19 Applique Tips

Posted by on 30 July 2019 | 1 Comments
This content belongs to Arbee Designs.

I've been creating applique designs for years and my favorite technique is with fusible webbing so I've put together some tips that I do when I applique, many of which apply to any type of applique.

  1. Remember to reverse the design when using fusible
  2. Fusible webbing needs to be pressed to the wrong side of the fabric so it can adhere to the background
  3. Use a Teflon sheet, baking paper or parchment paper when working with fusible webbing to prevent sticky fusible getting on what it shouldn't!
  4. Always add an 'underlap' between pieces to prevent gaps forming and background showing through
  5. Using a lightbox makes it easier to see through fabrics and for tracing templates

    applique tips lightbox

    A lightbox makes it easy to see templates through fusible and fabric

  6. Label all pieces for easy identification
  7. Transfer any marking through to the right side of the fabric - this makes placement so much easier
  8. Position pieces in numeric order ensuring points and underlaps meet correctly
  9. Objects with more than a few pieces can be constructed on a Teflon sheet first before adding to the background - this makes it easy to audition colors and fabrics too

    applique tips labels teflon sheet

    Flower with many pieces is constructed on Teflon sheet
    all pieces were labeled to be easily identified

  10. Before cutting out a fused shape, lift the backing paper partially especially on small pieces - this way you don't have any trouble trying to separate the layers

    applique tips lift backing paper

    partially lift up backing paper before cutting shape out

  11. After partially lifting backing paper cut out ending in an area that is not lifted - sometimes the backing paper can move or come off thus the cut will be incorrect and not follow the line
  12. If you forget to lift the backing paper always try to start lifting it at an underlap to prevent the raw edges from fraying, at least if you start at the underlap, it will be covered
  13. For very stubborn fusible where you cannot separate the layers, score with a pin so you have a rough edge to start it

    applique tip scored edge

    Score the paper to create
    a rough edge

  14. Scissors cannot cut in a curve - they only ever cut straight. As you gently squeeze the handles, twist the fabric (rather than the scissors) to follow a curved line. It will be much more accurate
  15. Tweezers can help to hold small pieces for trimming and placing them in position
  16. Use only the tips of the scissors to cut into small areas or points. If you slip, you won't cut too far!
  17. Cut in an anticlockwise direction if you are right-handed or the natural way you draw a circle
  18. If you forgot to draw through to the right side of the fabric, don't press detached pieces in place until you have some guidance to their correct positioning otherwise chances are, some other pieces won't align correctly
  19. Avoid open-weave fabric. High thread count is best for applique. These fabrics include batiks or other high-quality cotton fabrics

    applique tip high quality fabrics

    High-Quality fabrics like batiks are best for applique

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  • Thanks for the great tips! Parchment paper works really well when you've misplaced your Teflon sheet...ask me how I know!

    Posted by Machelle, 06/08/2019 11:55am (2 years ago)

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