Bake Shop Basics: Turned-Edge Machine Applique

Welcome to Bake Shop Basics on turned edge applique!

I count myself among those who’d like to give a big hug, and maybe even a NOBEL PRIZE, to the person who invented fusible webbing! Fusible webbing has given us the ability to quickly embellish quilts, clothing, and innumerable other objects. In her Sept. 16th Bake Shop post, Angela Yosten explained the basics of machine applique using fusible webbing.

But some projects simply beg for turned-edge applique, which creates a smooth edge, and doesn’t reveal the underlying seams that you see with fused applique.

So. . .if you’re not in a hurry, and you prefer the tidier look of turned-edge applique, try the technique that follows. It’s the method I prefer (when it’s feasible) for turning the edges under and then macine appliqueing. The size and complexity of the applique element are what determine whether this technique is feasible or not.

I’m currently working on a pattern for party goods, using Moda’s “Honeysweet” fabric by Fig Tree. The placemats have a circle appliqued to the center. Here are the simple steps for preparing it for applique.

Trace the design–in this case an 8″ circle–onto lightweight SEW-IN (not fusible) interfacing. Use an air-erase marker or trace lightly with a pencil. As you see in the picture, I found a lid that is 8″ in diameter and used it as a template. Cut the interfacing about 1/2″ from the traced line. Pin the interfacing, marked side up, to the right (top) side of your fabric, pointing the pins toward the outside of the circle. This will cause it to lay flatter than if you pin it from the outside edge toward the center.

Sew on the drawn line with thread that matches the circle fabric, with the stitch length set where you usually have it set for piecing (2.5 on my machine). Sew all the way around the drawn line.

If you have pinking shears, use them to trim the seam allowance to about 1/8″. I LOVE using pinking shears to “clip” curves in this way. If you don’t have access to pinks,  carefully clip it every 1/4″ almost to the seam line.

Make a clip in the middle of the interfacing, being careful not to cut the circle fabric. Gently–so as not to tear the interfacing–turn the circle right side out. Use a Purple Thang or a plasticware knife to push the seam to the edges of the circle. Iron the edges using a pressing sheet to protect your iron and to prevent the interfacing from distorting.

With the fabric side up, press the circle flat, being sure the interfacing isn’t showing at the edges. Pin it in place on the background fabric, pinning toward the outside edge. 

In Angela’s blog post, she showed a variety of fund and pretty decorative stitches that can be used with fused OR turned-edge applique. For invisible machine applique there are a couple different types of stitches usually recommended. They’re shown in the picture below. One is a narrow, long zizag stitch and the other a blind stitch. The zigzag is my personal favorite, but I encourage you to experiment with each of them. With either, you should use clear polyester or lightweight thread that matches your applique fabric. 

The inside point of the zigzag stitch should pierce the applique piece and the background, with the outer point piercing only the background fabric. The blind stitch is made up of a few straight stitches followed by a single zigzag. The straight stitches pierce only the background.

Here’s a close-up of the circle appliqued to the placemat with a narrow, long zigzag stitch.
Perhaps you’re wondering if this method is limited to extremely simple shapes, and, happily, the answer is no. Here’s a little bird that’s going to be part of the party goods pattern.

 After turning the edges under using the method described above, I simply (and I DO MEAN simply!) straight-stitched near her edge with the same thread I planned to use for quilting. 
The example shown uses Moda’s “Daydream” fabric by Kate Spain.

Here are a few more things to consider for turned-edge applique:
  • You’re free to cut away the extra fabric and interfacing under the appliqued piece.
  • Substitute FabriSolvy for the interfacing, and rinse it away after appliqueing your design to the background. The art quilt in the top photo was done this way.
  • Decorative stitches may be used instead of hidden ones.
  • If the applique design has a direction (as with the little bird), the way it points as you look at the interfacing is the direction it will point after sewing. So if desired, you can reverse the direction by simply flipping the interfacing before sewing, since the drawn line will be visible on either side of the interfacing.
  • The applique piece doesn’t have to be closed on all sides. In fact, this technique is even easier if at least one edge of the design is open (where it will be overlapped by another piece or where it lays at the quilt edge), as was the case with the quilt in the top photo.
  • If you’re having trouble getting the edge to press nicely, cut a piece of heat-resistant template plastic a “hair” smaller than the shape, insert it through the slit in the interfacing and press. Remove the template and press again.
  • Forgive me for stating the obvious, but this method works nicely for hand-applique projects, too!

