Applique is such a fun and decorative sewing technique. Using this technique, fabric patches or pieces are layered on a backing or foundation fabric.
The fabric is then machine stitched in place with the raw edges covered with decorative stitching.
Most often it is used as an embellishment on quilts, pillows, totes, clothing, and other sewing projects.
What are the two types of raw edge applique?
Raw edge applique can be done in two different ways, either hand applique or machine applique.
With the traditional raw edge hand applique technique, the piece to be attached to the background is hand sewn using a needle and thread.
Some sewists prefer to use fusible webbing to secure the applique piece before hand stitching.
The blanket stitch is most often used as the decorative applique stitch.
How do you secure machine raw edge applique?
Raw edge machine applique, which is the focus of this tutorial, is another way to attach a piece of decorative fabric to another. With this fused raw-edge technique, heat activated fusible material is applied to the applique piece.
A sewing machine is then used to cover the exposed raw edges of the applique shape. There are several stitches that can be used in this form of raw edge applique, such as the zigzag stitch, blanket stitch, satin stitch, or other decorative stitching.
The stitching is considered a decorative element of the applique as well as the way to adhere the fabric.
This machine raw edge applique tutorial shows how to use a paper backed fusible webbing to position and hold a heart applique fabric in place before stitching.
Sample of Fusible Web Applique
Learn more about fusible web machine applique by watching our video or keep reading this post.
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WHAT YOU NEED for raw edge applique
Fusible Web Applique Sample
INSTRUCTIONS for fusibile web applique
STEP 1: trace design to be appliqued onto the fusible web
Choose a design to be appliqued. In this tutorial, we are using a heart shaped design.
The fusible web has two sides: a paper side and the shiny, fusing side. Place the fusible web material paper-side up on the chosen design to be appliqued.
Trace the design onto the paper side of the fusible web using a pencil.
STEP 2: cut out the design on the fusible web
Once the design has been traced, use scissors to cut out the shape. It is important not to cut on the tracing line!
Cut around the design, leaving 1/2" all around.
step 3: Fuse the paper web onto the fabric
Take the fabric to be appliqued to the ironing board, and place it right side down on the board. The paper web will be fused to the wrong side of the fabric.
Place the shiny, fusing side of the paper web onto the fabric. Keep in mind that the shape you are using is being ironed on in a mirror image of the design.
The heart is symmetrical, so this is not a concern. However, this placement will be noticeable if the design is asymmetrical. Remember that the design will be a mirror image when ironing on the fusible web.
Iron the fusible web according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Step 4: Cut the fabric and remove paper backing on fusible web
After the fusible web has adhered to the applique fabric, it is time to cut out the design.
Using fabric scissors, cut along the pencil line that was drawn in step one.
After the design has been cut out on the tracing line, it is time to remove the paper backing on the fusible web. Simply fold back and forth a few times then begin peeling the backing off.
Be sure to remove all of the paper backing. This backing can then be discarded.
step 5: iron the applique onto the background fabric
Lay the background fabric face up on the ironing board. Decide where the applique is going to be placed and lay it in position, face up, on the background fabric.
Using the iron, press the applique onto the background to adhere it according to the manufacturer's instructions.
step 6: Position the stabilizer
Take the appliqued fabric to the sewing machine. A piece of tear-away or cut-away stabilizer is used to prevent the fabric from puckering as well as to keep the stitches looking neat and clean.
Position a piece of the stabilizer that is larger than the applique under the background fabric. Center it directly under the fabric applique piece.
step 7: sew around the applique
Several stitches can be used to sew around the edge of the applique. The straight stitch, zigzag or any other decorative stitch can be used. In this tutorial, the zigzag stitch is used.
It is best to do some practice stitching to see what you prefer before sewing on the applique.
For this tutorial, the thread is a contrasting color (white) to the applique fabric so the reader can easily see the stitching. When actually stitching around the appliqued fabric, a coordinating thread color would likely be chosen, such as red to match the red heart fabric.
Thread the bobbin with any type of thread that is the same color as the background fabric. Bobbin Fill can be used to save money on the cost of the thread as well.
When sewing, make sure that the thread is catching both the applique fabric and the background fabric. This is done by carefully watching that the stitching is partially on both fabrics.
It is helpful to use an open style presser foot so the stitching can easily be viewed while sewing.
step 7: Sew around outside and inside corners
The heart is a great shape to practice the skill of stitching around corners. When the stitching is at the point of the heart, stop with the needle in the down position.
Turn the fabric and then start stitching again.
Stitch along until the inside corner of the heart shape is under the needle. Be sure to stop right at the inner point with the needle in the down position.
Turn the fabric and then start stitching again until the beginning stitching is reached.
Step 8: remove the stabilizer
In this tutorial, tear-away stabilizer is used. Simple turn to the back of the fabric and begin tearing away the stabilizer. All of the stabilizer should be removed, including the portion inside of the heart design.
To aid in removing the stabilizer from inside the designs, carefully use a pair of scissors to cut an opening in the paper backed web without cutting through the fabric.
Once cut, the stabilizer can be torn away.
If using cut-away stabilizer, use scissors to carefully cut the stabilizer away on both sides of the stitching.
The fusible web applique is finished! This heart shape is perfect for practicing the applique technique, and it would be a nice part of a Valentine's Day heart project!
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
Some other applique pages to visit: