Technique Tuesday: machine APPLIQUé

Greetings fellow thread lovers and welcome to Technique Tuesday, the third of four technique-based tutorials featuring Aurifil thread. We’re nearing the 1 year anniversary of the Aurifilosophy Special Exhibit at Fall 2019 International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX and we wanted to shine a light on the brilliant makers included with their remarkable methods.  

Many thanks to Aurifilosophers Barbara Persing, Patricia Belyea, Annie Smith, and Karen L. Miller for sharing their time proven techniques with us.

This week we’re excited to highlight the work of our dear friend, author, educator, designer, and Aurifilosopher Annie Smith. Annie is a master at using Aurifil 28wt thread in partner with her tried and true machine appliqué technique.

She has completed countless quilts with this simple and effective method and they are nothing short of spectacular!

We’re honored to have Annie share her machine appliqué technique with us — thank you, Annie. 

Annie’s essentials for successful machine applique:

  • Aurifil 28wt thread top and bobbin– yes, Annie uses the 28wt in the bobbin too! She loves how the same weight in top and bobbin balances the stitch.
  • Microtex Sharp needles size 80/12
  • Elan Embroidery scissors– These scissors grab and control the fabric and web for clean and precise cuts.
  • SoftFuse Premium™ Web– this fusible web leaves the fused edge soft and pliable.
  • John James Easy Thread Needles– who wants to thread a needle if they don’t have to.  These needles have a slit at the eye for easy threading.

Annie’s Technique:
− Prepare appliqué with fusible web, cutting away all but the outside edge of the web so your appliqué unit will float about the quilt back.
− Choose threads to complement each appliqué layer by unwinding the thread from the spool and positioning it across the appliqué.

− Fuse and machine blanket stitch the appliqué to the background fabric one layer at a time starting with the top most applique piece. Annie uses stitch 1329 on her Bernina B880 sewing machine.
− Use Aurifil 28wt thread on the top and the bobbin and stitch with a Microtex Sharp 80/12 needle.
− Use the Easy Threading needles to pull the thread tails to the back. Secure and bury.

− Aurifil 28wt thread provides amazing sheen and luster for a beautifully finished machine applique. 

Have you used Annie’s machine appliqué technique on your projects? We’d love to see your projects!

Love this approach to machine appliqué? Be sure to check out Annie’s appliqué books with C&T Publishing: The Ultimate Applique Guidebook & The Ultimate Applique Reference Tool.

Many thanks to Annie for sharing this technique with us.

About Annie Smith
Website | Instagram | Facebook

Annie Smith is a quilt imagineer, author, educator and podcaster.

She teaches nationally and internationally to Guilds, Quilt Shops, Quilt show venues, in-person and virtually. She is a BERNINA Artisan Ambassador,  an iQuilt Instructor, an Annie’s Craft Store instructor and an Aurifil Designer. She is also a quilt judge.


At Aurifil we believe that education is key… that sharing extensive knowledge and truths on the construction, nature, and behavior of Aurifil threads will inspire, educate, and enable all makers to achieve brilliant results.

With that in mind, we’ve trained and certified a team of dynamic, charismatic, and brand-loyal designers, artisans, and educators to offer Aurifilosophy programs using a structured presentation and thread demonstration.

Aurifilosophers will travel the countryside to educate on thread basics, including information on weight and ply, spool positioning, needle recommendations, and tension settings. They’ll offer helpful tips and tricks and will share projects and photos aimed to inspire and expand your creative use of Aurifil threads. At each Aurifilosophy event, program attendees will receive a bag of exclusive Aurifil swag!

To learn more about Aurifilosophy, view upcoming events, or locate an Aurifilosopher to speak at your shop, guild or group event, check out our website.


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