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Lesson 35, Satin Borders,Appliqué

Sometimes it is nice to use fabric to fill a design rather than stitches, or to use fabric as a background to a lacy clipboard fill.  A very easy way to make a nice design in Thred is to use a heart form and fill it with an Appliqué Border.  "Fill /Border/Appliqué".  

There is also a  lesson about "Stitching Applique Designs".

For Appliqué Borders, it is best to set the "Satin Underlay /On" box, either in Preferences or in the form data box you get by pressing the  "F" key. The underlay stitches help to hold the fabric layer down for stitching.

 If you leave the default "Appliqué color" setting in "Preferences", it will show on the screen as color 16, (white). It may be preferable to use thread the color of  the garment for stitching this section of the design, especially if  the thread you use in the satin stitch part of the design is a light color.  You can look at the layers of stitches under the satin stitch by using "Pick Color" or "Up To", both of which are in the bottom left corner of the screen. 

I suggest a minimum border width of 3.5 mm.  It seems to cover the appliqué fabric edges best at that size.  Longer stitches allow the fabric to peep through and shorter stitches don't hold the fabric down well enough.  

In some cases, I prefer to use ornamental stitches to further anchor the appliqué before I stitch the border.  You can rearrange the stitches in your design to do that.  It is easy to do.  See Lesson 07, How to Change Stitching Order & "Move to Mark" .  It is also easy to make two identical forms and make an appliqué design if you do not want to use the automated "Fill/ Border/ Appliqué".  Fill one with a Line Border,  and use one of the other kinds of satin stitch over that.  I did this for my version of the Thredworks Gardenia.


We occasionally get a request for information about how to stitch appliqué designs. Please remember that there are many ways to do this, but this is what I do.

To stitch out an appliqué: 

First, I hoop the fashion fabric or garment to which I want to apply the design and stitch out the first color of the appliqué.   Then I return tep.  I might do it for Silk Dupioni, and not do it for felt.  It is best to choose a tightly woven fabric for appliqué. Cotton broadcloth is excellent. Avoid satin and silky synthetic fabrics.  They fray and don't stay in place well.

Spray embroidery adhesive onto a small square of starched fabric (or the cut out appliqué) and place it under the needle and cover it with a sheet of light weight water soluble stabilizer. This holds the stitches up out of the fabric, and keeps fuzzy parts from sticking through the satin stitches.

Now embroider the satin stitch,which should cover the raw edge of the fabric Appliqué. Carefully remove the water soluble stabilizer. You may need to dampen the water soluble stabilizer to get the last bits of it out of the stitches.

Lesson 36, Satin Stitch, Perpendicular Satin

Lessons Index