By Jove, I Think She’s Got it!

Appliqué has been my quilting nemesis for years.  My stitches always show and the thread really tends to stand out.  

Because I have been so frustrated, and not very patient, I usually just opt to embrace the visible stitches and use my sewing machine with either a small hem stitch or go all out and use a buttonhole stitch with contrasting thread.

I am not at all against machine appliqué, in fact I am a big fan of the speed and consistency of the stitches.  BUT  (I’m sure you knew that was coming) I really WANT to be proficient at appliqué.  I feel that any really good quilter should know how to needle turn.

Well this is it.  This is the quilt where I learn the appliqué ways!  I started out with my usual try to take a small stitch, but the stitches still show technique.   Ugh!  No matter how hard I tried, those stitches showed!

Then I looked at the back and had a brilliant thought—


I said to my myself, ” look at those tiny pinpricks. Why can’t they be on the front?”   Wait a minute–why can’t they?  I know, I know, I’m very slow to the rodeo with this one!   I think everyone else had this figured out long ago.  Where have I been?!


This time I entered my quilt top completely next to where I came out on the last stitch. Do you see where I put the arrow in the above picture?


Here it is again.  The picture on the left shows what I WAS doing. I was entering the fabric a few stitches ABOVE where I came out on the last stitch.  The totally correct awesome way is once again to go back down RIGHT NEXT to where I came out of the fabric on the last stitch.


Look at how pretty that looks!  You can BARELY see the stitches at all!❤️❤️. The back has the long stitches and I’m ok with that:)

I should be quite the proficient when I am done with this Down the Rabbit Hole quilt.  In fact for the next few days I am really going to be stitching and stitching on these leaves!  There are about 50 of them!


Yep,  I think I will have the hang of it for sure by the time I’m done with them:)

Now I have to get the curves a little smoother, but I will get there!  No one is going to be looking that close except me and you:)!

Thank you for stopping by!  I hope my appliqué journey helps any of you who are new to appliqué:)

Life is SWEET!

21 thoughts on “By Jove, I Think She’s Got it!

  1. Well done on cracking the mystery! I always thing of hand appliqué as hemstitch in reverse. Instead of working on the back and taking the tiny stitch down through the layers to the front, you work from the front and make the long stitch on the back. And you’ll get better and better at it as you go along. BTW, with those leaves you’ll get a nice smooth edge if you do the foil trick rather than relying on finger pressing or a hera marker.

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  2. Isn’t it funny how we hone in on one thing and just HAVE to make it work? 😏 And you did it 😃 I’m happy for you 😍even though I love the stitches in the contrasting color. But you’re right…for this motif (absolutely gorgeous btw 😊) the ‘invisible stitch works better

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  3. So exciting when we finally crack something! I’m not sure if this tip will help for quilting, but a tip from the RSN is to take a small step back with each stitch and to pull it tight – the stitches somehow sink when you do that.

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  4. I started this BOM for the same reason, to learn to do proper applique and with Sarah’s instructions I seem to have finally got the hang of it! It’s a great feeling when something suddenly clicks isn’t it 🙂 You’re more patient than me with all those leaves, I skinned mine down to less than 40 as I just couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel! I do like your colours!

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  5. Good for you! I saw your first picture and thought I have to email her about using a hem stitch, and I scroll down and there it is!! Your Rabbit Hole is looking quite amazing there. So next question, what weight or kind of thread are you using? Just regular thread or some of that fancy appliqué thread? I only have green of the fancy kind, and have use mostly sewing or maybe some floss if I don’t have the correct color. How about you?

    Liked by 1 person

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