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raw edge applique


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Hi, I've been working on learning to do raw (unturned) edge applique on my home sewing machine. I'm not doing too badly, but can't use all the wonderful threads that my Ultimate II will run. What is the best way to do the raw edge applique using the longarm? What should I do to prevent the large needle from causing so much fraying along the edges? Is there any secret for driving the machine around the shapes accurately. I do not have a stitch regulator on my machine; mostly I run it on 3. If I slow it down it sounds like it's dragging. Should I slow it down to do the applique? Sorry I have so many questions.

Tina, maybe if you're reading this you can give me some hints. I'm planning to attend the HOTS meeting in Paducah on Saturday. Maybe I can get some help there.

thanks to all for your wonderful help.

Teresa Taylor


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Hi Teresa,

I do all of my raw edge applique on my longarm- All of it!!! It's so much easier on my big longarm sewing space as opposed to the limited sewing field of a domestic machine. I "piece" entire quilts completely on the longarm. I use several techniques to help keep the needle from fraying the fabric's edges... Some examples are using solvy and toile on top of the applique fabric to starching the fabric quite heavily prior, to using a zig-zag motion and hiding the edges with couched specialty threads and yarns. It really helps to mark a larger piece of fabric with the applique shape and cut away after sewing it (while it is still loaded on the longarm) as this keeps the needle from fraying the outer edges of the fabric.

I'm planning to be at the HOTS-LA meeting on Saturday, so will answer any questions you have. Maybe we can play a little on the longarms with some applique quilting while we are there too.

If I could get a pic to load -sigh-, I would post several examples of my longarm applique techniques... I have *got* to get satellite internet instead of this horrible dial-up!:mad:

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Thanks Tina. I had thought of using Fray check or something similar on the edges of the applique pieces. I also wondered about using a 3.5 or smaller needle. Right now I'm using 4.0 needles. I was trying to use machine embroidery thread, but I'm getting so far off my lines I think I might use clear monofilament instead. Oh, my poor pigtails. I just replaced some from using monofilament. I'll see you on Saturday. Maybe you can help me understand tension changes that I need to make when I change threads. Gee, maybe I need to pay you for your time. Teresa : )

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As copied from above.....Gee, maybe I need to pay you for your time.

LOL!!! :P Nope! No payment necessary what-so-ever!:P LOL!!! Free training and (sometimes unsolicited LOL!) advice is one of the many benefits to attending a longarm group meeting like ours!! We really try to make each HOTS-LA meeting very informative and helpful for all the members! Plus, it is just really refreshing to have the chance to share ideas and experiences with other longarmers!! I'll bring some small applique samples with me so I can show you some of the different techniques I use when doing applique on my longarm.

I use Bottom Line almost exclusively for my longarm applique work- It blends wonderfully as there are many colors to choose from and it is a thinner thread. As far as fray-check goes.... I have used it before (a throw-back to my embroidery machine days), but I do not like that it will make fabric stiff and unpliable. It can be used if necessary, but do so very sparingly or you'll have overly crisp and visibly darker areas on the fabric.

Ohhh, I just have to brag on one of my friends here---- Gayle McKay!! She took my Alternative Longarm Applications class last year at LACE during the Houston Quilt Festival. When we were talking before the class, she told me that "alternative quilting" was very much outside her comfort zone. She had never done anything but traditional quilting up to this point. Later in the class, I noticed that she was completely engrossed in her quilting sample we were doing- and I worried if she was bored from hearing me talk for hours and so on. When I walked over there, she was completely mesmerized by doing something so unconventional by her standards- and was flying off on her own creative ride!!! I instantly knew that she had been bitten by the art quilt bug!! LOL!! Well, this year (almost one year later) she quilted 2 different art quilts that were displayed at the Houston Show!!!! Her quilt titled "And she drowned Friday night" was also covered in a very nice article in the Houston newspaper the day after the show ended. I am sooooo proud of Gayle!!! And I am very glad to see that longarms are being fully recognized for their HUGE impact in the quilt world!!! Gayle wrote me an extremely sweet letter after she was asked by Karey B. to have her quilts be exhibited at the show and I am just thoroughly estatic for her success. Gayle's work is absolutely awesome if anyone wants to look: "...And She Died Friday Night & " Masqerade" by Gayle McKay I also included pics of an awesome quilt Gayle both pieced and quilted in my "Mesmerizing Collision Of Technology And Tradition" article for the Fabric Trends Spring 2005 issue called "Night Blooms" Yep, Gayle is amazingly talented!!

This is just a warning.... a little bite of these "alternative quilting techniques" can become a full-fledged addiction!!! LOL!!!

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Tina, Sounds great. I can't wait until Saturday. Actually I got interested in this raw edge applique because I just took Phil Beaver's class in French Lick. His work is awesome. I will bring my work in progress and let you look at it. I'm afraid my fabric is really fraying badly along the edges. I was wondering about using a 3.0 or 3.5 needle, but I don't want to have to re-time my machine if I change needles. :(

Thread choices are still an issue with me. I just can't get the hang of changing tensions, without having railroad tracks or loop-de-loops. Right now I can't get my bobbin thread to quit showing on the top. I'm using Superior's BOB's in the bobbin, and I have the tension adjusted by the yo-you test. I have tried moving my upper tension every which way, but get bobbin pokies on the top, and some loops on the bottom.

