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Stitching Eyes and Mouths – video tutorial

Stitching Eyes and Mouths - a video tutorial from Shiny Happy World

I get two questions a lot when people are ready to start outlining on my face applique patterns.

  • How do you stitch around small parts like eyes and noses?
  • How do you stitch the mouth?

I made a video to show exactly how I do both of those steps!

That’s it!

Remember. . .

  • Shorten your stitch length.
  • Go slow!
  • Stop with the needle down and pivot your work as often as you need to to keep a smooth curve.

This post shows my favorite sewing machine feet – include the clear applique foot I use to get good visibility. That’s essential if you want to neatly outline applique pieces.

If you like that adorable sloth face I used in the demo, get the Silly Sloths applique pattern here. It’s one of my easiest patterns – great for beginners!

Here are links to all my posts about outline stitching.

Finished with this topic?

Return to the Let’s Make a Quilt main Table of Contents.

Move on to the lessons about how to trim and assemble your blocks.

Happy stitching!


  1. Rebecca Pullen SAYS...

    This short tutorial is great. You are a natural coach: the instructions are clear, to the point and the demo really helps. Thanks!

  2. Lawana SAYS...

    Thank you for planning on posting the sloth lovie again!!!

  3. B. Getz SAYS...

    There is an ad of Crafty’s over one third of your video of how to sew on small eyes and mouths.

    • That’s weird – I don’t have any ads of any kind on my site. If it was on YouTube you can always close them – just click on the X in the top right corner.

  4. Gail Brown SAYS...

    What thickness of thread do you use? Thanks.

    • It depends on the look I want. Sometimes I use all-purpose thread for a thin line. Sometimes I use Sulky 12 wt. thread for a thicker line. (That’s what I’m using in the video – I was hoping it would be most visible on camera.) Sometimes I use all-purpose weight and I go over the same line a few times for extra thickness. I’ve actually been playing with that last option a lot lately – trying NOT not make the lines go right over each other so I get a fun scribbly/sketchy look. This post has a lot more info on playing with different thread weights if you want to do some experimenting.

  5. Pingback: Spooky - a free black cat applique pattern | Shiny Happy World

  6. Jan Harris SAYS...

    Will the thicker thread go through a normal needle or do I need a different needle?