April 8, 2011


When I first started quilting I saw all sort of awesome applique quilts.  They looked like they were so hard to do and I kept thinking that someday I would take a class on how to applique.  I took a few different classes and got to the point where I could more often then not look at a quilt and figure out how it was made....or at least one way to make it!  I never took that applique class.  My mom took a hand turn applique class and I tried it and did not find it fun.  At all.  I much prefer redwork to hand applique. 

I still saw those awesome quilts.  So I decided to teach myself machine applique.  I'm going to show you how I do it.  I'm not sure if it's the "right" way but it works for me!

Material for applique
Material for background
Heat N' Bond Lite adhesive transfer
Sewing Machine
Marker/pencil to trace

Step 1.  Figure out what you want to applique.  In this case, I'm adding the letter M to what will eventually be a blanket.  Most people would probably draw the M but I'm really bad at bubble letters and The Man wasn't home to do it for me so I Googled it.  Once it's printed & cut out....the perfect stencil!

Step 2.  Trace the design on the fabric and cut out.  I often trace the shape using a thin sharpie but it will depend on the fabric.  If it's light enough I'll use one of my air/water soluble markers.  I'm not concerned about seeing the sharpie after I cut it out because the sewing will hid most of it.

I know it's hard to see...sorry!
I use my fabric only scissors to cut out the design.  The Man learned early on in our marriage that these scissors are not for any other use.  He looked at me like I had 10 head when I freaked out when I saw him cutting paper with them.  He doesn't use them to keep the peace, not because he agrees with me that using them on other things will dull the scissors.  I don't care why he doesn't use them!

Step 3.  Trace the design on the Heat N Bond Lite...on the paper side.  Some people don't cut it out but I like to do it this way.  I cut it out using a different pair of scissors.

Step 4.  Iron the non-paper side to the wrong side of the fabric, making sure to line up the design.  Follow the instructions on the package for the ironing

Step 5.  Once it cools, peel the paper off the fabric.  It should leave behind the clean adhesive that was on it.  If it didn't try ironing it again.

Step 6.  Place the design where you want.  Make sure you put the wrong side of the design to the right side of the fabric.  Once you have it where you want it, iron it on.

Step 7.  Now comes the fun part of sewing it on!  Choose the blanket stitch on your machine.  Sew along the edges, all the way around the design.  I'm still finding curves, mostly smaller or sharp ones, are less fun to do.  I should practice more!

Finished M with blanket stitch

Once you're back where you started you're done.  Easy, right!?

If you'd like to see the blanket I made out of this, head on over to Preparing To Surface to see my guest post tutorial on Monday (April 11, 2011).  Make sure you say Hi to Jenn while you're there!

How do you applique?


  1. This is so neat! If I ever learned to use a sewing machine and wanted to make things, this would be one of them!

  2. Curves scare me. This is great, but I still don't think I'm brave enough to do it yet. We have the same iron! :)

  3. I'm with Annoyed Army Wife, curves scare me too. :( You did great though!

  4. I really should invest in a sewing machine... I just am a little frightened of them. Rediculous, huh?

  5. That fabric is so cute! I love the bright colors. I've never tried applique, but have often wondered if I could swing it.

    I've got a Versatile Blogger Award waiting for you, if you're interested! Have a blessed week, my dear!


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