Heather Thomas

How to Quilt Herky Jerky Appliqué

Heather Thomas
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Duration:   3  mins
Appliqué is a fun way to add shapes and designs to a quilt top. Rather than stitch your next appliqué the usual way, try this fun herky jerky appliqué technique! Heather Thomas shows you how to do this quick and easy stitch around the outer edge of a shape to add an extra design element.


Herky jerky appliqué is a fun way to quilt around your desired shape, but the shape or design must still be secured in place first. Heather explains how to first stitch the appliqué shape in place using a straight stitch to secure it to the quilt top. She also mentions another options to hold the shapes or designs in place which is using some kind of adhesive. Since the shape is going to be stitched in place with the herky jerky appliqué stitches the adhesive you use can be either temporary or permanent and either an iron on, spray or other type of application. Once you have your shapes and designs secured to your quilt top you simply prepare it like any other quilt to be quilted by layering and basting your quilt top with batting and a backing fabric. It is now ready to be quilted with herky jerky appliqué or you can try out quilting with decorative stitches.

Herky Jerky Appliqué

Heather then demonstrates how to do the herky jerky stitch. She explains how she has her machine set up for stitching including stitch type and whether or not to have the feed dogs engaged. Heather then demonstrates how to do the stitch by moving the fabric back and forth quickly under the needle while stitching. She gives tips on how to vary the length and number of stitches made in one area to keep the stitching looking ‘random’. Heather also gives tips on what direction to move the fabric depending on what areas of a design you are stitching around. Once you’ve mastered herky jerky appliqué, check out more appliqué videos!

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