How to Machine Applique’ – TJW

When I started working on the Tarts Come to Tea again I really could not remember how to machine applique’. It was the strangest feeling. I knew the general principles (trace pattern, iron it on fabric, satin stitch around the shapes), but all the details had left my mind. I felt like I had to start over.

Being a good librarian I looked at some books, but could only find references to needle-turn and raw-edged applique’. I fumbled around for awhile and came up with the following process.

Cake block pattern
Cake block pattern

First, I draw the pattern out life size on a white sheet of sketch paper. (I know this doesn’t look like white paper, but see the Weekend Work post for an explanation). I usually draw in pencil to start.

Machine Applique' Pattern
Machine Applique’ Pattern

Next I draw out the patterns on individual smaller sheets of paper. If there are parts that need to be in different colors or need to be separated for some reason, then I make separate patterns for them. For example, I made a separate pattern each for the cake, plate and whipped cream, above.

Tracing Machine Applique' Pattern
Tracing Machine Applique’ Pattern

I put the  Steam-a-Seam 2, or other fusible of your choice, over the pattern and trace the pattern onto Steam-a-Seam 2.

Traced Pattern on Fabric
Traced Pattern on Fabric

After that is done, I trim the fabric to the approximate size, then press the SAS2 (or other appropriate fusible) on to the wrong side of that piece of fabric.

Cake block detail

Finally, I put all the pieces together, press the fusible on to the background and satin stitch around the edges.

See the Fusible Applique’ tutorial for more information. See the Machine Applique’ using Directional Motifs for more information on making sure your designs go the right way.

Author: Jaye

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

2 thoughts on “How to Machine Applique’ – TJW”

    1. Yes, the hand of the fabric definitely changes with this method. The spray adhesive makes me itch. The SAS2 Light is pretty lightweight, so the piece isn’t too stiff. It is a wall hanging and I don’t plan to wash it, so I don’t mind the stiffness. If it were a baby quilt or a bed quilt, I would have to use a different method. When I worked on a round robin quilt, I put the fabric on face up and then sewed around the pattern with a straight stitch, which was drawn on to the interfacing. Afterwards I cut out the design and then satin stitched around the pieces from the front. See? It is all coming back to me.

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