Applique Tips from Darlene Cahill

by Partner DarleneCahill on ‎11-14-2011 06:29 PM (389 Views)

Need some Holiday Cheer in the kitchen or a quick and easy Hostess gift?  Last month we started  basic applique and attached small decorative pieces to a larger base piece using decorative stitches around the outside edge. This month, let's dive a little deeper into another technique known as blind hem applique. This technique shifts the focus from the decorative edge stitching to the actual color block by using a blind hem stitch and invisible thread. The edges are not raw – they're turned under – which can be challenging around curves and corners so following is what I have found to be the easiest and cleanest way to ensure "no peeking" edges and  perfect placement ready for the blind hem stitch.
Basic Supplies:
Fusible lightweight non-woven  interfacing
Fabric  to make appliques – can be cotton, denim, satin, felt, lace, organza – practically anything  can be cut and  applied!
Blind hem foot and stitch
Invisible (monofiliment ) thread
Basic Instructions: Fusible blind hem applique
1. Place the fusible side of the interfacing to the right  side of the fabric and pin in place
2. Stitch around outline of  design, trim seam and clip  curves and corners
3. Make a slash in the interfacing at the widest area and  turn to the right side
4. Press in place on base fabric
5. Thread your machine's needle with monofiliment thread
6. Set the blind hem stitch
7. Attach the blind hem foot
8. Stitch along the outside of the design with the stitches snuggling in just next to the edge.  The  side sweep of the blind hem stitch should  barely grab the top edge of the applique.

Understanding Differential Feed
Unlike a conventional machine, a serger has TWO sets of feed dogs. One set  in front that pulls the fabric into the area under the presser foot and one set behind that pulls the fabric out  from under the presser foot.  So how do we control these  feeds and why does  it make a difference? The stitch length adjustment controls the back feed dogs as in how much they will pull the fabric out from under the presser foot. The differential feed setting  (a lever or knob on the front or side) controls the front feed dogs as in how much fabric is being pulled into the presser foot.  Now you can see that  changing either one will in turn  alter the ratio in which they work together...this is what affects the functionality :smileyhappy:.
The "N" or 1 setting is neutral meaning that the front and back move at the same ratio. Fabric is pushed under and pulled out of the back   in the same increments.
When the differential  feed  is set  at a minus setting, under 1 or .5, the front feed dogs are moving the fabric into the machine at a slower rate than the back feed dogs are pulling it out so you get a tightly pulled fabric.  This setting  prevents puckering of  slippery or delicate fabrics and can be useful for attaching elastic.
When the differential feed is set at a plus setting, above 1 or at 2, the front feed dogs are moving the fabric into the presser foot faster than the back feed dogs are removing it.  This setting will do the opposite of stretching, it will gather or ease  lightweight materials and prevent wavy seams on knits.
• On the plus setting, the longer the stitch, the more the fabric will gather.
• When gathering with the gathering foot, increase the differential to 2  and lengthen the stitch. Hold the top layer taut as both layers separated by the foot feed through. You will gather and finish all in one easy step!
• For a "lettuce leaf" edge, lower the Differential feed all the way and stretch the fabric as it feeds through. When the seam comes out of the back of the foot and relaxes, the "Lettuce Leaf " edge will reveal  itself.
• For outside curves or  sleeve caps, increase the differential feed to avoid stretching. The increase will cause a slight ease or gather --useful for sleeve insertion.
• Now go boldly where you haven't gone before and use the Differential feed setting on your serger to your advantage!

Embroidery Review...continued
When you first open your Futura Program, there's a window that has dozens of  friendly user tips. In an effort to 'hurry up and start embroidering' it's tempting to close that screen without going through the list but every now and then  it's a good idea to review these bits of info. You may see something that  you didn't notice before.
Here's a quick review of 12 tips in random order:
1. The circle frame can become an oval by moving the points
2. It's easy to get creative with lettering. Slant/Rotate/Stretch/Condense/Step and resize  letters    in the plain  rectangular frame.
3. You can open 14 different file formats–MOST–commercial embroidery design discs.
4. Experiment with every point on a lettering frame. they're there for a reason.
5.  Use "Zoom in" when digitizing to avoid eye strain.
6. "Floating" boxes can be moved--just click and drag on the colored bar above each  box.
7.  Use "Redraw Stitches" to watch stock designs stitch on screen.
8. You can clear the screen by using "select all" and hitting DELETE on your keyboard.
9. Each time you click  "Zoom Out" the zoom percentage will decrease by 1/2.
10. Each time you click "Zoom In" the zoom % will double
11. Try to never stitch a column less than 1mm to prevent thread breaks.
12. The globe frame works nicely with three lines
When to Watch
For more tips and tricks for sewing tune into our show schedule watch November 27 at  6 pm & 11 pm ET.
See you on-air!

