Essential Applique Tips & Techniques

The following appliqué tips and techniques I have learnt over time from either experience or other people. Each one below has made quite a difference to the end product - even those clip-on eye glasses at the bottom! This list is by no means exhaustive and is my personal view when doing appliqué.

1: Stabilize your background fabric

2: Cut background fabric larger than required (1" all sides) as the appliqué draws it in

4: Use the best quality fabric you can afford

5: Use an open-toed foot - this gives you very good visibility of your stitching

6: Use a slow machine speed when sewing

7: Having a sewing machine which ends with the needle always in the down position is important for turning

8: Use a finer machine needle - I like size 11

9: Use a finer thread on the bobbin

10: Practice your preferred stitch on calico or similar first

11: Dry iron only. Some of the iron-on stabilizers work best with a steam iron. Just remember that if you don't pre-wash your fabrics you run the risk of shrinking them with your steam iron. I've done this recently and was surprised! This is only a problem if you are making a group quilt.

12: NOW Foods Organic Eucalyptus Oil, 1 ounce for cleaning your needle

13: Do not use a nylon thread - it cuts the fabric

14: How to wash your finished appliqué block

15: Carson Optical Clip-and-Flip 2x Power Magnifying Lens +4.00 Diopters - for those of us needing a little extra help seeing exactly where the needle is going

I hope the above applique tips help you as much as they have helped me while adding appliques to my quilts!

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