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Blind Hem Applique Technique

Dresden Plate quilts are traditional beauties! Can you believe I've never made one?! I’ve been quilting for more than twenty years, and it wasn’t until this week that I finally got the bug. And let me tell you, I am loving the way it’s coming out!

I'm not a hand appliquer. (I am forever impressed with those of you who are; someday I will sit at your feet and you can teach me everything you know :) Until then, I will use this machine stitched method-it’s sneaky and actually looks kind of like hand applique. If you’re not sure about hand applique either, then maybe this method will help!

I cut dozens of these wedges using this EZ Dresden ruler (you will need 20 wedges for each Dresden block).

Fold the wide part in half, right sides together, and sew across the top with a quarter inch seam allowance. Chain stitching this step will save time and thread, and if you turn your stitch length down to 1.8 or 2 you won’t have to backstitch.

Clip the folded corner off with a scant quarter inch, being careful not to cut through the stitch line. This will alleviate bulk when the tip is turned right side out.

Finger press the seam open, and turn the point out. Use a pointed tool to push the tip out all the way.

Press the tip out flat with the seam centered in the middle. Lay the pieces out in a circle according to your preferred color arrangement. Sew them in pairs, matching the outside edge where the pin is. This way, any unevenness will end up in the middle to be covered by the center circle.

Sew all the pairs together into a circle, and press each seam open.

Lay your Dresden wheel out onto the background square (mine was 18”). Mark the center by pressing the square into quarters, so it makes a little X in the middle to center the Dresden opening over it.

Pin the center and the outside edge down. Stay stitch the center down close to the edge.

Okay, here comes the fun part. This is a blind hem stitch, it take four stitches down and one stitch swings over to the left. Shrink the stitch length till it has a scant quarter inch between the swing over stitches. Shrink the stitch width until it is just under an eighth of an inch swing in.

Use invisible thread in the top and regular thread in the bobbin. (I use whatever color the background fabric is for the bobbin thread color). Turn your top tension down lower than for regular thread use (this will be machine dependant).

Stitch all the way around the block, letting the straight stitches slip down past the block on the outside edge and the swing in stitch just catches the block on the inside.

Here's how it turned out! And, here it is from the backside: you can see all the machine stitches clearly from this side.

I repeated this same process with a circle for the center, covering up the stay stitch from earlier.

Just a few more blocks to make :)

What do you think? Ready to try sneaky applique?!

Happy Sunday everyone,


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