7 Great Uses for Appliqué

Lyn from A Design By Lyn and has some unique uses for appliqué.

  1. Appliqué is perfect to cover up those embroidery mistakes that are bound to happen on your most expensive shirt!
  2. Appliqué saves stitches when used in place of large filled areas of embroidery.
  3. Use appliqué to cover holes and rips in your favorite jeans.
  4. Appliqué can be sewn on fabric and then use the outline stitch to stitch on baby clothes to keep the back soft against baby's skin.
  5. When you make your own pants you can appliqué a patch on the same material and use it to make a matching blouse.
  6. Sew a patch on wash away stabilizer and use the patch on hard to hoop items.
  7. Using the same patch idea you can sew the sides of the patch to a placemat leaving the top and bottom open to insert the napkin.

Appliquéd Guest Towels

Made by Robin of Candy Apple Quilts

Materials required: As many towels as you would like to appliqué, a six inch square of calico for each towel, your choice of stabilizer for the back, appliqué design from the Treasures of the Heart Collection available at http:/www.PlatinumEmbroidery.com.

Note: When using an appliqué design for sewing onto something thick, such as a towel, you will not need a topper (such as Solvy) for the front because you will have fabric covering the nap of the towel.

1. Open your appliqué design on your machine. The first three steps you will see to the design are a placement stitch, a tack-down stitch, and a satin border. We will be changing the sewing order of these just a little bit.

2. Hoop only your six inch square of calico and stabilizer, not the towel. Sew one of the outlines (step one or two of the design). Skip step three, which is the satin border for the edge. We will use this border in just a moment. Stitch the rest of the design.

3. Remove the calico from the hoop. Trim around the outside edge of the single outline, leaving about 1 inch all the way around the design outline.

4. Hoop your towel. I prefer to use a tear-away/wash-away stabilizer on the back so the excess can wash out with the first laundering. Sew a row of placement stitches for the design. Stop the machine and remove the hoop. See picture one.

5. Pin your design in place, making sure that the design is as perfectly aligned as possible. Pin the calico in place, being certain no pins are in the way of stitching. See picture two.

6. Sew a single row of stitches to hold your design in place.  Trim very close to the edges to remove the extra calico, being careful not to cut the towel loops. See picture three.

7. Return the hoop to the machine, and stitch the satin border to hide the edges of your calico. The back of your towel will only have the satin border stitched on it, giving a nice clean finish. If you have used a tear away/washaway stabilizer, you can just tear the excess away, and
your towel is ready to give as a gift!

Visit our Projects page to download the instructions.

Appliqué Hints and Tips

Whether your a master at appliqué or this is your first attempt, Allene from Snow Lady Designs has shared some hints and tips to make the process easier.

  • Tip on Scissors:  Purchase the best cutting implements you can afford then keep them in tip top condition.  Sharp scissors will cut the fabrics easier and cleaner than dull scissors.  Cutting paper with good scissors only dulls them so threaten all in your household with the removal of fingers if they use your good scissors for anything other than fabric.  This threat does not apply to grand children cause we all know they can do no wrong...LOL
  • If you are cutting something that requires accurate cuts such as appliqué or cutwork keep your eye on the tip of the scissors and your cuts will go where the tip of the scissors goes.
  • If you are working with difficult fabrics such as flimsy cotton spray the bejeebers out of it with heavy spray starch and iron dry before placing on your project.  This will give those fabrics more body and make them easier to cut close to the tack down stitches with less chance of pokies

  • Working on something such as cutwork or appliqué, afraid of popping out of the hoop before you are done?  Hoop your project then using a removable fabric marking pen draw around your inner hoop.  This will give you a guide for re-hooping if necessary.

Step up to Successful Appliqué

Another style are these step by step instructions for appliqué.

These designs are meant for machine appliqué. Please follow instructions carefully for a successful stitchout. In general, the sequence for machine appliqué is as follows.

  1. First color - an outline of the area to be appliquéd with fabric.
  2. Use this as a guide for placing your scrap of fabric to be appliquéd. Do this immediately after the outline stitch. For best results, interface sheer fabrics and/or spray back of fabric with sticky spray to prevent ripples in fabric. Light to medium weight fabrics are best for appliqué.
  3. Second color will be the tack down stitch.
  4. After this stitches, remove your hoop from your machine and trim excess fabric away very close to this run of stitches.
  5. Last step is the satin stitch that will cover some or all of the raw edges of the fabric.

Notes and Tips:
It is very important to follow your color sheet as you do machine appliqué. There will often be other areas of stitching that may precede or follow the appliqué steps. Some designs will even have other areas stitch between the tack down stitch and the satin stitch.

The actual choice of thread colors is yours, of course. These are just a guide. In general, you can use most any color for the outline and the tack down stitches as long as they are not dark colors that may show through a lighter colored outline.

For best results, interface sheer fabrics and/or spray back of fabric with sticky spray to prevent ripples in fabric.

Light to medium weight fabrics are best for appliqué.