Appliqué Tricks

Posted by CraftFoxes Staff on Nov 21, 2011
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In needleturn appliqué, always finger-press the turn-under allowance of your appliqué pieces before you pin them to your block. The turn-under allowance will turn under much more easily along this finger pressed crease. This one step makes needleturning easier and faster (Fig. 24).
-Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins of Piece O’ Cake Designs

When I machine appliqué, I don’t like my zigzag stitches to be too close, like a tight satin stitch. If you give a little, it is more forgiving. You won’t see your errors or where you didn’t go around a curve smoothly enough.

When I’m choosing thread for my zigzag stitches for machine appliqué and there are many colors in a fabric, I like to go with the darkest shade for better coverage. For example, if the ground is brown, and the elements in the print are fuchsia, white, and the like, I’m likely to choose a color that coordinates with the brown for my zigzag stitching.
-Linda Lum DeBono of

I cut out the center of my fusible web for large shapes to reduce bulk. Please change your needles often!
-Linda Lum DeBono of

Looking for appliqué design ideas? Children’s coloring books are a great source of inspiration. Many of the designs are drawn simply and are easily adapted to fabric.

Appliquéing tiny pieces? Just keep your seam allowances larger and trim as you go. That way, you have plenty of fabric to hang onto. And remember, a wooden toothpick and a little fabric glue is your friend for turning under errant threads.
-"Kindred Quilts: A Gathering Place" by Toby Preston,

You don’t know half the joy of needlework until you create something that is yours alone. Appliqué allows you the freedom to make any design. Wherever you look you see shapes and colors. Take what you want and use it in your design.

When you are using fusible web: An X-ACTO knife with a #11 blade is great for cutting out the inside of pieces such as letters. When tracing patterns with a pencil on fusible web, the key is to press hard enough so your patterns will show up when you fuse them on dark fabric. If you press too hard you’ll get graphite all over your hands and your fabric. Once I am through fusing my shape on my appliqué sheet, I let the shape cool and then move it to a piece of wax paper.

I don’t ever heat on the wax paper. It just stores the shape nice and clean so I can use the appliqué sheet again for the next shape. Once I have fi nished fusing I can move my shapes around on different backgrounds to see if they will work colorwise because they are neatly placed on the wax paper.
-Amy Bradley of Amy Bradley Designs,

—From "Pocket Posh® Tips for Quilters" by Jodie Davis/Andrews McMeel Publishing

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