I have tried to applique by machine just about every conceivable way there is. I have even taken a class at my local sewing shop called “Invisible Machine Applique”. I can do it and it doesn’t look half bad, but the truth is that nothing comes even close to looking as nice as applique by hand. So, in my opinion, it is totally worth the extra time it takes to get results like this:
I made the patterns for the numbers and letters totally free-hand, which was scary for me, but I like their wonky look. At this late stage of making these blocks I am running out of large pieces of fabric, so I didn’t have many choices for what to use as the backgrounds. I think it works though.