You may see the cute “raggy/shaggy” designs at Applique Cafe or other sites and wonder “how do they do that?” I get the question quite a bit and was working on a new design today, so I decided to take pics of each step. We have a few raggy designs at AC (click HERE) and there are also some cute ones at www.embroidery-boutique.com! I love her raggy flower and butterfly!
As you can see below my machine has already sewn the 1. Marking, 2. Tackdown and 3. Satin stitch for the strawberry design (not yet listed). This is step 4. Marking for the stem.
The key to a raggy design is flannel. You can use colored flannel, matching flannel (lime fabric and lime flannel) or use a contrasting flannel which I have done on some of the EB designs before (hot pink fabric and lime flannel underneath). It’s up to you and this is plain ole flannel I got at Hobby Lobby! As you can see below I’ve ironed both pieces (note to self: get a new tabletop ironing board asap).
I want my gingham to be diagonal, so I’m laying my fabric on top of my flannel and placed them both down for step 5. Tackdown.
This is step 5. Tackdown below.
Step 6 for this design is called a redwork stitch. It’s sort of a thick running stitch that goes back & forth a time or two to create the thick dense stitch often used in quilting.
Now I’m going to trim my fabric AND flannel around the redwork stitch, leaving about 1/8″ (or more or less depending on how raggy you want your fabric). I’m using 4″ curved Gingher embroidery scissors for this.
This is what it looks like after I’ve trimmed the excess fabric away. As you can see I left about 1/8″, but you could cut closer to the redwork for less shaggy or leave it longer for more. It’s up to you!
Now I’m using my straight embroidery scissors that came with my machine. They are a bit dull and I just scrape the edges until the threads come loose and look “raggy”. As you can see I went ahead and did step 7. the seeds (in yellow).
A lint brush comes in handy. Just roll it across to pick up any loose thread, and if there are any long threads you can just trim those with your scissors and pick them up with the lint brush as well.
Here is what it looks like finished! Sorry for the poor photo quality but it was a yucky rainy cloudy day today. I will get a better picture tomorrow! This is how you achieve the “raggy” look – it’s very fast and very easy! Some designs are all raggy and some (like the strawberry) just incorporate raggy in to one aspect of the design (i.e. tree swing design).
Why flannel? It frays easily and adds a thick layer to your fabric to make it more 3D and quilted looking. You could also use just 2-3 layers of fabric, and I’ve also used just flannel in a raggy design before (see raggy snowman).
Why raggy? It’s personal preference! Some people like raggy designs and some don’t. I like them because they are different, textured and fast and easy to sew!
Do I use Heat N Bond Lite? For this design, YES on the strawberry part of the design and NO on the raggy part. The redwork stitch will hold your fabric down. HNBL is not necessary and would interfere with the fabric fraying properly.