Darlene Logo Pic Combo 300x119 Darlenes Thread: How to Sashiko and Rolled HemmingMore Sewing with Darlene Cahill:
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by fonn on ‎11-16-2011 09:38 PM

i received the futura quad as a Christmas gift about 3 weeks and I am very pleased with it. my problem is how to convert clip art and pictures in stitches. Could you give me instructions as to where to find directions or walk me through this please? thank you

by librada on ‎11-16-2011 11:02 PM

I bought the new Singer Embroidery Quartet and why did the
embroidery thread jam into the bobbin case. I almost had
my pattern done. I had to back stitch and take it all apart to get the thread out of the sewing plate. Please help me with this issue. I really like this machine but scared this will happen again?

by librada on ‎11-16-2011 11:04 PM

I bought the new Singer Embroidery Quartet and why did the
embroidery thread metallic jam into the bobbin case?

by craftylady35 on ‎11-17-2011 07:20 AM

On the last event I jumped in and bought the Stylist Serger. I goofed. I thought it was the Stylist II with the open front and thread cutter. I've done a few small projects with it trying to decide whether to keep it or return it since it wasn't the one I thought. Will the Stylist II be returning soon? I have another Singer 4-3 serger that I love but wanted a 4-3-2 and the open front for threading was what caught my eye.

by doodle52 on ‎11-17-2011 07:41 PM

Darlene or anyone, I used my photo stitch on my futura 250 today and I tried to stitch out a photo that was emailed to me. The picture was good and it stitched out just could not really see the faces etc. Can you please tell me why this would be this way? I tried in color and black and white. Each time it was too dark. I know it should work better and it is probably my fault. also does the 5 hr singer tutorial show how to use the software? Thank you. Hope your toe is healed. Happy T. G.

by Lana72 on ‎11-18-2011 03:54 PM

What is the differnce (if any) between the new Futura Quartet SEQS6000 and the one I bought a few months ago - the Futura Quartet FQ-4? I cannot find any difference and I don't know whether I should purchase the new SEQS6000 or not?

by doodle52 on ‎11-19-2011 10:08 AM

Darlene, will the singer 5 hour tutorial be back for sale? Does it help with the software on the futura 250? Thanks

by SewThankful on ‎11-29-2011 06:26 PM

Hi Doodle 52, Yes! The 5-hour tutorial should be back in stock soon! It will definitely help with AutoPunch, Auto-Cross-Stitch, Photo-Stitch, Hyper-Font and Advanced Editing! Jam packed with quality info... a must-have for Futura enthusiasts!

by SewThankful on ‎11-29-2011 06:30 PM

Lana 72, You asked a great question and you're not alone. Here's the skinny----the NEW Quartet SEQS6000 has Advanced Editing whereas the FQ-4 does not. You may purchase the advanced Editing a la carte for only $299.95 item # 139607. That's a much better deal than purchasing an entire new machine but hurry....there's only THREE left! Happy Embroidering!

by SewThankful on ‎11-29-2011 06:35 PM

Hi Doodle 52, Thank you for your well toe is MUCH better!! Wore heels today:smileyhappy: Your photostitch results have many factors in play. Resolution or DPI---Dots per Inch, contrast, size, thread colors used, background color, etc.... INside the wizard you can increase the brightness and alter the contrast level. Higher contrast works better, higher DPI photo (a DSLR camera vs. a cellphone) will be interpreted by the software with more accuracy and detail. Send me the results? on FB?

by SewThankful on ‎11-29-2011 06:39 PM

Hi Librada, Sorry to hear about your metallic bird's nest:smileysad: There are a few things that can cause this. 1) Stitches on that design are too small (less than 1mm) 2)machine sewing too fast (use speed limiter) 3) needle eye not large enough for thread (use metallic needle 4)tension too tight for thread 9loosen tension) Try these and let me know how you do. Always test on a scrap first.

