Tuesday, March 8, 2011

::raw edge appliquéd lettering::

I thought I'd do a quick little tutorial on the appliquéd raw edge lettering I used on little Nellie's quilt. 

Its easy as a wink and can be used on lots of projects like this one for my son's 3rd birthday shirt.

coordinating thread
tear away stabilizer
embroidery scissors
computer, printer and paper
Straight edge ruler

Edgestitch foot: #10 for those of you lucky folks with a Bernina

::Step 1::
On a word processing program print out letters you need.  I was doing "lil'nel" so I printed out l, i, n, e and an apostrophe.  Letters can be reused so you don't need to print out the whole phrase.  I used a 300 point font and bolded it to make the letters thicker.

::Step 2::
Cut out letter sized squares/rectangles from your fabric.  
Place letters backwards on the wrong side of the fabric  
You can trace them or just pin them.  Curvy letters are worth taking the time to trace.  For the straight letters, I just pinned them on and cut around them.  The letters don't have to be perfect since the idea is that the edges will fray once washed anyway.  

Its better to error on the side of cutting around the letter than cutting it too small.

::Step 3:: 
Cut out an appropriately sized piece of stabilizer and place it under the 
fabric you are going to sew the letters on. 

::Step 4::
Lay out the ruler to the line where you want the lettering to go along and then place the letters along the line.

::Step 5::
Once the letters have been laid out, pin them in place.

::Step 6::
If you have an edgestitch foot, now is the time to put it on.  
Let me take this opportunity to sing the praises of the edgestitch foot.  This makes it SO easy to make really clean and straight lines when you edge seams or appliqué fabrics.

::Step 7::
If you have an edgestitch foot, you are going to want to move your needle over all the way to the left.

::Step 8::
Set your needle to the needle down position. 
This will make it easier to turn as you sew along the edge of your letters.

::Step 9::
Sew along the edge of each letter.

If you have little dots on your i's or j's, don't worry about sewing a circle around it.  those little guys can be stitched all over which makes it a little easier for them to keep a nice dot shape once washed.  

Also if you are using a font that has little flags on the l's or i's or j's or any other letter, you are going to want to make sure that you sew ALL the way to the edge of the letters so that they hold their shape once you wash them.  Once you wash it, the fabric frays so you can't really see much of the thread lines anyway.  Its more important that you get all the details of the letter/number sewn down so that it holds its shape once washed.

::Step 10::
Tear off the stabilizer G E N T L Y

::Step 11::
I appliqued my letters on a separate panel and then sewed that on my main fabric backing.  It's easier to work with a smaller fabric as you go through the turns, tracing the lettering.  But its not necessary.

And there you have it!


  1. this is great to know...applique is not my friend.

    also, i was wondering, since you are one of the lucky ones...what kind of Bernina do you have and what do you think. I am shopping for a new machine and Bernina is at the top of my list

  2. Just found this and pinned it. Awesome. Thanks!


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