May your projects be many and your frustrations few,

Kara Peterson

Bake Shop Basics: Piecing Batting

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Another post in celebration of National Sewing Month! 
I LOVE using my fabric scraps… It’s my favorite fabric to sew with… And I equally LOVE using up my batting scraps as well.  You know that feeling when you gather up all the left overs and little bits and pieces in the fridge and make a really good dinner?  Yeah…. such a great feeling!  Which is the same feeling I get when I use up my batting left overs! 

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I’m going to show you the method I use when piecing larger batting leftovers. There are many ways to piece batting, and perhaps you’ll want to experiment a little to decide which method you prefer… 

I take two pieces of batting over to my ironing board, put a piece of fabric on top of them and give em a good press to get all the wrinkles and folds out… Then over to the cutting mat, where I trim them up to the same size… {you don’t have to do this, it’s just the way I like to} 

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Overlap the two pieces about 2-3 inches
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Using your rotary cutter, cut a nice wavy line from bottom to top making sure you’re catching both pieces of batting… Discard the little strips left over from the cut… 

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Look at that smooth crisp wavy line… exactly what we want… 
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There are a few different ways to “fuse” the two pieces together:
1… Lightweight fusible Interfacing
2… Fusible Batting Tape
3… Either Hand or Machine Basting with a large zig zag or cross stitch  

I prefer to use up my scraps of fusible interfacing.  I think it works perfectly!

Lay the two pieces of batting on top of your ironing board, matching up the curved cut… The pieces should butt up together, but not overlap.

Then follow these steps: 
1.  Cut a strip of fusible interfacing that will cover the entire curved cut
2.  Place sticky side down onto the batting
3.  Place a piece of fabric over the top and press with a hot iron. 

And that’s it!  Your batting is fused together and all ready to go!   I personally think the curved cut is less likely to show up on the finished quilt, than a straight one.

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And what do I do with my smaller batting left overs?  

I pre-cut them into a couple different sizes… This size {6″x 9″} is perfect for Mug Rugs… 
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I made this set of mug rugs using the quilt as you go technique. 

And this size {5″x5″} is perfect for coasters! 
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These pre-cut pieces make great foundations for Quilt As You Go projects! Oh so fun! 
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With these little tips you’ll be using your batting leftovers in no time!  And I’m sure you’ll come up with some great projects to use them with too!  I also have a list of 15 different uses for batting leftovers on my Blog...  You might be surprised at some of them…. 

Happy Sewing !!! ooxx

jodi from Pleasant Home

Bake Shop Basics: Quilt Borders

Today our Bake Shop Basics series continues with Chef Anjeanette sharing the proper way to make and attach quilt borders.

Hi Moda Bake Shop! It is Anjeanette from by Anjeanette. I’m going to share one of my favorite parts of making a quilt today.

Do you ever finish your quilt and wonder why your sides are wavy and won’t lay flat? You may not have put your borders on correctly.

Once your quilt top is all pieced and you are ready to add borders, it is tempting to just slap a long length of fabric on the sides, cut off any excess and think you are good to go. You have spent a good amount of time making your quilt top, it is a good idea to take this extra step to finish it correctly. Who wants a wavy quilt?
When you are ready to add your borders, lay the quilt on a flat surface. Measure through the center, from the top to the bottom. Cut two side borders to this measurement length.

Taking one border strip at a time, fold lengthwise in half and then again into fourths. Place a pin at the fold points. You will end up with three pins in the border. Fold your quilt in half and then fourths, and pin the fold points. With right sides together, pin the ends of the border to the ends of the quilt. Match the center pins from the border and quilt and pin together. Match the quarter marks from the border and quilt and pin together. I then fill in between the pins with at least one more pin for each fourth. 

There often is a little bit of excess fullness or fabric on either the border side or the quilt top. Whichever side seems more full, place towards the feed dogs when sewing. The feed dogs will help ease any fullness out.

You may need to gently hold the fabric taught in front of the presser foot as you sew to help ease any fullness out.

If it seems like there isn’t any fullness or excess fabric on either the border, or the quilt top, place the quilt top towards the feed dogs when sewing.

After both side borders are sewn on, press the seam allowance away from the quilt top, or towards the border.

Now repeat the whole process for the top and bottom borders.

