Applique, Hand Applique

Invisible Applique

The Celtic medallion is done –


Now to applique the center corners.   celtic-medallion-006

I really like the way this pine cone fabric frames the Celtic applique.  I think it ties the green-dotted background with the colors in the rest of the quilt.  As a final tie-in, I plan to use the green-dotted fabric for the setting triangles on each row.     The final 9-patch row will also have the green-dotted and pine cone fabrics.


I think that the invisible stitch provides the best result with hand applique.  The technique is really simple and produces a smooth-edged finished piece.   I am using a dark green thread that matches most of the coloration on the fabric.  With the invisible stitch, the thread does not even show on the lighter sections of the applique.

The invisible stitch is done by bringing  the needle up through the background fabric while catching one or two threads of the applique (a quilt instructor, Sharon Stroud, called this “taking a whisper of the fabric”).

celtic-medallion-015Insert the needle back into the background, just in back of the thread in the applique piece and bring up again through the background fabric catching the applique “whisper”.  Pressing the nail along the edge of the applique piece, as the needle is brought up again into the applique also helps to provide a smooth edge to the applique.  Stitches should be no more than 1/16 to 1/8 inch apart.

Pull thread securely, but not so much that the background fabric puckers. celtic-medallion-020

  • When it is time to re-thread the needle, end by bringing the thread to the wrong side of the background fabric, taking 2 to 3 small stitches.  Then travel the needle about an inch from these stitches.

Quilting at Home.

There is always time to quilt!
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1 Comment

  • Reply Debi R. March 8, 2010 at 11:57 am

    I googled “perfect invisible hand stitch for applique” and found your blog with your excellent instructions. Thanks a million! Even though you posted this in 2009, I hope you don’t mind that I’m going to share it on my facebook site. If you are on Facebook you can find me if you click the link above for my page. It’s amazing that you are using a dark thread against a medium-colored appliqued piece and a light-colored background and the stitches do not show! My stitches show just a little bit so I’m going to try your method and see if I can’t make my stitches disappear completely. Thanks again.
    Quilty hugs,
    Debi R.

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