I love applique because it’s so versatile and I end up using it in a lot of my work. It just gives more freedom to do crazy designs that you wouldn’t be able to accomplish just with piecing. Want a dancing elephant? Slap that baby down and applique it. Done!
Today I want to share my favorite method for applique. It’s pretty easy to do and it will hold through heavy use – my priority since I often make quilts for kids.
- Design you want to applique
- Lightweight interfacing
- Fabric for applique
- Trace your pattern on the interfacing. This is a planet for my son’s space quilt so it’s a pretty simple shape, but you can use this technique for more complicated shapes.
- Loosely cut the shape out of the interfacing. We’re not looking for precision, just trying to make it easier to work with. Just make sure you leave at least 1/4” allowance.
- Pin to the RIGHT side of the fabric and so you can see your drawn lines.
- Straight stitch along the line using a smaller stitch size. I used a 1.5 stitch length.
- Cut the seam allowance to approximately 1/8”.
- Snip slits in the seam allowance, being very careful not to cut into the stitching. This will keep the fabric from bunching too much once we flip it. Make more frequent snips in areas with sharper curves.
- Carefully cut a hole in the interfacing and flip the shape inside out. The hole only needs to be big enough to pull the fabric through. It can help to use a dull tool to push the edges all the way out.
- Press flat with an iron.
- Optional – cut out the interfacing leaving about 1/4” allowance. You don’t need to remove the interfacing – only if you want to reduce bulk. (I didn’t for this one.)
- Ready to sew! You can now stitch using any applique stitch. Some common ones are the blind hem, zigzag, satin, or blanket stitch.