Lay the quilt on a flat surface. Measure through the center of the quilt, from one side to the other side. Cut two borders to this measurement. Pin the quarter marks on the borders and quilt. Pin the borders to the quilt matching pins. Pin the ends of the border and the quilt together. Etc.

A few tips:
  • Using a walking foot for these long seams is helpful.
  • It is okay if you have to piece or sew two strips together to make the total length measurement.  Just make sure you are cutting your border to the correct measurement before sewing on.

A perfectly flat quilt with borders.

Moda Bake Shop Basics: Machine Applique

Machine Applique is probably the most favorite thing I love about sewing. If there is a way to put an applique on something, you can almost guarantee that I will put it on there.

There are two types of applique that can be done by machine… applique and reverse applique. 

1. An applique is when a piece of fabric is cut into a shape then stitched on top of a base fabric.

2. Reverse applique is when the shape is cut from the base fabric and another piece of fabric is attached underneath the base fabric so that fabric shows through the cut shape. You then stitch towards the top base fabric to secure in place.

Stitch Types… it’s a personal thing. Use what you like best. 
Every sewing machine should have some basic stitches which are great to use with machine applique. Some machines have even more options from heirloom to decorative style stitches. Any stitch will work as long as you stitch along the edge of your applique fabric. Always use a test piece of fabric before sewing with new stitches to be sure you know where you needle is going and where to line up your fabrics with your machine foot.

Basic Applique Stitches… (A) Straight, (B) Zig-Zag, (C) Satin, (D) Blanket

Decorative Stitches… (E-F) Each model of machine has its own unique decorative stitches. I typically look for a stitch that has a straight edge in the stitching that I can line up with the raw edge of my applique to use as a guide when stitching.

 Just remember these three rules when machine appliqueing…

1. Use a high quality thread to help keep your stitches in tact for years to come. I like to use Aurifil Thread 50 wt and 40 wt in my sewing machine because of the quality and strength.

2. Use a fusible webbing to adhere your applique to your base fabric. Pellon makes two fantastic fusible webbing’s… Wonder-Under and Heavy Duty Wonder-Under. I use the regular wonder-under when working with a single piece of fabric. The Heavy Duty Wonder-Under is great for a scrap applique when there are seams in the applique that the webbing needs to adhere to.

3. Have fun and experiment with new stitches.  I personally believe there is no wrong way to stitch on an applique. Be creative and try something new.

Get inspired and create something!

Angela Yosten

Moda Fabrics featured… Flats by Angela Yosten and Bella Solid White.
Aurifil Threads featured… Flats by Angela Yosten in 50 wt
Stitches featured are from a Janome Horizon Memory Craft 8900 QCP sewing machine.

Moda Bake Shop Basics: Matching Points

Our celebration of National Sewing Month continues with another great Moda Bake Shop Basics tutorial today.

Hi Moda Bake Shop readers, it’s Amanda from Material Girl Quilts and I’m back today to share a few tips on what I do to create perfectly matched points in my piecing.  Now we all know that none of us are perfect, so don’t expect your quilts to be either!

Two of the most important things to do when you want matching points is to make sure that you (1) cut accurately and (2) maintain an accurate 1/4″ seam in your piecing.  I cannot stress to you enough how important these steps are and how they will make your sewing life much more enjoyable 🙂  If you struggle in these areas, I suggest you practice here first.

Ways to improve your cutting:

