Blanket Stitching my Arabesque table topper

I have had some people contact me asking what to do after they have ironed on AccuQuilt applique to their fabric.  As, I’m actually working on this step for my Arabesque table topper, I wanted to share a few insights.  But, please remember I am in no way an expert on anything.  There are many that know more than I do. My contribution in the world of blogging is researching and sharing!  LOL! 

To start with, I recommend you investigate what quilting stitches your machine has.  It is also best to test them out on a sampler quilt, as you may need to play with stitch width and length to get your desired effect.  For the particular table topper, I wanted to use the blanket stitch.  For my Bernina the settings I used was 2.1L and 2.2W with the needle in a down position.  As some of these stitches, like the blanket stitch, can create a “tunneling” effect, I will use a tearaway stablizer underneath my machine applique.  Also, use a heavy weight thread for your stitches to standout.  I used Isacord, but you can use any heavyweight cotton that you and your machine like!

Go slow.  Remember when the machine does the blanket stitch you do not want to turn your fabric, resulting in a “V” of this stitch.  When you need to turn, for a curve, point, or inside of a V, make sure your needle is in the down position and raise your pressure foot.  The more gradual you take your curves the smoother your stitching will be!

When taking the inside of a “V” stop after your blanket stitch has reached the end of one side of the V.  Drop your feed dogs.  Pivot your fabric, complete one more blanket stitch, pivot your fabric and take another blanket stitch.  This will result in 3 blanket stitches that share the inside point of the V.  Now release your feed dogs to continue on with the remaining part of your V.  When you drop your feed dogs, this allows you better control of placement of the three blanket stitches in the point, to where they each share the point at the bottom of the V.  If you don’t drop the feed dogs, these three stitches will not share a point, as your machine will push them along.  While you’ll still applique, you won’t get that sharp point in your blanket stitching.

As you can see I do not clip my threads, but I will later secure them by using a needed to tuck the loose thread to where they will not show. 

Using the blanket stitch can be slow, but it creates a stitch that looks as if was hand stitched and can be quite striking on certain designs.  Thus, making it worth the effort.  Various types of zigzag/straight stitch combos also work well, and are common with quilters who use invisible thread.  Again, for this particular table topper I just wanted to use the blanket stitch. 

I found several great videos on you-tube.  Here is one that I thought had some great tips.

Machine quilting fused applique is an easy and fun quilting technique.  If you haven’t tried it, I hope you will soon.  And, if you are familiar with machine quilting fused applique and have additional tips, please feel free to comment and share your insights.


12 thoughts on “Blanket Stitching my Arabesque table topper”

  1. I wondered about that when I saw that die. I usually use a small zig zag on my applique, which can cause some puckering, so I place a piece of tear away stabilizer under it. I need to practice that blanket stitch, I love that look.


  2. Nice tips!What is the benefit of dropping the feed dogs? I’ve done this stitch myself before and have never needed to drop the feed dogs during a pivot so I’m curious! 🙂


  3. I just finished a huge applique piece blanket stitching with my machine. I love how it looks, and do find the points to be a challenge. Will try your technique next time. I had outward points and had to figure out how to do those without too much overlap. I did overlap a bit, but think it looks ok. I love this applique shape!


  4. Hi! I’m finding my way around your blog…love it, (I had asked on the Accuquilt site if you had a blog- I think I must have mistyped or something initially, because I could not locate you- LOL) I am so anxious to see your Hawaiian quilts, Valor quilts (ok,everything)- and will start going thru the tutorials. I too hand appliqued, (needle turn) but want to try the machine after watching your video…thanks for the demo, Sandy in MD


  5. thanks so much and the video was a big help, however; my machine does double those stitches, like it goes over the same stitch two or maybe more times….


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