by SewThankful on ‎11-29-2011 06:46 PM

Hi Fonn, Easy fix. Once your photographs and clip art are saved on your "C" drive in a labeled folder where you can access them... all systems on "GO" CREATE on toolbar /choose autopunch from the dropdown menu/follow the prompts through the Wizard Window /when it comes to the 'select' screen, navigate to your folder and select the clip art you want to embroider. It will appear in the Wizard window/Follow the prompts to the end until it appears in your Futura on-screen hoop.

by SewThankful on ‎11-29-2011 06:53 PM

Hi craftylady35,
I understand how you could have made the mistake since they're both called the STYLIST....I've inquired about the return of the STYLIST ll and will post it as soon as I hear. If you're going to return it, try to get in under the 30-day money back guarantee deadline...or you can keep it and leave it on the two thread setting with the by-pass devise so you can save time swapping functions and threadings:smileyhappy:If you're anything like me, you'll use rolled hemming a LOT!

by GoGarzaGo on ‎11-29-2011 09:29 PM

Hi Darlene! I hope your well. It is so wonderful to watch you on HSN. You bring us so many neat and cool demos, I love it. I have been using my Quartet SEQS 6000 and love it, I only wish that everyone could have taken advantage of the TSV pricing like I did. I wanted to inquire if the L-500 is coming back and when if so? I really want this machine and can't wait to get it. Take care and keep shining!

by dsellerberg on ‎12-01-2011 01:51 PM

sewthankful I posted under the serger, but that one does not seem to get responses.
do you know how to do a cover stitch on the singer 4 in 1? In research I believe this is a serger stitch, but I have never used the serger and the book does not cover this stitch.

by neverlistless on ‎12-03-2011 12:45 AM

Question on the flatlock stitch (I got the Singer 5 thread through HSN last year). Are both seam allowances supposed to be flat after stitching ? Photos and diagrams I have found seem to show one seam allowance on the ladder side remains folded under,through the center of the stitch. Most of my samples have this center fold and the loop side looks like one raw edge shows in the center of the stitches. So my threads are flattened out after stitching, but fabric isn't flat.
Thank you

by SewThankful on ‎12-05-2011 03:44 PM

HI Neverlistless, It sounds as though the stitch may be too tight if it's bending the encased fabric. Ideally, the two seam allowances (inside the seam)cross each other and lay flat. Tension adjustments may have to be made depending on the fabric. Test on scraps until you have the desired result. Start by loosening the lower looper tension (it may be wrapping too tight if you're using decorative threads) then loosen the needle tension so there's more 'give' when you pull the seam 'apart'.

by SewThankful on ‎12-05-2011 03:48 PM

Hi dsellerberg, So glad you found the posting place. (I don't check individual products for posts) You asked a good question. The Singer 4-3-2 sergers do not have the ability to make a cover stitch. The cover stitch is only accessible on the Five thread serger. You can make a 'mock cover' this way. Serge the hemline. Press and pin in place. Twin needle topstitch on your sewing machine on the right side directly over the serged edge.

by SewThankful on ‎12-05-2011 03:53 PM

Hi GoGarzaGo, Thank you for watching our airings! As of right now, there are no plans to bring the L-500 back to HSN. You may want to find it using your search engine. Singer still makes the machine and it's a wonderful model that I enjoy a LOT! All my best~~

by donahda on ‎12-06-2011 01:35 PM

I purchased the singer ses 2000 item #143-175 in July. I haven't had much time to use it. I was impressed with what it did do and am hoping for some snow daysw to play with it. What is the difference from my machine and the Singer item #139-183 as seen on the show today? Dec 6th, 2011. Also I have watched the cd's that came with it, but am still having problems figuring out the embroidery. Any sites I can visit and learn more?? Thanks, Donna

by doodle52 on ‎12-08-2011 11:39 PM

darlene, I received my 5 hour singer tutorial and I am more than pleased. For futural folks that do not have this it is very educational about all the software including the editing and advanced editing. This is going to guide me through every step of the way. I am so glad I spent the money on it. Hope you have a great Christmas. Remember the Reason....For the Season.....

by SewThankful on ‎12-10-2011 09:43 AM

Hi donahda, The two embroidery /sewing machines are different in hoop sizes/built-in designs/and multi-hooping ability but they both share some of the same software--with the exception of the Auto-Cross-Stitch which comes with your SES2000 and not the Quartet. There are Singer Futura on-line groups that will offer support and encouragement. Once you get the machine up and running I know you'll be delighted (and I hope you can schedule a 'snowy day' soon!) Write to me on FB- I can help you there.

