I'm learning a lot of things as I go along and when sewing the honesty seed pods yesterday I could see bits where I clearly wasn't doing it the best way and this left me with several questions. One mistake (of many) I made was failing to stabilise the background fabric so that it wouldn't pucker. (I did think to fix the seed pods to the background, actually using some fusible hemming strip that I had scraps of - it was just the right width). I also couldn't understand why my buttonhole or satin stitch looks so much better from the wrong side.
I was thinking of doing some test pieces and seeing if I could get this all right when I remembered that Florence, of Flossie Teacakes, has written an ebook about machine applique. Although I usually like to try and work things out for myself this book is going to save a lot of faffing about. I can really recommend it - it's clearly written and covers everything you need. And it only costs £3.00. Now I know how to stabilise the background fabric, and that my satin stitch problems are probably because I need to adjust the tension on my sewing machine.