Iron and Ironing Board
Iron Off Hot Iron Cleaner - This is my favorite hot iron cleaner that I use frequently while doing applique projects.Your iron will gunk quickly while doing fusible applique projects (see below).
Applique Pressing Sheet - This will protect your ironing board from gunk. The fuse web will not stick to it.
Steam A Seam Lite 2 - This is one of many fusible web products. It's a light fusible web that is easy to sew through and won't gunk your machine needle. This product comes in a variety of sizes. The packages of 9 x 12 inch sheets is great for giving it a try. It's also available by the yard and by the box.
Pre-washed Fabrics - If you're using Steam A Seam it's recommended that you use pre-washed fabrics. The product will stick better if you do. Whichever fusible you decide to use be sure it's a light one that will be easy to sew through.
Information About Ironing Appliques
Doing fusible applique will quickly gunk up your iron with fusible goo as well as pencil lead (see photo below). You will need to clean your iron frequently while working on your projects. My personal preference is Iron Off Hot Iron Cleaner.
You only need a small amount on a towel.
Amazing what comes off the iron.
10 Steps to Making an Applique Design
To follow along you will need:
8 x 8 inch piece of background fabric
scraps for 2 hearts
paper and pencilStep 1 - Draw your design as an outline drawing. Think of it as a coloring book but instead of crayons you're going to use fabric to color between the lines.
For this example we will use hearts so you can get the feel for sewing a straight edge as well as a curved edge.
Step 2 - Next you will trace your design in reverse onto the fusible web. For this step you can use a light box or window. I placed my drawing in reverse on the window Then traced it onto my Steam A Seam Lite 2. The letter "c" is just there to show the reverse. We won't be using it in the design.
Step 3 - Rough cut around the appliques to remove them from the Steam A Seam sheet. Don't cut on the lines yet.
Step 4 - I trim around the inside of larger design pieces leaving about 3/8 of an inch. It's a personal preference but I like to remove the centers to keep the designs from getting to stiff when doing multiple layers. Keep the pieces you remove to trace smaller designs on (like the photo below). I store the little left over scraps in a Ziploc baggie.
Step 5 - Slowly peel the backing (side without the design on it) off.
This is what the fusible web looks like. Be careful to keep it with the design paper.
Step 6 - Iron all the wrinkles out of your fabric. Then place the appliques onto the wrong side of the fabrics. I like to give them a little hit with the iron at this point to make them stick.
Step 7 -Now cut out the applique designs on the lines.
Step 8 - Carefully peel off the remaining paper. This time be sure to keep the fusible web with the fabric.
Step 9 - Place the appliques onto the right side of you background fabric. The appliques can be repositioned until they are pressed with the iron. When you are happy with their position on the background fabric press them with the iron to permanently fuse them in place (follow package directions for the product you are using). As with all quilting, press straight up and down. Do not iron side to side or you may warp the block.
Information About Stitches
There are a number of ways that you can stitch the edges of your designs depending on your preference and how the quilt will be used.
(from left to right)
1. Satin Stitch - This is a zigzag stitch sewn with a length set close to 0. It's a solid looking outline. Great if you want a bold outline.
2. Zigzag stitch - A small zigzag stitch along the edge.
3. Straight Stitch - A straight stitch close to the edge. I would only use this on wall hangings or things that would not get washed. If sewn with matching thread it would almost "hide" from the eye.
4. Blanket Stitch - This stitch has 5 strikes (forward, reverse, forward, side, side). It's visually similar to using a zigzag stitch. It's my personal favorite. I think it has a hand made crafted look to it.
Important Stitching Technique
When sewing around the applique do not pull the fabric and try to "steer" around curves. This will cause the fabric to pull in and pucker. Instead stitch until the fabric begins to head into a curve.
Stop with the needle down and pivot your fabric to bring it straight in front of the needle again. Do this as needed to get around a curve. This may need to be done every 2 or 3 stitches if you are on a small curve. But trust me, the results will be worth the effort.
Information About Thread
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and maybe even learned something new.