Quilting with Annie Smith-Applique

Annie Smith, Applique, Machine Quilting

Good Morning, Quilters!

One of the perks of being a BERNINA Ambassador is attending a yearly “Reunion” at BERNINA’s HQ in Illinois.  We learned all kinds of new things and got to try all the latest sewing machine models.  But–the best part–meeting other BERNINA Ambassadors who have a wide range of interests:  quilting, embroidery, home decoration, clothing construction….


At my first Reunion, I met the very talented quilter, Annie Smith.  Annie has many quilting skills and started the first-ever podcast for quilters.  Check out her website, Annies Quilting Stash–(be sure you’ve already done your daily dose of exercise, because you will be lost in her site for hours!)

One of Annie’s skills is machine appliqué.  I convinced her to let me quilt one of her blocks as a demo for YOU, gentle readers of The Inbox Jaunt. 

This was the step-by-step process–perhaps it will give you some guidance for your next project.


STEP ONEHang the quilt where you can look at it frequently.  This really helps you visually absorb the pattern.  Your sub-conscience can work on it too! (I get some of my best ideas during the night.)

STEP TWO-Avoid this step if possible–Worry that you will ruin the block with your machine quilting….AND it’s not even YOUR own block you will be ruining…This lingers and no work will be accomplished until…

STEP THREE-Set a Deadline-This poor block languished for weeks until I made a deadline.  This works most of the time for me…

STEP FOUR-Perform a leading task–A leading task is some easy, mundane task that will not cause permanent damage to the quilt…choosing thread is a great one…you get to play with thread and color….These tasks really help draw you in and get things rolling…

Annie Smith, Applique, Machine Quilting

STEP FOUR-Start stabilizing or outlining the motifs.  This is just another “leading task”–it’s not creative, and no damage to the gorgeous appliqué block with this step. I like to outline each motif using a closely matched thread.  I stitch on the background fabric–not the edge of the appliqué itself.  This helps the appliqué pop up a little.

Annie Smith, Applique, Machine Quilting

(You can see the placement of the gold stitches around the gold appliqué in the photo below.)

Annie Smith, Applique, Machine Quilting

STEP FIVE-Begin adding motifs around the appliqué. This is when quilting becomes DANGEROUS-especially when you are working on an award-winning quilter’s block!  Your heart is racing…you’re sure you are ruining it…oh dear, dear, dear!

The upside–you will keep your deadline…and that is the only upside at this point.

Annie Smith, Applique, Machine Quilting

STEP SIX-Echo stitching and layering in more details.

Okay, okay…things are starting to look okay…not an epic fail…


STEP SEVEN-Turn on music.  This is starting to be fun…I think she might like it….

Annie Smith, Applique, Machine Quilting

Phew!  I like it!

STEP EIGHT-Mail it back and cross your fingers that YOUR vision was HER vision….

Annie Smith, Applique, Machine Quilting

STEP NINE-Phone call from Annie–she loves it!

Will I collaborate with her on a larger piece for show???


What could I say?  When’s the deadline?

Happy Applique/Quilting!


PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!