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 Etsy.com store, LiliesOfGrace, for more ideas.