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OOOHHHH I am soooooo jealous!! :( I would love to take Phil Beaver's classes!!! 2 of my friends have taken them and both said they were absolutely wonderful!! Quotes from both friend's: "So full of inspiration that you'll come close to bursting!!!" Now I just heard that another good friend of mine (who shall remain nameless in Canada- yes, you know who you are!;):) LOL!!) is scheduled to attend Phil's class sessions!:mad:

Of course, now I just *have to* get myself scheduled into one of Phil Beaver's classes!!!:P

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Oh, It was absolutely wonderful. He is so down to earth; and so talented. He took us step by step through the process used to create the fabric, design a pattern, work out the applique steps, and apply the forms to the quilt top. That is why I'm so interested in the raw edge applique by machine. I have my appliques glue basted to the quilt top and I want to attach them, but I don't want to ruin this one, it's too special to me. I will bring it Saturday and let you see it. Thanks for all your help.

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Yes Tina. I know who I am! And I get to spend FIVE whole days with Phil in March. It's in the Rocky Mountains very close to Banff; an incredibly beautiful spot, with lots of inspiration just outside the windows. Last year I spent 2 days with Ricky Tims, 2 days with Jane Sassaman (LOVE that girl!) and 3 days with Velda Newman. I've decided that this retreat is going to be my treat to myself every year. It was absolutely fabulous! AND the quilt shop that sponsors the Retreat sets up a small shop in one of the conference rooms right NEXT to the classrooms, so if you NEED something.........oh well; just walk down the hall, grab it and tell them to put it on your "running tab". You DON'T want to know what my bill was at the quilt shop at the end of the week!!

This retreat is sponsored by the Sugar Pine Quilt Shop in Canmore, Alberta, and brings in the very best of the best in teachers. Libby Lehman was there last year, and Gabriell Swain and so many others. One of the best things was on the last day. The teachers opened the doors and had "open house" where you could wander in and out of all the classrooms looking at the projects people had been working on. There was one class where we weren't allowed to take ANY pictures because the work that was being done was SO outstanding it was seriously copyrighted!!!

This March 6-15 the teachers are (Are you ready for this?!):

Phil Beaver

Nancy Crow

Susan Carlson

Libby Lehman


Barbara Olson

Katie Pasquini Masopust

Another BEST thing was the meals. Just walk out the door of the classroom and follow your nose to the huge buffet tables that were set up in the entrance hall of the hotel. Eat, chat with new friends, and walk back down the hall to your class room or the quilt shop.

All the teachers had some of their work on display all week long, and Ricky Tims had a huge Quilt Show where you could get right up close to his incredible quilts and he'd come right up behind you and explain how he did that, and what he would have done differently, and why he used that color thread (because the one he wanted to use kept breaking!) :P

Oh, and the other best thing was that my room was the first one down the hall! So I was close to the food, the quilt shop and the class rooms! Doesn't get much better than that!

Can't wait for March to come around again. Just what you need to get the juices flowing before Spring arrives in the Canadian Rockies!

You can visit the websites at:



Here's the view out the back door of the Radisson Hotel. I walked by this view every day on the way from my room to the classroom. Doesn't get much better than this. :)


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You are making me even greener with envy!!! That was sure a dirty trick telling me about all the added benefits in addition to the AWESOME classes scheduled!! - Now, the picture is just insult added to injury!!! :PLOL!!! LOL!!!!:P

I twice pulled up the site to send my reservation.... My only saving grace is that I was having trouble deciding which classes to take?? I want to take all of them!!! The teaching staff list is completely amazing!!! How can I possibly choose between Phil, Holice, Libby, and Katie????

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to attend the entire conference and take everybody's classes.... but my husband's and only son's birthdays are during this time (BIG SIGH!!:()

Do you think my guys would appreciate the humour if I attended this conference as their birthday gift??? You know, pretend to graciously give them some male bonding, birthday celebrating time together without me around.... :oLOL!!:P

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OR, bring them along and they can go skiing all day! This is SKI country!

Tell you what, I'll take Phil, you can take any of the others, and we'll brag about how OUR teacher is the best during breaks! :P OR when we run into each other in the "quilt shop". ;)

It would be SO fun to have you join us, and anyone else on this site is welcome to make the trek to one of the most beautiful spots in the WORLD!

Oh! Did I mention that we went on a bus tour one night, and went for the MOST incredible buffet at the Banff Springs Hotel? Everything from Crab Legs to "design your own pasta dish"! Yummmmmmmy!


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to show this pictures. I was once there at that Hotel. To see this hotel appearing from a route (I do not remember, as my uncle was the driver); that red brick hotel against the very green trees. WOW.

I wish I could attend, but feel not very confident in my work at that stage. Let see for 2007!

Have a great time :) and spoil yourself a bit :)

I go to dance with my Millie for the next two hours. She start to become a wonderfull dancing partner :D

I attach a pic from the place were I live ;)

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