Easy Machine Applique Tutorial: How to Applique in No Time

Applique Cover
Have you tried applique?  If not, are you scared of something new?  No matter!  There are several types of applique, some harder than others.  Today I will show you a very easy and basic method of machine applique.  I hope this helps get you started.


  • template - the shape you want to applique.  It can be a printout from a pattern or a drawing or something you trace from a coloring book.  The possibilities are endless!
  • fusible web - there are many common brands of fusible web.  Heat 'N' Bond Lite is typically what I use.  Steam-A-Seam, MistyFuse, and Pellon Wonder-Under are other brands I have tried.  Make sure to get sew-able fusible web.  There is a non-sewable version of fusible web and if you try to sew through it, it will gum up your needle with glue.  Trust me.
  • fabric - a piece slightly larger than your desired applique shape.  You will also need a background fabric to fuse your applique shape to.  This may be another rectangle for a quilt block, a t-shirt, a bag, a quilt top, etc.
  • interfacing or stablizer (optional) - if your background fabric is lightweight or thin, you may want to place interfacing underneath the background fabric to stiffen it.

applique 1

1.  Place the fusible web rectangle, bumpy side down, on top of pattern sheet and trace the applique shape.    
applique 2

2. Cut out the shape leaving a 1/4” margin around the shape. Place the fusible web with the traced shape bumpy side down on the wrong side of the fabric.  Press to fuse the fusible web to the applique fabric.  Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions prior to beginning for appropriate heat settings and length of time to press.  For Heat 'N' Bond Lite, I usually press for about 8-10 seconds on a low (medium-low) setting.
applique 3

3.  Cut out the shape carefully. 
applique 4

applique 5

4.   Peel the paper backing off of the shape.  Now your fabric shape will have the fusible web on the wrong side of the fabric.  It is ready to apply to your background.
applique 6

5.  Fuse the shape (wrong side down) to the right side of the background fabric, making sure to center the shape.  Use the same technique and settings as step 2. 

*Note*  If you want to use an interfacing to support the background, now is the time to apply it.  Either fuse the interfacing to the background or pin it in place on the wrong side of the background fabric.  Honestly, I usually skip this step.  Call me lazy - but I have found I don't need it when appliquing for a quilt.  The Heat 'N' Bond Lite product gives the applique shape some stiffness.  If I am working on a t-shirt though, the interfacing is very helpful.
applique 7

6.  Zigzag or blanket stitch around the shape to secure the appliqué.  Patience!!  Sewing a tight zigzag around a complex shape can take some time, but it is well worth the flair it adds to the piece.  Try experimenting with the tightness of your zig zag.  Most machines allows you to adjust how close the stitches are.  If you are appliquing on clothing, I would choose a tighter zig zag stitch because clothing will be washed repeatedly.  You may not need such a tight stitch for other applications, such as a quilt.
applique 8

Isn't she cute?
applique 9
Finished Applique Shape
And here it is in my quilt top!
elephant parade quilt 2

I hope this helps get you started with applique.  It can be so fun to personalize handmade gifts.

Snowman Quilt Finish: A long time UFO

This quilt is a looooong time coming.  In fact, I would never have finished it if my kids hadn't found it in the depths of my sewing space and gotten excited about it.  I'm thinking I started this in 2008.... a time that was B.M.F.s (Before Modern Fabrics) for me...

I used to send my quilts off to a long arm quilter through a relative.  I would blindly hand over my quilt tops and tell them "do whatever" because at that point, anything the LAQ could do was way better than me.
When this one came back to me, it had the words "I {heart} snow" written along the border.  That was definitely not something I would have chosen.  My lackluster response to the quilting meant this quilt, although finished except for the binding and adding a few decorative buttons, was banished to the UFO pile for many years.

I'm glad I've finished it now.  After all, I paid some good money to have it quilted and my boys, 5 and 2, get real enjoyment out of novelty stuff like this.  It's hanging up for it's first winter in our house.
Feels good to check off a UFO!

Baby Changing Mat Tutorial using the Accuquilt GO! Baby

I've made a little tutorial for a Baby Changing Pad using the Accuquilt GO! Baby Ric Rac die.  Hope you like it!

Accuquilt GO! Baby Tutorial – Baby Changing Pad using Ric Rac die
Here is a simple, yet sophisticated changing pad I made.  After all, moms want to look stylish even in the middle of messy diapers!  Remember you can always add cute embellishments, like monogramming or birthdates, on the solid to make this an extra special gift.


Yardage Requirements
Print for front
1 fat quarter (18” x 22”)
Print for backing
1 fat quarter (18” x 22”)
Coordinating solid (appliqué and binding)
1 fat quarter (18” x 22”)
Fusible web
6” x 18”
1 fat quarter (18” x 22”)
Coordinating Thread
1 spool
Elastic hair band
Cover Button Kit (1.5”)
Fabric scrap to cover button
3” diameter circle
GO! Baby dye
Ric Rac

Dimensions (w x L)
17” x 21”
18” x 22”
6” x 17”
Solid (binding)
2 ¼” x 18”
Fusible web
6” x 17”

1.    1. Place the 6” x 17” fusible web rectangle, bumpy side down, on top of the wrong side of the solid 6” x 17” fabric.  Fuse the fusible web to the fabric.  Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions prior to beginning for appropriate heat settings and length of time to press.

2.     2.  Leaving the paper on the fused fabrics, run the 6” x 17” piece through the ric rac dye.  The piece will fit perfectly on top of the die.  This will yield one wide ric rac strip and one thin ric rac strip.  Remove the paper backing from the strips.

1.     Fuse the ric rac strips (sticky or wrong side down) to the right side of the front fabric.  Place the wide ric rac strip approximately 3” up from the bottom edge of the front.  The thin ric rac strip is placed 2” above the wide strip.

2.     2. Zigzag or blanket stitch around the shapes to secure the appliqué. If you would like to add any embroidered embellishments to the front (such as a name, initials or date), do so now.

1.     Baste all 3 layers together.  First lay the backing wrong side up.  Next layer the batting.  Then place the quilt top in the center of the batting and backing.  The backing fabric and batting should be slightly larger than the quilt top.  I used pin basting, but for such small projects like this, spray basting may work as well.

2.     2.  Quilt as desired.  I used a simple all-over stipple in coordinating plum thread.
3. Trim the excess backing and batting from the quilt.

1.  1.    Use the 5 binding 2 ¼” strips to make continuous double-fold binding.  

2.   2.  I recommend using machine binding with mitered corners for this project to make it quick and easy.  Sew the binding to the back of the quilt first. 

3.     3. Turn the quilt over and sew the binding to the front.

1.   1.  Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the covered button kit to press the button layers together.  Push the elastic band through the loop in the back of the button.  Make a knot with the elastic band around the button loop to secure the band to the button.

There you have it…  Fold the mat in half and roll it up for travel.  Secure the roll by stretching the elastic button band around it.  All done!  Hope you like it!