Sunday, 5 February 2012

An eBook: A Practical Guide to Machine Appliqué


For several months I've been writing a collection of patterns involving machine appliqué (they'll hopefully be released very soon), however, when it came to writing the appliqué aspect of the pattern I found that I became so intent on wanting to convey all the proper techniques for successful appliqué that it would have completely ruined the flow of the pattern for anyone already experienced with it.

That's when it became apparent to me that a dedicated, stand-alone mini-book about machine appliqué was something which I felt passionate about writing. The result of this is a 26-page instantly downloadable PDF eBook which is intended for hand-holding a complete beginner through every aspect of the process. At all stages there are practical samples which I've created especially for this book to illustrate my words and demonstrate the different techniques. The book doesn't simply tell you how; it always explains why you should do things in a particular way because, to me, that feels like a deeper way of learning that gives a better springboard with which to spiral away with your own creativity. The scope of the book should enable one to quickly move from successfully appliquéing one-piece simple images, to creating more complex works.


I've always found appliqué a hugely enjoyable way to add interest to whatever sewing project I might be working on and have used it to embellish quilt tops, t-shirts, pencil cases, pincushions and have even created a clock face using the technique. I'm hoping that for someone new to appliqué (or anyone who struggles to get the results they've been hoping for) my enthusiasm for the technique will be infectious and that with thorough guidance anyone attempting it will be able to get straight on with the fun of it, with much of the trial and error already smoothed away.


The eBook covers:
  • How to appliqué using different stitches: starting with a basic straight stitch; followed by a zigzag stitch; and finally a dense satin stitch (demonstrating different width stitches for the latter two)
  • Suggested machine settings (including tension) for each of the above stitches
  • Troubleshooting photos to help you achieve a good finish for the slightly trickier satin stitch which can be hard to execute perfectly on non-digital machines
  • Two ways of stabilising your fabric to give a perfectly smooth finish to your appliqué
  • How to use fusible web to keep your appliqué pieces exactly where you want them as you sew
  • Appliquéing using a template
  • Appliquéing using a flower or shape cut directly from a piece of fabric
  • How to deal with mirror images if you choose to appliqué letters or numbers
  • Specialist machine feet for the appliqué enthusiast
  • How to guide the fabric as you sew
  • How to secure your stitches without them being visible
  • Techniques for neatly negotiating convex and concave curves when using a zigzag or satin stitch
  • How to create order when creating an appliqué made of many small pieces
  • Two basic shape templates are included which you may print out to practise on if you wish
  • Every aspect is fully illustrated with diagrams and photographs
  • It assumes you are using a basic sewing machine, so no fancy electronics are required for any of the stitches (although lucky you if you have them!)

So here's all the information you might need if you'd like to purchase the eBook:
  • The eBook costs just £3 (which is just under $5 US dollars/around €3.60 Euros/about 4.40 AU Dollars)  
  • You can download the eBook immediately and either view it on your computer or print it out on your home printer.
  • This eBook comes in PDF form.
  • Payment is completely secure through PayPal. As ever, you don't need a PayPal account to pay for this book - PayPal accepts credit and debit cards. Once you've paid, PayPal will take you to a page where you can download the book instantly, by clicking on the link provided. You will also receive an email containing the same link. The book must be downloaded within 48 hours of payment - after this time the link expires. Because of the non-returnable nature of an instant download, this eBook is non-refundable.
Buy Now

If you make anything as a result of using my guide, then I'd love it if you wanted to email me a photo of your sewing or you can drop it into the Flickr pool here.
Florence x

36 comments:

  1. This is lovely, thank you. Although i sew it has always bugged me that i have not quite got the faultess finish that i hoped for. So i will definately enjoy the booklet and then i may be brave enough to send you a photo of what i have made x
    PS enjoy the snow

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    1. I really hope you do - I'd love to see. Thank you so much for buying it!

      I am currently enjoying the snow from the warmth of my bed and both children have now returned inside after an hour of snowballing - only my foolhardy husband is left outside building a snowman - I love Sundays! I'm guessing from the fact that you've just bought the pattern that you too are enjoying things from inside - have fun! x

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  2. oooh it looks wonderful Florence x

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  3. Hello Florence!
    I just bought your e-book, and it is fantastic! I really love the way you explain everything so clear and easy. I'm just a beginner, and I found lots of answers that I was looking for on it. Thank you very much,
    Have a nice Sunday!
    Laura =)

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    1. Hello Laura, thank you so much for commenting - it's really lovely to know that it will be helpful. Wishing you a lovely Sunday too, Florence x

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  4. Thx so much for this. I always forget about stabilizing....not good, huh?
    I'll keep this right by my machine and use it like the good resource it is.

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    1. It's amazing what a different it can make - I tried it without when I ran out once and my results weren't happy.

      I'm so pleased you'll find it useful. x

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  5. I have just downloaded this, and can I say a BIG thank you. I tried machine applique for the first time yesterday, and although it wasn't bad, it wasn't the greatest. I think this will help loads in the future and I'm really excited to give it another go!

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    1. Hurrah! I'm so pleased it's come at the right time for you - I'd love to see what you make. x

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  6. Oh how exciting! I've been intimidated by appliqué for a very long time and had convinced myself there was no way I could ever learn to do it. I'm not planning to start right now but your book sound so helpful!

