Raw-edge Fusible Appliqué
One of the easiest ways to appliqué is the raw-edge fusible-web method. Paper-backed fusible web motifs or individual pieces are fused to the wrong side of fabric, cut out and then fused to a foundation fabric and stitched in place by hand or machine.
CUTTING APPLIQUÉ PIECES
1. Fusible appliqué motif pieces and individual pieces should be reversed for this technique.
2. Trace the appliqué shapes onto the paper side of paper-backed fusible web. Leave at least 1/4" between shapes. Cut out shapes leaving a margin around traced lines. Note: If doing several identical appliqués, trace reversed shapes onto template material to make reusable templates.
3. Follow manufacturer’s instructions and fuse shapes to wrong side of fabric as indicated on pattern for color and number to cut.
4. Cut out appliqué shapes on traced lines. Remove paper backing from shapes.
5. Again following fusible web manufacturer’s instructions, arrange and fuse pieces to quilt referring to quilt pattern.
STITCHING APPLIQUÉ EDGES
Machine-stitch appliqué edges to secure the appliqués in place and help finish the raw edges with matching or invisible thread.
Invisible thread can be used to stitch appliqués down when using the blanket or straight stitches. Do not use it for the satin stitch.
A short, narrow buttonhole or blanket stitch is most commonly used. Your machine manual may also refer to this as an appliqué stitch. Be sure to stitch next to the appliqué edge with the stitch catching the appliqué.
Practice turning inside and outside corners on scrap before stitching appliqué pieces. Learn how your machine stitches so that you can make the pivot points smooth.
1. To stitch outer corners, stitch to the edge of the corner and stop with needle in the fabric at the corner point. Pivot to the next side of the corner and continue to sew. You will often get a box on an outside corner.
2. To stitch inner corners, pivot at the inner point with needle in fabric. You will frequently see a Y shape in the corner.
3. You can also use a machine satin stitch or straight/running stitch. Turn corners in the same manner, stitching to the corners and pivoting with needle in down position.
4. Use a light- to medium-weight stabilizer behind an appliqué to keep the fabric from puckering during machine stitching.
5. To reduce the stiffness of a finished appliqué, cut out the center of the fusible web shape,
leaving a 1/4"-½" inside the pattern line. This gives a border of adhesive to fuse to the background and leaves the center soft and easy to quilt.
6. If an appliqué fabric is so light colored or thin that the background fabric shows through, fuse a lightweight interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric or fuse a piece of the appliqué fabric to a matching piece, wrong sides together, and then apply the fusible with a drawn pattern to one side.