When I do machine applique I trace my design backwards on the paper
backing of the fusible web. (I've been using Heat 'n' Bond Lite...like it
fine). Then I cut out the shapes and fuse them to the background fabric.
Then I use lots of different stitches to hold them permanently in place.
I've used the traditional satin stitch, but also a machine buttonhole
stitch (looks like all these neat primitive style hand appliques that are
popular today), a loose zigzag (where you can see the fabric behind it,
not close like the satin stitch) AND I've used a straight stitch. In
fact, when I want the stitches to really show up, I use the triple stitch
straight stitch. It's meant to be used on stretchy knits, but it makes a
nice "thick" straight stitch. If you use rayon thread, it really looks
The disadvantage to straight stitch is that variations in your stitching
show up more. If you have trouble "staying in the lines", it shows.
Satin stitch and zigzags are more forgiving.
Any stitching will hold your fabric in place. Any fraying at the edges
would probably be negligible, but you have to decide what "look" you want.
I don't think I'd use paint on a quilt. It's great for T-shirts, that
will be worn one season, but a quilt will last much longer and probably
sustain more abuse!
Quilter and corn farmer
from Phillips, Nebraska!
(or is that corny quilter?)