· We use the blanket stitch to secure the appliqué pieces to the quilt top in most of our patterns.
· The reason we prefer the blanket stitch is because it secures the edges of the appliqué pieces and prevents the pieces from fraying.
· The blanket stitch that works best is the one that zigzags into the piece and then takes two stitches along the side of the piece. The stitches along the side create the flexibility needed to secure the edge in the turn. Actually, it gives you two chances to secure the edge in the turn.
· This stitch works best with the needle in the down setting (available on some sewing machines). Stopping with the needle down in the corner makes it easy to turn the quilt. The foot lifts when needle down is set. If you don’t have this setting then manually put the needle down into the quilt, lift the foot and turn the quilt.
· Moving from one piece to another without cutting the thread, makes it easier to start stitching again.
· Fix and stop functions on a machine are great for starting the stitch (use fix) and ending the stitch (use stop).
· We use invisible thread in the bobbin which means you don’t have to change the bobbin thread to match the top thread. When using invisible thread, lower the top tension by one setting. This allows the top thread to fully cover the applique piece edge.
· When the pieces are very small, you may choose to use a straight stitch, either free motion or with your regular foot. Another option is to make the blanket stitch smaller by reducing the width of the stitch.
· We blanket stitch through the quilt top and batting only. This keeps the back of the quilt clean, as the blanket stitch can create a messy back with lots of threads. You also have less bulk to work through without the backing.