Beginners instructions in Applique


What is Appliqué?  It is the process of applying smaller pieces of other fabrics, on top of the background fabric.

There are basically two ways of doing this. One is needle-turn appliqué.  And the other is Fusible Web Appliqué.

Check the separate tutorial on Needleturn Applique as this tutorial applies to Fusible Web applique.

Fusible Web appliqué has pieces that are “Glued” down onto the fabric using fusible webbing and then sewn down later either by machine, or by hand, using blanket or button-hole stitch.  Fusible webbing is sold by the metre, it is very fine and backed by paper.  When it is heated with an iron from the paper side it will dissolve the webbing and it will glue the webbing to the wrong side of the fabric pattern piece.  Later the paper is removed, and the webbing backed piece of fabric can then be turned over and ironed once more, re-heating the glue and adhering the piece to the background fabric. To use this method.   Use the paper backed webbing to trace off your pattern pieces. The main thing to remember is to first reverse your pattern. You can do this by simply turning your pattern over and tracing the pieces off from the back, (If you can’t see through the paper, one idea is to tape it to a window right side down, so that the light from the other side can show up the lines easier for you) Place your fusible webbing, paper side up on top and begin by tracing off the pieces, numbering them as you go so you can tell which is which.

All of our patterns have easily numbered pieces so that you can tell which pieces are placed down first, and thus can be underneath later pieces. With patterns that have been designed for fusible webbing technique, it already has the lines marked in with a dotted line, which show you which pieces will be overlapped.

fusible applique graphic

Like X-ray vision the finer dotted lines on the pattern show where the extended  pieces lay underneath the top pieces. Trace these lines onto your freezer paper.  Cut out roughly, and iron onto the wrong side of your appliqué fabric.  Trim your fabric and paper back to the line at the same time. Press your background fabric for the front of the wall-hanging.  Hint: Use your pattern to show you where to place the pattern pieces, and lightly mark on the fabric (You can use the window once again, place the pattern on the window front side up this time, and then the background fabric, front side up on top, simply trace through marking the positioning of the major pieces). Remove paper backing and iron your pieces in place on your background fabric. Take care to over lap where necessary, as indicated with the pattern pieces numbering.  Once you have ironed your pieces in place.  You can start with the appliqué.  Feel free to applique using a tight satin stitch on your sewing machine, or use the graphic below for instruction in Button-hole applique, which is a hand sewing technique.  When stitching by hand, use 2 strands of embroidery cotton.

blanketstitch graphic  right.1


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