by SewThankful on ‎12-10-2011 09:46 AM

doodle52--Thank you so much for sharing your Tutorial experience! It really does make all the difference to take that "Next Step" after you've gone through the basics. I'm sew glad to hear that you're enjoying your embroidery machine. I hope you're able to crank out oodles of Christmas surprises! Be Blessed!

by shopnevada on ‎12-12-2011 06:56 PM

Hi Darlene, Merry Christmas, I am sure you are up to your eyeballs in sewing projects !!! :smileyhappy: I was wondering if I could ask a question about Auto Punch. Can this program digitize an image and then just make it an applique, outline, I am not sure how to do it if it can.
Thank You

by bjsews Admirer on ‎12-15-2011 08:17 PM

Hi Darlene,
I was wondering if you will be having a sewing day like you did last Jan? Also do you think the quantum will be back or will a new machine replace it? I bought one of the small Featherweight machines last month and even though I sew a lot I love the little machine. It may be small but it has the power to sew through 2 layers of medium weight leather with only a regular size 16 needle!
Look forward to your next appearance!

by CraftyGal on ‎12-17-2011 12:20 AM

Hi Darlene. Viewed your show for the first time this December and purchased the Futura Quartet after the discount. My question is how to baste a garment. I need to baste the garment and pull the stitches to the top will line up with the skirt part. My first machine was the Featherweigt in early fifties and in the sixties bought a Futura, first one with the drop arm. Would love to show you the original seam ripper I have still and the stitching guide tool. Embrodiery easy pease, basting no.

by shopnevada on ‎12-21-2011 11:25 AM

Hi Darlene,
On the Singer Company FB page there is a lot of "chatter" about the new anniversary machine that will be coming out. Is this a launch with HSN ? Also, is it going to be a basic machine ? will it have any special features, new decorative stitches ? Hope it is worth all the "hooplah", can you give us any clues ? and when it will be featured ?

by doodle52 on ‎12-24-2011 10:39 AM

Darlene, on my futura 250 when I go into design brouser to pick out one of my 3900 designs, everything does well but..sometimes when the first block is done it goes back to the first block instead of 2 etc. Now I know I am not doing something right because it is a wonderful machine. I had so much fun yesterday doing towels but it takes me time to keep trying to get the next block. It will show 2, but when I hit the go button, it goes back to 1. Do you know what I am doing wrong? Thank you.

by CraftyGal on ‎12-25-2011 09:54 PM

I was trying to make a ruffle using flannel for three doll nightgowns before Christmas and the machine would not gather the material with the gathering foot. What I did was put the pressure on "E", used the regular foot; which gave me a longer stitch, sewed a straight line which made gathers which I could adjust evenly to fit the bottome of the gown. By then I wished I had made p.j. instead but I did finish the three gowns in time for Christmas with a few days to spare.

by SewThankful on ‎12-28-2011 09:41 AM

HI ShopNevada,
The new Singer 160th anniversary machine will be featured on HSN as a Today's Special on January 26th. It is an electronic machine oozing with nostalgia. The retro look has been updated and the sleek new design is really quite glamorous (for a sewing machine) It will have a bundle of NEW! extras including never before seen on HSN presser feet so I hope you can tune in! Thanks for asking!

by SewThankful on ‎12-28-2011 09:46 AM

Thank you for watching our sewing shows and thank you for purchasing your quartet from HSN! You picked a good one! 1) The machine has to be set for sewing--not embroidery. Remove the embroidery arm. Replace with accessory tray. 2) push the straight stitch button and slide the stitch length bar to the longest setting 3) loosen the top tension slightly so the bobbin thread will pull easily to form your own gathers or----4) tighten tension to 8-9 and it will gather while you stitch!

by SewThankful on ‎12-28-2011 09:50 AM

CraftyGal, I';m so glad you were able to finish your project. Congats! "E" is for embroidery tension and will not serve you well in regular sewing. Also, there's a gathering foot specially designed to gather while you sew----especially if you tighten the top tension to almost all the way:smileyhappy: I use this technique a lot and it works every time. Give it a shot and let me know how you make out!

