Machine applique is a fun and simple process of sewing down fabric shapes on top of foundation fabric with a sewing machine. With machine applique, you can easily add curved shapes, lettering, landscape scenes, animals, buildings, flowers, symbols and trees to your project.
But one problem may occur when machine applique if you have a lighter fabric such as white or cream and you are going to put it on top of a darker background fabric; you may see a faint shadowing happen through the lighter fabric. This shadow effect detracts from the appearance of the quilt or project.
How can you prevent shadowing when appliqueing?
It's quite simple. When appliqueing with a sewing machine, a second layer of fabric - a lining - can be added to the back of the light-colored applique fabric to prevent the darker background fabric from showing through the applique. The second layer or lining fabric can be the same fabric, plain white fabric or muslin.
How do you add the second piece of fabric?
Basically, the second fabric is fused onto the light-colored applique fabric to create a two-layer bonded fabric piece. When completed you will have an applique fabric, a piece of fusible web and a lining fabric. Once done you can continue appliqueing as usual.
Let me show you how to make a two-layer bonded fabric piece for machine applique by simply clicking the link below to watch my video tutorial. Or, you will find a full written photo tutorial with step-by-step instructions below.
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What is shadowing in applique?
Shadowing occurs in machine applique when you have a darker color foundation fabric that shows through a lighter fabric.
Here is an example. You can see the blue fabric creates a faint shadow effect.
In the case of making the blocks for my lighthouse quilt, I experienced an ongoing problem with the blue sky fabric showing through the white lighthouse fabric. So I used the following technique to prevent it.
let's get started!
WHAT YOU NEED to make the two-layer bonded fabric:
INSTRUCTIONS for preventing shadowing:
STEP 1: Trace Template
In order to know the size of fabrics to cut to make the two-layer piece, first make your applique template. Trace the applique on the paper side of the fusible web and cut it out about ¼” beyond the drawn line. This will be used as a measuring guide for creating the two-layer fusible sandwich.
STEP 2: cut fabrics and fusible webbing
From the lining fabric, cut a piece a little larger than the cutout applique template.
From the fusible web, cut a piece of fusible web about the same size as the lining piece or a smidgen smaller.
From the applique fabric, cut a piece slightly larger than the lining fabric.
STEP 3: Create Fabric Sandwich
To begin making the two-layer fabric piece, place the fusible web piece on top of the lining piece and iron according to the manufacturer's directions.
After the lining piece has cooled, peel off the paper backing from the fusible web. An easy removal method is to score the paper with a pin and then remove the paper.
Now place the lining fabric with the glue side down on the wrong side of the applique fabric and iron to fuse.
You now have a bonded together two-layer piece of fabric.
Check to see if there is now any shadowing. If not, proceed to applique as usual. If there is, and it is rare, you may have to add another layer of fabric.
STEP 4: Applique
Finally, place the traced applique template on the wrong side of the bonded sandwich and iron to fuse.
Cut out the shape on the marked lines. Remove the paper backing.
Your lined appliqué shape is ready to fuse to the fabric.
Easy! Yes! It’s a technique anyone working with machine applique should know.
I hope this was a helpful post on eliminating machine applique shadowing. So you have this tutorial for future reference, be sure to pin and bookmark along with sharing. Make sure to check out some of Needlepointers.com's other videos on our YouTube channel. While you're there, please subscribe to our channel so you don't miss future craft projects.
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Have fun appliqueing!
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If you are interested in applique, these tutorials may be of help.
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