That Old 57 Chevy, Part Three

This is part three of a four-part Quilt Along that includes a free downloadable pattern for this ’57 Chevrolet art quilt and the free downloadable Dresden Daisies 82028 embroidery pattern from BERNINA. Finished size is approximately 16 inches by 25 inches.

If you missed the previous posts, you can find them here:

Time to get back to the sewing machine, because step two didn’t even include turning on the machine. It’s rare that my machine won’t work for a project, big or small. Quilt Along Part Three covers the edges of finishing the applique and quilting of the project.

57 Chevrolet art quilt inspired by the Dresden embroidery pattern found on the BERNINA website.

Materials for edge finishing and quilting

• Sewing machine (I used the BERNINA B 790 PLUS)

• Open toe presser foot (I used open toe embroidery foot #20D)

• Matching threads

• Basic sewing supplies

Edge Finishing Techniques for Fused Applique

Raw edge appliqués can be finished with a variety of techniques depending on the size of the applique pieces, the intended use of the finished project, the desired visual effect, the quilting method, and the type of fabric used.

• Fused only – suitable for some art quilts created with tightly woven fabrics or heavy quilting.

• Straight stitch – effective for small applied parts where other methods would look complicated

• Coverstitch: Created by hand or machine, a stitch follows the edge of the appliqué while a stitch holds the fabric in place.

• Zigzag stitch: stabilizes the edge of the fabric against wear and washing while creating a visual edge on the applied pieces.

Zigzag finish

The edges of this old ’57 Chevy Art quilt will be finished with a zigzag stitch. Although the project is designed as a wall quilt, the visual impact will highlight the lines of the car and coordinate well with the machine embroidery.

Step One – Thread Selection

The thread selection for finishing the edges of the appliques is 40 weight polyester used for the glossy finish and the ability to complete the embroidery.

The 40 weight polyester thread for machine embroidery is an auditioned fabric. A medium weight thread will “fill in” the zigzag stitches without adding bulk to a heavier thread or looking sparse with a thinner thread. Embroidery threads have a sheen to provide contrast on matte fabrics and coordinate well with machine-embroidered Dresden Wheels. The machine setting for the satin zigzag stitch is 0.40 width and 2.7 length.

Machine set for zigzag stitch using a stitch width of 0.40 and a stitch length of 2.7 and an open toe presser foot. Use additional structure to test before starting a project. This allows you to make any necessary adjustments without needing to remove points from your project. My machine reminds me to use a needle plate with a wide opening to make zigzag stitches. To avoid a broken needle, check the needle plate before test sewing.

The details are first marked with a disappearing marker and then sewn with the same zigzag stitch.

Details can be added with the same threads and zigzag stitching to define lines that add depth and definition to the project. The seam path was drawn with a fabric marker that disappears with air so the purple doesn’t show through even if the seam doesn’t completely cover the lines.

Edge stitching and details are completed on the entire project.

Edge finishing application and details such as door handle, window and door lines and horizontal trim line are complete. All parts of the pattern are fully attached to the background fabric.

close-up photos of finished edge details

Some close-up photos of the finish and zigzag edge details.


Vertical straight line quilting on a '57 Chevrolet art quilt

Straight-line vertical quilting with 100-count premium kimono silk thread spaced in 1/2-inch increments adds a modern touch to a vintage design. Backing fabric layered with Hobbs 80/20 batting can be quilted with a walking foot to prevent shifting. I used the BERNINA dual feed foot to pass the top and bottom fabric through without movement.

This old ’57 Chevy Art quilt is ready to be bound. Watch for step four of the Quilt Along where the binding, hanging pouch, and something more will be covered.

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