidery, upper tension set to 2. I don’t want to see any bobbin thread pulled to the top. Presser foot #20 (open toe embroidery foot). I use straight stitch #1, needle position 5 clicks to the right, stitch length set to 0.40mm for beginning and ending, and single blanket stitch #50, needle position 5 clicks to the right, stitch width 1.40mm, stitch length 1.80mm.
I set my Bernina 740 up with the same settings when using it for appliqué work.
A mere foot away from the quilt, and you can’t see the appliqué stitches at all. They’re very tiny, which is how I like them. I work slowly and carefully while appliquéing, often stopping with every stitch to turn the fabric so that the stitches closely follow the appliqué.
Each Oak Reel block takes me a little over two hours to sew. I can’t imagine doing this without a knee lift on my sewing machine, or at least a machine with the hover feature.
My Bernina 740 has the hover feature, but I don’t use it and much prefer the knee lift, which I feel offers more control and responds instantly. I’m not sure I would do appliqué without a knee lift… lifting the presser foot with the lever at the back of a machine for every stitch would drive me crazy!
I am going to finish that last appliqué block today!