  • Purchase and maintain a quality rotary cutter (this means replacing your blade frequently!)  
  • If you use multiple sized rulers, I suggest you find the ones you like the best and stick with that brand.  Some of the brands can be off just a bit from each other and that will make a difference in your piecing.  My choice in rulers is Omnigrid.  I have all different shapes and sizes.
  • Measure twice and cut once!
Ways to achieve an accurate 1/4″ seam:
  • Use a 1/4″ foot on your sewing machine.  I have one and it makes all the difference in the world for me.
  • If you don’t have a 1/4″ foot, try placing blue painter’s tape along your machine marking the 1/4″ line.  
  • Take it slow!  If you can’t seem to maintain a straight seam, just slow it down a bit.
Now that we’ve covered these two fundamentals, let’s talk about matching up those points.  I almost always press my seams to the side (usually toward the darker fabric).  This helps tremendously in matching points when sewing rows together.  You want to make sure that each row’s seams are pressed in opposite directions as shown below.
This will enable you to “nest” your seams together.  As you place the rows right sides together, you can actually feel where the seams are and they will just fit snugly right next to each other and almost lock into place.
Here is a shot of the two seams nesting together.
Now that they are locked together, place a pin on the front side of the seam (the side that will be going into your sewing machine first.  Some people find it helpful to pin on each side of the seam lines and if that works for you, great!  Once you sew your two rows together, you will end up with beautifully crisp matching points.
Now you may be thinking, okay that’s easy enough, but what about matching up points when you are piecing half square triangles?!  Well, let me help you with that too.  One key step in matching up points when piecing half square triangles is to make sure they are all squared up and trimmed to the appropriate size (here I go with the accurate cutting again).  I know it can be tedious work, but the end result is so very worth it.
When piecing half square triangles together, it is wonderful if your seams are pressed in the opposite direction, but that doesn’t always work out once you start laying out your design.  If you can’t “nest” the seams like above, here is what I do.  First match the seams up perfectly and make sure your blocks are square with each other.  
While keeping a firm hold onto the matched seams in the corner, I start sewing from the opposite end of the block.  This works better for me than starting with the matched points.  My machine is happier when I do it this way because it doesn’t seem to like the bulk of the matched points when I start at that end. 
Keep a firm hold on those matched points all the way until they slide nicely under your 1/4″ foot.  If just holding them doesn’t work for you, pinning is always a good option.

 Now that you have some half square triangles sewn together into rows, you will once again press the rows in opposite directions to nest the seams together while piecing.

I ALWAYS pin the seams when piecing half square triangles.  If I don’t, they just don’t match as well.

There may be two ways that your half square triangles will meet up between rows.  One is when the points are on the same side of the seam as shown below.  Just take care when nesting your seams that those points line up and pin in place.

The result can be seen below.

The other way your half square triangles may meet between the rows is when the points are on opposite sides of the seam.  Once again, take care to match the points when nesting the seams and pin in place.

And you will end up with beautiful points like this…
I hope you found these tips to be helpful.  If you have any questions let me know and if you want to see what I have made with these blocks, head over to my blog to find out.  
Happy piecing!

Moda Bake Shop Basics: Rotary Cutting

Join Oda May today with a few tips for rotary cutting!
Rotary cutting is an essential part of quilting (thank goodness! I would hardly get anything done if I had to cut everything out with scissors. Patience is not my strong point.) Rotary cutters are also probably the most dangerous part of quilting. I personally have the quilter’s trademark squared off index finger so I’ve come by these tips honestly.


  • Always cover the blade with the built-in cover when you set it down. Every single time – even if you’re just setting it down for a second. Make it a habit.
  • Always cut away from your body.
  • Replace your blade when it stops cutting well. Working with a dull or damaged blade can cause you to cut in an unsafe manner – using excess pressure to cut through your fabric, etc. and that’s a recipe for disaster. 
  • Only use the rotary cutter for its intended use.
  • Keep your fingers well away from the edges of templates and rulers while cutting. You don’t want a squared off index finger like me. (Plus blood stains can ruin your beautiful fabric.)


  • Plan your cutting before you start to minimize waste.
  • Press and starch fabric before cutting.
  • Square up fabric edges before you start cutting.
  • Use the lines on your ruler or template for a straight edge, not the lines on the mat. 
  • Save yourself some back pain by cutting on a counter-height surface.

Did I leave anything out? Let us all know your safety and cutting tips in the comments!

Safely Sewing,

Oda May

Bake Shop Basics: Jelly Rolls

Jelly rolls are such a versatile and popular pre-cut.  Today join Oda May and Chef Lissa Alexander for some simple tips on working with jelly rolls.


Jelly Rolls are sweet little bundles containing 40 strips measuring 2 ½ ” x 45”. Jelly rolls are offered in most of our fabric lines, as well as a range of Bella Solids.

Find Moda Bake Shop recipes using jelly rolls {here}.

Tips for working with Jelly Rolls:

  • Run a lint brush over the raw edged sides of the jelly roll before unwrapping it, otherwise you will have little fluffy lint fuzzes all over the place.
  • Iron strips flat before sewing.
  • GET STEAMED!!  It will help to realign the fibers if you use steam when you iron.  They will relax and lose the curl that has been forced into them by being rolled up.
  • Save your leftover jelly roll strips for scrappy binding.

Lissa Alexander

Thanks for the tips, Lissa! Check out Lissa’s recipes {here}.

Happy sewing,

Oda May