All About Applique
All About Applique

Applique is a quilting technique which involves applying layering one fabric above another and sewing it on. The term applique comes from the French word appliquer, which is a French verb meaning "to put on." Even though the word comes from the French, the technique has been used in many cultures and throughout history, with the earliest examples of applique being found thousands of years ago. Learning the uses and how-tos of applique will expand the possibilities of quilting enormously for you. Applique is a versatile technique which is useful for design options regular quilting can't accomplish.

The first step in learning applique is selecting a design. Small, intricate shapes will not work well for this technique, at least not when you are first learning. Start with a simple shape for your beginning applique project. Something basic like a circle or heart will serve you well for your first attempt. In order to create a pattern for your applique design, many people choose freezer paper, because it is stiff without being too thick. Trace your design onto the freezer paper and cut it out and then you can easily trace your applique onto the fabric you've selected cotton is a good choice). Next, carefully cut the applique design out, leaving 1/8th inches all around.

In order to stabilize the applique, you can either glue the freezer paper to the fabric design, or pin it. Now you will have to deal with the raw edges. Since the fabrics are being layered atop one another, as opposed to being sewn in seams as with traditional quilting, it's very important to learn to finish the raw edges so they won't unravel and be unsightly. One way to do this is to take your scissors and carefully snip to the marked line and then press the seam allowance under all the way around your design. Use the tip of a Popsicle stick or a chopstick to help smooth the little edges of fabric down.

Now position the applique design where you want it on the base fabric and hand stitch it down. There are several possibilities for stitching your applique. Do you want to hide the stitches or use it as a decorative element for your applique? If you want to hide the stitching, blind stitch or hem stitch are good possibilities. For decorative touches, try buttonhole stitching. You can use any embroidery stitch that strikes your fancy, but with some of the more complicated stitches it's a good idea to anchor your applique with a hem stitch first.

The last step is to very carefully cut a small slit in the background fabric only, behind the applique. Be certain not to cut through the applique itself! Then gently reach in and remove the freezer paper. Now turn your applique over and press it, smoothing the edges and taking care if you've used a decorative embroidery stitch. That's it! That's how easy it is to learn to applique. Once you've tried your hand at applique, you will be glad you've added it to your quilting repertoire.

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A Notion About Notions

Add Life to your Quilting with Embroidery

All About Applique

All About Hoffman Fabrics

All About Quilting

All About Thread For Quilting

Best Books for Quilting

Choosing And Preparing Fabric

Choosing Fabrics for Quilting

Choosing Quilt Fabric

Discovering RJR Fabrics

Essential Supplies for Quilting

How to Choose the Right Batting

How to Use Stencils for Quilting

How to Use Templates in Quilting

Making Sense OF Quilt Patterns


Patchwork Techniques

Quilting 101

Quilting is a Hot D

Sewing Tips For Beginning Quilters

So You Want To Make A Quilt

The Best Quilting Pattern ForYour Needs

What Are Quilts?

Where to Find Free Quilt Patterns


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