Applique Tips

Applique is very fun, and one of the easiest ways to add a little personal spice to your art projects.  And you don’t have to limit yourself in any way.

Lots of ready-to-go appliques are sold at the stores, there are even a few in Walmart.  Joann’s, Hobby Lobby, Amazon and other retailers are great places to browse.

Or you can just go ahead and use fabric.  One great idea we often use is to get patterned fabric – flowers, fish, horses, you name it – and cut out the pictures.

Note: this technique is effective, but time consuming.  In order to get an excellent finished project I would recommend attaching your stabilizer; i.e. Wonder Under or Heat’n’Bond; before cutting out the picture.  Use small scissors and take your time, people will see those untidy edges.

Or use block designs, like those out of coloring books, and cut the basic shapes out of plain fabric.  Then you can use stitching, buttons, and/or hot-fix studs/crystals to make the picture emerge.

Our favorite technique of all, though, is to use fabric flowers.  They are sold in most department stores as fake bouquets.  Pull the flowers off the plastic stems, remove the plastic backings, and use as usual.

When appliqueing be aware that lighter fabric will pleat and wrinkle under heavier appliques.  You can add stabilizer or interfacing, use liquid starch, or a lot of pins.  Ironing is recommended, a lot of ironing.

Appliques can be used to make abstract art look more tangible, patch holes in vintage fabrics, or make lovely image panels.  Please check out our store, LiliesOfGrace, for more ideas.

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14 thoughts on “Applique Tips”

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    • We designed this pattern ourselves – but it is very easy to do. All it takes is a piece of material, a silk leaf or flower, and some Wonder Under, or other heat and bond material. And variegated thread. We get our silk leaves off of fake bouquets from Walmart (also having a free motion sewing machine helps!)
      If you want to know more, you can see examples of our work at Lilies Of Grace, our Etsy shop.

  2. I am not sure where you are getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful information I was looking for this information for my mission.

    • My mom is a great seamstress. Together we create quilt kits, table runners, and even the occasional big quilt. Applique is our favorite “short-cut-to-great-results” technique; so all the information pretty much came out of my head.

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