Sunday, March 15, 2015

Machine Applique How-To

Karla Menaugh's Sweet Harmony Crib Quilt detail.
Occasionally you find our old Sunflower Pattern Co-operative
patterns for sale on line.

I found a stack of our books when I moved, but the stand-alone patterns are scarce. 

This crib quilt of Karla's is one of my favorites.
Inspired by an antique, we chose subdued colors
in classic primitive style.

It's a simple pattern it would
look quite graphic in more vivid color.

We gave you a whole alphabet so you could
write anything you wanted such as baby's name

After telling you all about it I have to say it's out of print.

The group developed a fine machine-applique method over a lot of trial and error. We decided that the overcast stitch (shown below on two different machines) gave the best results in mimicking hand applique.

We use freezer paper templates to get accurate shapes.

And removable office dots for circles. 
The art department (me) adapted the patterns
just for machine applique with simple inner and outer curves.

People asked us about our technique so the technical department (Karla) organized a how-to book called Quiltmaker's Guide to Fine Machine Applique...

We described and pictured every step. Above:
how to get the best results in ironing a stack freezer paper leaves.

Inner curves....

Sharp points.

The teaching sampler goes from simple to sophisticated stitching in various blocks.

New Century Garden by Karla Menaugh

Cactus flowers are the basic lesson.

and split leaves one of the more difficult.

You can teach yourself (or your students) to do really nice machine applique using this book. I might modestly brag that it's an excellent technique book.

Buffy's version of the New Century Garden

And we still have copies. Buy the book at my Etsy Store:


  1. I liked that book so much, I bought it twice! lol

  2. I have that book. It is one of the first I bought and taught me about machine applique. Very easy to follow. Wouldn't part with it. I'd be interested in getting the baby pattern. Are you going to reissue it?

  3. Nudge--look on Etsy or eBay. I think I saw one recently.

  4. I looked for the applique book at your etsy store but they must have gone quickly

  5. It looks like a wonderful book to learn from and I do love the baby quilt.


  6. It looks like a wonderful book to learn from and I do love the baby quilt.


  7. I learned to machine applique just by using that book and it's great. I still use their method and still refer to the book, my machine applique bible.

  8. Nancy. I put some more up there. Hope my impeccably accurate inventory system is correct.

  9. is the overcast stitch the same as the overlock stitch? i have a bernina and there's nothing called an overcast stitch.
    thanks in advance if you can answer my question!