Welcome back! I’m glad you are here for the final installment of my wool appliqué series. If you are just finding me, you can find the other two parts of the series here: Welcome to Wool Appliqué – Part 1 and Welcome to Wool Appliqué – Part 2. This week, we move on to wool appliqué stitching. I will share some of my tips and tricks to make this a really fun experience for you. It’s stitching time!
Wool Appliqué Stitching
There are two standard stitches that are the most common ones used to stitch appliqué shapes to the background. The first is the blanket stitch which looks like this:
I use perle cotton thread in neutral colors. I like Valdani Perle Cotton, size 8. However, the thread that you use and the color is your choice! You can even use embroidery floss. Use the amount of strands that gives you the thickness you like.
Here’s how the blanket stitch looks on a project:
You can use threads that contrast so you get a primitive look or you can use threads that match the color of your appliqué shape so the stitches disappear or blend in.
The next stitch I often use on thin pieces, like the stems made from strips, is called the whip stitch:
I use this stitch on the thin stems because I feel the blanket stitch is too wide. Here’s how it looks on a stem:
Here’s my mini video tutorial on stitching, including stitching points and inside corners, to help with your stitching understanding:
Some Stitching Tips
Now onto some of my tips for appliqué stitching to make your experience more relaxing and fun.
Tip#1: Good lighting is essential when stitching. I like a task light that sits on the table if I’m stitching there or a floor lamp if I am stitching in a chair watching TV.
Good lighting helps you to make even stitches and saves you from eye strain! It’s even better when your light has a magnifier. That will also help. you to make even stitches.
Tip #2: To get your thread prepared for stitching, pull off a piece of the thread no longer than 18″. If you have a longer piece, there is more of a chance that it gets tangled and frayed. To prevent as much fraying as possible, I use Thread Magic thread conditioner.
It’s not beeswax and it’s acid free so it’s safe for all your fabrics and threads. I like the design of the container too. Those indentations allow you to make use of all of the product without having to dig into the container.
Simply run your thread through like shown in the photo:
Tip #3: Here is a technique you can use to make sure your stitches are evenly spaced. Mark two lines on your thumb and use that as a guide for stitch spacing.
Tip #4: Use a chenille needle for stitching.
My preferred size is #22 because it has a larger eye for easy threading. If you want a shorter needle, you can use the #24 size, but beware, the eye is a little smaller on that one.
Tip #5: When you have finished stitching a piece or you have come to an end of the thread, here is a handy way to end so there is no need to knot:
Simply feed the tail of the thread through the last few stitches on the back of the project, as shown in the photos above. This should secure it.
Now for some fun stuff! Here’s some creative stitching that can add a little pizazz to your project. Use these stitches for smaller pieces or stems if you do not want to use the blanket or whip stitch. I had some fun doing these and it also adds some interest to your project.
Here are some stem stitches:
For small pieces like berries or small squares, this is what I chose to do:
French knots in the berries add a fun dimension. The little “x” in the square of wool on the right secures the piece to the project and adds a little whimsy. Finally, for the center of a flower, I did a French knot and some radiating stitches:
So that is all for part 3 of my Welcome to Wool Appliqué series. I hope you enjoyed it and learned something new! Please leave a comment or ask any questions below and be entered into the drawing for the prize package below:
The drawing will be on Monday, January 10th. Good luck!**We have a winner! Congrats, Wendy!***
Regina Bohannon says
Thanks for these embellishment tips. I will be trying them!
carol lewin says
Like the idea of securing the thread on the back. Will try this.
Sally Garon says
You are so generous to share your expertise. Thanks.
Thanks so much for all the visuals and tutorial. They are so helpful! I like that you show different creative ways of finishing your projects. I have embroidered for years and have recently pushed myself to use different stitches for different looks and make make the end product more interesting. I even like like trying other types of embellishments also. Makes it more fun!
I really have enjoyed this series. You’ve given us a lot of information – I don’t feel so overwhelmed in trying this. I’ve done an appliqué quilt awhile ago, but have never worked with wool. Thank you for sharing your talent ❤️
PS – tip #3 – marking your thumb – best tip ever!
Terri Karasch says
I have really enjoyed this series! I’m going to try that zigzag stitch on a project I’m working on that has vines.
Tip on marking thumb is something I will have to try. Thanks!
Debby Krzyston says
Thanks for the great stitching wool appliqué tutorial.
I’d like to make one safety suggestion about the magnifying lights. Always cover them when not in use. House fires have been started by the sun shining on them through your windows.
Please pass this on.
Thank you, Debby
Thanks for the safety suggestion! It’s good to pass that along.
Cathy R Weatherford says
I started a new wool/cotton applique project after Christmas. How did I forget how to end without a knot? Thank you for reminding me. I guess at 74 I am starting to forget some stuff, haha
Gayle Shumaker says
One of my UFO’s that I hope to complete this year is An Enchanted Garden”. It was a BOM from a local quilt shop. I enjoy doing wool applique.
What a great series! Can’t wait to start a wool applique project now! I like your tip on ending by weaving the thread through a few stiches.
Thanks again for all your tips and information! Feel like I’m ready to start!
Janet brooks says
Thank you for all of the information the videos were very informing. I love wool hand appliqué Happy New Year. Keep stitching.
Linda Rhoades says
Thank you for the tips! The fray check on the edges of the block is one I will be using! I’ve done lots of applique, but a beginner on wool. Thanks!
Ann DeBarros says
Thanks for the instructions and tips. Very helpful!
Thanks for the review of so many tips and instructions. I really enjoy how everyone shares their tips also. I have trouble with those large magnifiers, if I need to bring something closer/more in focus I use over the counter Dollar Tree reading glasses, these work great for me.
Donna Bishop says
I can’t wait!
ANN ROBERSON says
Another great tutorial. I have trouble cause my spacing doesn’t come out evenly in my blanket stitches.
Susan L. says
Thanks for the great tips! I will definitely try marking my thumb for blanket stitch. Consistent spacing is a big struggle for me.
I would LOVE to win this WONDERFUL set of treats!
Dorothy Jones says
Thank you for all the tips
Just got my first newsletter! These are such great tips and information. I am about to start my first wool applique on cotton fabric so these will come in handy.
Thanks for these great tutorials. Love your BOM for 2022!
Margaret Crow says
Deanne, thank you for these helpful tutorials. You really cleared up, for me, the threads to use. Looking forward to trying this out.
I always look forward to these tutorials. I’m more a visual learner and it’s nice to have these to reference. I am always interested in the new tools that are available for our use. Thanks for the great patterns.
Sharon M Aurora says
Wow, those are a lot of great tips! I especially like the tip about how to get even stitches. Now for a question. What is the difference between using beeswax and Thread Magic as far as longevity of project goes?
Hi! I’m not sure of the difference. I have never used beeswax but have always used this product because it’s acid free so it won’t damage the fabric. Also, I like the container because I can use all of the product.
Kathy Higgins says
Thank you for this series on wool appliqué. One of my fellow guild members passed on your newsletter to me thinking I might like to try something new. Your 3 part series was caulked full of helpful hints for a beginner. Your instructions were very easy to follow and understand. I’m excited to start your 2022 BOM, together with my friends.
Sandra Richardson says
I just found your tutorials for wool applique and thank you for making them. I have done some wool applique but I’m always ready to learn how someone else does wool applique. Thank you for offering a free wool applique BOM, very generous!!