In Chapter 7 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design, we present various methods of appliqué using a variety of stitches and decorative elements. These techniques include Appliqué with Beaded Parallel Whipstitch, Appliqué with Straight Stitch, Appliqué with Blanket Stitch, Appliqué with Backstitch, Appliqué with Beaded Straight Stitch, and Appliqué with Beaded Backstitch. This month, for our Desktop of the Month, we’re featuring Anna’s Garden Appliquéd with a Beaded Straight Stitch as shown on page 102; however, the chop beads in this version have been substituted with our white bugle beads.

Among the thousands of photographs taken for Alabama Studio Sewing + Design, this particular photograph happens to one of many that didn’t make it from the editing room to the finished book. The hi-resolution photograph, for use as your computer desktop background, is now available to download from our Resources page for April’s Desktop of the Month.

For this particular fabric swatch, our Design Choices are as follows: Fabric weight- Medium | Top layer- Lt. Grey | Backing- Lt. Grey | Appliqué- Dove | Stencil- Anna’s Garden | Textile paint- Grey | Thread- Grey | Knots- Inside | Bugle Beads- #3 White.

Feel free to use any combination of fabric, stencil, thread, and beads for your own design choices.



1. Stencil Pattern on Base Fabric.

To make your own stencil, see page 12 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design. Stencil Anna’s Garden pattern (available on page 11 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design) on the right side of your base fabric where you want to stitch the appliqué pieces, remove the stencil, and let the fabric and stencil dry thoroughly. Anna’s Garden stencil is also available here, laser cut on durable and long-lasting 10 mil Mylar.

2. Cut Out Appliqué Pieces.

To make your appliqué pieces, flip the dried stencil used in Step 1 to the wrong side, and transfer the stencil pattern to the wrong (back side) of the appliqué fabric. After letting the stenciled fabric dry, begin by cutting out one stenciled shape, 1/16” around the outside of the stenciled edge. Once you cut out the shape, flip it over, right side up and pin it to the corresponding shape in the stenciled pattern on the base fabric. Repeat for your entire stenciled design by cutting one piece at a time and pinning it into place.

3. Stitch Appliqué Pieces to Project.

Position each cut appliqué shape, right side up, on top of the corresponding shape in the stenciled design on the base fabric. It’s important to match up each shape as you cut it- unless you’re fond of jigsaw puzzles! Align the edges of the appliqué and stenciled shape, pin the appliqué securely in place, and attach the appliqué’s raw cut edges using the straight stitch (see page 23 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design). The straight stitch is the easiest to use. Add a bead to each straight stitch while attaching your appliqué to create a more defined outline for the appliquéd shape. For this particular fabric, we have added a single bugle bead to each stitch.

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