UKQU Continued Development Class 5/8/18 – Free Motion Applique – Follow Up Information

Thank you to all of the people who watched the Free Motion Applique Class live this morning on the UK Quilters United Continuing Development Facebook Group this morning. If you haven’t watched it, then please register with that group. An edited version of the class will also be available on the GillyMac Designs YouTube Channel later on today.


The tools and materials you will need for this project are

  • A picture or idea -( The picture I used can be found at the bottom of this post as a downloadable sheet – along with an easy ladybird as well).
  • Background fabric (for  a small zipped purse size you would need a piece 10” x 8”)
  • Various small pieces of coloured fabric
  • Selection of coloured threads
  • Wadding or Foam (same size as background fabric)
  • Cheap fabric for the back of drawing (same size as background fabric)
  • Steam a Seam Lite 2 (double sided)*
  • Pencil
  • Frixion Pen
  • Sewing machine
  • Darning foot
  • Paper scissors

*Other products are available for the first fix – such as glue, Bondaweb, 505 spray,  as I discussed on the video

Design Considerations

For success, especially in the beginning, it is important to keep your designs simple. Even complicated subjects can be summarised in a few lines. This is easy to do when you practice. You will find some good starting points for many subjects can be found on Google Images.  Don’t be concerned about making drawings perfect. This type of sewing is not about perfection, it is about conveying the essence of your design.

Other Thoughts

A few other things that I didn’t mention may help you

  • It is possible to do this type of applique with a normal foot. In this case, the feed dogs would be moving the fabric and it would be a little slower, but perfectly possible. If you use a normal foot then turn the stitch length down to 1.4-1.6 and sew over your drawn design
  • I don’t use an embroidery hoop. I hold my fabric taught with the palms of my hand. You may want to experiment with using a hoop and make up your own mind.
  • Stamps to mark your fabric can be a good alternative to other ways to mark a picture. Any stamp can be used, with any ink – just make sure that you have covered the stamp print with thread and no one will ever know that you didn’t draw it yourself in the first place!

Finally .. if you have made up some samples and want to know what to do with them, then why not consider making a zipped pouch. Below you will find my easy instructions to make a pouch.

Happy Sewing, Gill x

Free Machine Appliqued Bags for Katie’s Hockey Friends


GillyMac Doodle Challenge – Sewing Up Week 2

Well for me, the change in temperature here earlier in the week was a welcome relief. Over the past two days, we have been back up in the low thirties, but we are all ‘fanned-up’ here and ready for it this time!

It is lovely to sit down each evening or catch up during the day with all your doodling achievements. I think there are three main points that have stood out to me this week.

  1. You are all learning what type of doodles you find easier and which are a bit harder.
  2. I can see that you are challenging the things your hands feel they don’t want to do and pushing yourselves a little more to try those more difficult things.
  3. You are all liking and disliking different doodles – there is no one doodle that you all like.

When a sewing machine gets involved, this learning gets all mixed up with the sound of the machine going (as fast as your heart), the thread selection (which needs to be perfect), wondering if the needle is sharp and if the bobbin is in correctly etc. Somebody even told me once that if I used my left foot for free motion it was easier. Instead of laughing, for a number of months, I fully believed that this could be the key! Looking back it makes me laugh out loud, but I really was willing to try anything.

Doodling with pen and paper strips this all back to just you – your hand and your brain. In addition, by concentrating on the doodles you are able to learn a bit more about yourself and your brain before you go near a sewing machine and I am able to see just how diverse you all are in what you like and enjoy. I think it would be useful for you to do a 5-second review of each doodle so far and make a note on each page as to if you liked it or not and if you found it hard, or not.  The ones you liked and found easy will be the ones you will be likely to have the most success with when you sew them, the ones you liked but found hard are ones for you doodle more of before you use them on your precious pieces. The ones you didn’t like you can use as a reference you can go back to – you may warm up to them in the future.

Today’s video shows me sewing up this week. I have changed threads and speeded up bits to make it more watchable. There is NO NEED for you to do the sewing, but if you do, then I would love to see it on the Challenge Facebook group.

Tomorrow, I’ll do a quick ‘live’ on the Challenge Facebook group in the afternoon to draw the winner out of the hat…. and I’ll also show you and post pictures of the prizes for week 3. Week 3 builds on what we have achieved so far, buts adds in some twists on it, then week 4 will focus on designs especially useful in borders.  In week 5 we go back to all over patterns again and then in week 6, we will do some very easy feathering which I think will get you well on the way to understanding one particular method that I think is easiest to get immediate success when trying feathers.

Enjoy the video…. and once again – thanks for taking part 🙂


GillyMac Doodle Challenge – Sewing Up Week 1

A heartfelt thank you to all who are taking part in this challenge. Below is the video of the doodles being sewn up. At the moment the most important thing is that you get secure in your doodles and if you want to practice them on the sewing machine, just ‘have a go’ with no expectations. I am sewing them on my sit down long arm, but only because it makes the videoing easier. Everything I do can just as easily be done on a normal sewing machine.

To sew the doodles up I used a wadding sandwich with a 14″ square drawn in it – which I filled with my doodles. I made my square a little larger however a 12″ drawn square will be a better size for a book if that is your intention for the squares later :-). If you want to copy this, then the picture below will show you the designs I chose. The numbers in the drawing related to the doodle day patterns I used in each section – so a label of ‘3’ means that I used the doodle from Day 3.   The little boxes which are hanging from the tree are for the Day 5 Doodle.

The other picture shows you the Glide and Fantastico threads I used. Any eagle-eyed person will notice the red (for the apples) isn’t in the picture, but it was also Fantastico.

I have speeded up certain areas of the video so as not to bore you or be very repetitive.

Happy Doodling 🙂

I’ll be around on the facebook page to answer any questions 🙂