I feel really silly. I didn't even think of putting collars on the pugs. That would really set each one off very nicely and add some color. I don't have a dog so the last thing I had on my mind are collars. Only one has a collar and that's because it was in the picture I had. Any way to add in collars after they've been fused and satin stitched? Or another way to set each dog off?
I have been satin stitching around the pugs and giving them a little personality by putting in mouths and wrinkles. The satin stitching is really making the dogs seem more real and not just fused down. Janome makes a specific applique foot which has turned out to be worth it and so much better than an open toe foot.
The foot is covered in the front but is smooth underneath for easy movement as you go around the pieces. Check it out at your local dealer to see if it's for you.
Some secrets to satin stitching:
*Lower your pressure foot level so you foot glides around the pieces with ease. I have my machine set at 1. You don't want to fight the machine.
* If your machine has a needle up/down setting use it. You have better control if your needle stops in the down position.
*Try to finish with the needle on the right side of the applique piece.
*Use a stabilizer of some kind. If you don't, the project crinkles up and your machine eats the pieces.
*Go at a pace that is comfortable for you. Small sections and curves need to be slowed down, sometimes to the point of one stitch at a time.
*Plan your stitching by going from the bottom layers to the top. Your stitches will blend in better.
*If your zigzag stitch is set too small, your foot can't move over the stitches creating a huge mess. While a setting of .2 looks better, it would jam up in places. A setting of .25 works much better and still looks nice.
*Don't stare at the needle. Keep your eyes down on the piece watching the edges so you don't go off. Stop often to rest your eyes.
A great reference book is by Harriet Hargrave, "Mastering Machine Applique".
Here's what I have been working on. None of them are finished, but I'm getting there. What I'm not sure about is how to do the wrinkles. I realized they would be more realistic done with a satin stitch, but I wish I could taper them off.