by SewThankful on ‎12-28-2011 09:53 AM

HI bjsews, Thankyou for dropping me a line. In short, YES! we'll be having a 'sewing day' in January on the 26th so I hope you can tune in. SEW glad you like the Featherweight! It is a crafty little powerhouse, isn't it? Small but mighty! Thank you for sharing your positive comments...See you in January!

by SewThankful on ‎12-28-2011 09:57 AM

HI ShopNevada, Great Question. Answer: sometimes. It depends on the design. If you have nice clean, solid satin stitched borders and you stitch it out on organza or fine tule sandwhiched with washaway stabilizer, then yes, you should be able to make a free-standing applique. You can also ADD a bolder outline to your graphic in the DRAW PACKAGE and then re-digitize to get that satin stitch border. A well -worth it time investment if you're designing a family, group or team logo! Enjoy!!!

by craftylady35 on ‎01-03-2012 08:28 AM

Hi Darlene, I'm having to return my Stylist serger I purchsed in Nov. It sews fine but makes a kind of klinky noise that sounds like metal hitting and I know it isn't right. I've owned my other serger for 7 years so I know it shouldn't have that sound. I've asked for exchange but don't see any sergers in stock now. If they can't do that I've asked for refund. Will HSN be having sergers soon so I can pick up another 2-3-4?

by SewThankful on ‎01-06-2012 10:20 AM

Hi Craftylady35,
I'm glad you were able to return your serger. It's likely out of timing. Inventory is always filling up after the first of the year so I hope you'll check back with us. There's a Singer 5-thread Professional serger coming in at the end of the month. If you wait for that one, You'd have the cover stitch along with all the other features that a 2-3-4 brings you:smileyhappy:Either way--hang in there---I'm sure it will be soon!

by SewThankful on ‎01-06-2012 10:27 AM

Hi Doodle52,
Thanks for submitting your question. It doesn't sound like you're doing anything wrong.... Do you have more than one Futura software program on your computer at the same time? More than one program can cause files corruption. Are you clicking on the "next" "forward" button to advnace to the next block before hitting send? That's all I can think of. You'll have to check directly with Singer for the answer to this one. e-mail: Happy Embroidering!

by trev2947 on ‎01-07-2012 12:17 AM

Hi Darlene, I bought quite a few machines from HSN and I love watching you on the sewing shows! I have been shopping with HSN since 1979 so you know I'm a dedicated HSN shopper! My question is, with the machines that have a start and stop button to sew without a foot pedal and fast and slow speed does that make it easier for stippling or free motion quilting? Also, a few years back I was rooting for you to win that decorating show! I think you were terrific on there!

by Minister95 on ‎01-07-2012 11:59 PM

Hi Darlene, I bought the futura 4 in 1 and I love it. But the problem I'm having is with the software(autopunchetc).It keep disappearing from the tool bar. You have to reinstall. Can you help me with this please? Thanks!!!

by doodle52 on ‎01-08-2012 01:14 AM

I think the problem is with clicking on the next..forward button. Thank you. Hope your mom is doing better. Are wedding bells still ringing?

by doodle52 on ‎01-09-2012 11:08 AM

Darlene, can you tell me when your thread Melrose" will be back on hsn? Everytime I want to order it is already sold out. Thank you. Wish they would carry this as I've heard it is very very good.

by SewThankful on ‎01-10-2012 09:30 AM

HI Trev2947, Thank you for watching, we value shoppers like you! The start stop button is helpful when you can't reach the foot pedal,counter too high, wheelchair in the way, etc....and the speed control is good for beginners as it sets a specific speed and will not allow 'revving' the motor--(which can ruin an area if the hands aren't ready)It boils down to eye/hand/foot coordination and speed control removes intimidation and can manually increase as confidence builds. Great Question! Thanks!

by SewThankful on ‎01-10-2012 09:34 AM

Hi Minister95, So glad you picked up the 4-in-one. You should not have to keep reinatalling the options software. Do you have another Singer machine on the same computer? (Futura or SES1000?) Multiple software can cause corruption and glitches in working. If that's not it, please write to for a customer service rep to help you troubleshoot. I'm confident the nice reps at Singer will help you fix the problem. Happy Embroidering!

by SewThankful on ‎01-10-2012 09:36 AM

HI doodle52, Thank you for trying and writing a positive comment about my Polyester Embroidery thread, Melrose. It is not scheduled at this time to come back in stock at HSN but you can find it at the large fabric chain store's website...(it starts with a J) and I believe it's on sale! Enjoy!

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