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    1. I found free-motion quilting similarly intimidating and put it off for, ahem, years. It's so lovely when you finally master something that's been hanging over you. Good luck when you find the time to have a go.

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  7. Wonderful publication! It will be so helpful to me next time I do machine applique.

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  8. I'm going to tell my mum about this. She took a whole course in hand-stitched appliqué last year, but they didn't do any machine work and it's a whole different ballgame, I think.

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    1. Nina, my lovely, you've been beastly and haven't turned your comments on at all (despite telling me otherwise...or did I dream that?!). I so wanted to comment on the uber Lund sweater that you wear to go to the University of Nina...so I am now resorting to commenting on your blog on my own blog (that could be one way of working things actually - would you be happy with that? I'll leave messages here for you instead). Anyway, I love the jumper and agree about the need for thermal insulation, but am yet to invest in long johns, but I may now as even with the heating up to 25 (which I know you would probably disapprove of...sorry!) I'm still freezing. You're right about the cashemere too - it makes a massive difference and makes being rugged up like a large marshmallow feel slightly more bearable.

      x

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    2. Ha! I've just emailed you again after reading this... And I can't disapprove of the thermostat antics because last winter our Victorian flat didn't ever feel warm even with the heating at 25+ all day and night. Our new flat has no central heating, but concrete and double glazing turn out to be quite excellent inventions! The jumper is an old one from People Tree, cotton and alpaca mix. I'd still be wearing it anyway, but Lund has made me feel trendier.

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  9. Just bought it and it looks fab! Recently finished a quilt top with a few machine appliquéd blocks which didn't turn out quite as neatly as I'd hoped. Thanks for the guidance xx

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    1. Quilt tops are tricky because of their size - I always tend to appliqué the quilt top before I create the quilt sandwich with wadding etc as I find it's just too bulky to move around on a regular machine. Which way did you do it?

      Thank you so much for buying the guide - I'm really pleased you like the look of it.

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  10. Just bought it and I really liked it. Although I knew all this before, but never to many times to repeat. And the price is really nice too :)
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge. You gave me some new ideas.
    Michalina

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    1. Hello Michalina - thank you so much for buying it - I'm pleased there were a few new things in there. x

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  11. Never tried machine applique before but think I might be able to have a go now I've got your booklet. Fingers crossed!

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    1. I hope you have fun with it - do let me know how you get on - I'd love to hear.

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  12. I just bought one! It looks fab and just what I need. Can't wait to read all your tips particularly about going round tricky shapes which I always struggle with. Thank you! I will blog about it later with a link back to you. x

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    1. I've sent you a tweet, but again, thank you so much, Louise. x

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  13. Thankyou, Florence - what excellent timing, as I'm about to start creating a new flag for the Scout troop with applique. All a bit daunting! (I'm new to downloads and so on but this has worked out well and I'm now thinking what else can I purchase and download...!)

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    1. Yes, it's a really lovely feeling to have something so instantly isn't it - I do hope you have fun if you continue on your instant download spree! Do you do any quilting? Fat Quarterly magazine is a wonderful instant download full of goodies.

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  14. I have recently been looking at all about hand applique which has different techniques and appearance and I like hand sewing very much. However, I also like the appearance of machine applique and I hate not being able to do something. What I mean is, my options being limited by my skills, rather than personal choice.

    So, I am interested in machine applique. I knew your guide would be second to none so I bought it. I was right as it is great and tells you everything you need and want to know. One of the things I have long been concerned about is if my machine was up to it. A point usually glossed over. You have set my mind at ease about what is needed and what tools are required to do a good job. I want to do a good job too, as nothing is more off putting than making a hash of something due to something not your fault (like not having the right foot) because you were not told about it. Such things make us give up before we start. I especially like the part showing results when certain procedures are not followed. (I would be tempted here I know, but not now!)

    Anyway Florence, a beautifully written and presented piece of work. Extremely informative and useful. I am so happy and pleased that you wrote it and that I am now able to share in your wealth of knowledge about applique. You explain very well. Many thanks. (I'm so glad that you can be your own editor and not have to have all this useful stuff snipped down to size!)

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    1. I'm so pleased you liked it and found it useful and also that it's reassured you about your machine - I hope you enjoy it when you get around to trying it out.

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  15. Just wanted to say - thanks! Just downloaded it and had a quick peruse....I think it's an absolute bargain at £3. Seriously, so much time and effort has gone into writing this, it's going to be invaluable for me. Best wishes Rachel

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely, lovely feedback. That's so nice to hear - thank you, Rachel. x

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  16. It looks lovely, Florence. You are the queen of applique, I am very envious of your perfect satin stitching! x

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  17. Thank you so much for writing this guide. It is by far the best guide to Machine applique I have ever read (and believe me that is a lot!) You should publish it in book form. I bet it would sell like hot cakes! Straight to the point, clear, informative.

    Sheer genius! x

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  18. Thank you Florence.
    I've just downloaded your ebook and had a quick look through - and it looks great, just what I need. I'll definitely be using it for my next attempt in the near future - smallish letters onto a t-shirt, a fiddly and stretchy nightmare.
    Congratulations on producing a brilliant resource.

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  19. This is a really useful book - thank you. Some authors forget what it's like to be a complete novice - don't go far enough back to basics and aren't as good at explaining what might have happened when things go wrong. Your instructions are clear and very helpful.

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  20. Thank you so much! This book will come in handy.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x