Tag Archives: applique

Using Zig Zag in Quilts

Applique, using zig zag stitching and pieced quilt for the grands.

Applique, using zig zag stitching and pieced quilt for the grands.

Thanks to Calico Connections for reminding me that a zig-zag stitch is often used in quilting.

I’d planned to write about the Zig-Zag quilt which some call the Chevron, and can be made with half-square triangles. The problem is I don’t have my Zig-Zag quilt finished, which means no picture.

However, thanks to Calico, I remember that the zig-zag stitch can  be used to piece batting together. By bunting two pieces of batting together and using a wide zig zag stitch we can make our batting dollars go further, and not have extra bulk in our quilt.

I also use the zig zag stitch when adding binding. Because, I often either leave my backing big enough to fold over the edges, then using a zig zag or decorative stitch, sew it to the top, or I add the binding backwards. By backwards I mean, most quilters sew their binding to the front of the quilt and fold it over to hand-stitch on the back, I do the opposite. I sew the binding to the back of the quilt, and fold it over to the front and once again zig zag or decorative stitch it down.

The zig zag stitch is also one of the ways to attach an applique. Since I seldom do applique, and when I do it’s for a project that will be used and washed, often, I want the applique to stay put. I usually call it a satin stitch because the zigs are so close to the zags. A satin stitch is, essentially, a zig zag.

The quilt at the top of this post is one made for one of my little grandsons, and his younger brother, and cousins have a similar quilt, they all have  several applique blocks.

Not only was the zig zag stitched used to hold the appliques in place, but it was used a decorative, or defining stitch on the hats and the frog.

The frog block. The frog is one piece, the legs are defined with zig zag stitching. The swirling water around the frog is just my  unusual quilting.

The frog block. The frog is one piece, the legs are defined with zig zag stitching. The swirling water around the frog is just my unusual quilting.

That’s it. We’ve come to the end of the month, and the end of the alphabet. I managed to post about every letter, although some times not exactly on the correct day. But, hey, I’m making progress.

I’ve enjoyed meeting some of the other bloggers in the challenge, and found a few new ones to follow. I hope you did too.

For next month, something different, but I’ll wait and tell you about them tomorrow.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this alphabet series. How often do you use zig zag in your quilts?


A is for Applique

For our ancestors an applique quilt represented wealth because of all the fabric used. They are not traditionally patchwork. At least not small patches.Not only were scraps not used in making the blocks, but these quilts had extra fabric on them!

Applique represents a wealth of time. Actually, appliquers don’t have any more time than other quilters. They just enjoy applique and are willing to spend their time stitching them. Of course, there are several methods of applique, some more time intensive than others

Maybe it’s a wealth of love that the quilter was willing to take the extra time to stitch down the applique pattern. An entire quilt can be made using applique blocks.

There are several methods of applying fabric to fabric to create an applique.

There is the needle turn, which almost makes the design look as if it’s floating on the background. This needle-turn Sunbonnet Sue was made over thirty years ago. Thank goodness my sewing skills have improved!

Sunbonnet Sue 2 - needle turn

The quilt with these little girls has long since bit the dust. However, since it was made for my daughter (she loved it to pieces) and the “dresses” are all feed sack fabric from her grandma, I saved the “girls” to be reused in another quilt at some point.

When I use applique now, I prefer to use a zig-zag stitch. It can hide a raw edge and makes using applique go much faster. When making quilts for six grandkids, fast is sometimes important. Another advantage of zig-zag applique is the sturdiness, which makes it the perfect method of children’s quilts.

Overall SamAnother hand sewing method is to do the blanket stitch by hand. It’s a pretty look, but much too labor intensive for me. Not to mention I wouldn’t keep my stitches even, and it looks best with even stitches. Heather Nelson, a young lady in our quilt guild used thirties reproduction fabric for her girls. Don’t you agree, her even stitches makes the applique?

Heather's Sunbonnet Sue

There are other methods of applique, do you use one of them? While I do my appliques by machine, I love the look of the hand work. How about you, do you use one method and enjoy the look of another?

It’s all about Me Applique

It's all about me button

I love blog hops. It’s an easy way to find new blogs to follow and meet new people. It’s also a fun way to learn new things, and sometimes acquire new friends for your blog. The All ABOUT ME, is a just for fun blog hop for me. I’m not giving anything away, and my blog has been all but abandoned these last couple of weeks while I worked on other projects. It’s also slated for an overhaul, which was supposed to happen BEFORE this blog hop. 🙂 It didn’t, and the hop goes on.

Making the fun little quilt was a nice diversion from my other pressing matters and I enjoyed it. Thanks to  Madam Samm, and, Marlene,  of Stitching by the Lake for doing all the work and making this “meeting” of quilters possible

Of course, I’m running behind as usual. I finally finished by block in the wee hours of the morning. This is after I realized I didn’t have the pattern so generously donated by Amy Butler. Then, there was the issue of downloading, then sewing, and now trying to post.

Lucky for me, Amy designed a cute, easy to follow pattern. Not so lucky for me, I didn’t have all the necessary supplies and such. However, since I’m not much for following directions anyway, I just used the pattern as a suggestion and came up, much to my surprise, with a kind of cute wall-hanging.

Because I was in a hurry, and I’m not a fan of hand sewing these days, I used fusible, raw edge applique and quilted around it. I think I’ll try my hand at another one, just for fun now that I’ve made this one.

I made the hair longer, since my hair is long. I used muslin for the blondish color of my natural hair then quilted it with gray thread to give the darker look my hair sometimes has. I went with a stripe background, because, well honestly, that was handy last night. Since I normally wear dark colors (to hide the fat don’t you know), the dress is a black and white print. Which shows very clearly that black isn’t necessarily all that slimming.

I stuck the pincushion on my arm, since that’s where I usually have one, and my glasses are pink, a little like my natural glasses. Since I live out in the country, I used the fabric designed to look a little like leather for the word “biased.”

I think every fabric came from a different source. But then, I’m a little of a mixed up person anyway so this blending of differences suits me.

It really does look too much like me for comfort. What do you think?

IMG_0003Nin, cropped from others 2012





Nin 2011.jpg


Don’t forget to check out the other talented quilters to see how their little quilt turned out.

You can find them all at Stitching on the Lake, if these links don’t work.

Buzzing and Bumbling
Cherries Prairie Primitives
Kwilty Pleasures
Sew On And So Forth
Sew. Darn. Quilt.
A Stitch In Time
Doodling In My Mind
Moosestash Quilting
Vickie at That Other Blog
Susie’s World

And, if you missed out yesterday, don’t forget to check out these talented quilters:
Just Let Me Quilt
Sunshine Quilting
Karen at That Other Blog
Grammie Q
Gracie Oliver Arts
Marjorie’s Busy Corner
Sowing Stitches
Pigtales and Quilts
Stitchin’ByThe Lake