Piecing & Applique


No turn-under allowances are given on applique patterns.

Using a light table if needed, position background fabric over the applique placement diagram. Lightly mark the major shapes with pencil or chalk. Optionally, finger crease the fabric in half lengthwise, crosswise and diagonally to form guidelines for placement of the patches.

Turned-Edge Applique

It is helpful to have as many bias edges as possible on the perimeter of your applique patches. Trace and cut on the seam line of the pattern to make a template. Place the template face up on the right side of the fabric (face down on the right side for a reverse patch) and lightly draw around it. Cut out each patch about 3⁄16" outside the marked line.

On inward curves, clip the 3⁄16" allowances almost to the marked seam line. Turn under the allowance and finger press.


Pin or baste applique patches on the background fabric. To applique by hand, use a blind stitch and a thread color that matches the patch. To applique by machine, use a small zigzag or blind hem stitch and monofilament thread.


If the background fabric shows through the appliqued patch, carefully cut away the background fabric to within 3⁄16" of the applique patch or use 2 layers of applique fabric.

Fusible Applique

Raw-edge applique using paper-backed fusible web is a fast and easy way to applique. Because fused patches are drawn on the paper side of the web and then flipped when ironed on the fabric, you may need to reverse the applique patterns (see specific pattern for instructions and whether reversing the presented patterns is necessary). Add 3⁄16" underlap allowance to those edges that lie under another.

Trace the pattern pieces, also drawing the needed underlap allowances, on the paper side of a fusible web leaving at least 1⁄2" between all the pieces. Cut about 3⁄16" outside each drawn line.

To eliminate stiffness, try this variation for patches larger than 1": Cut out the center of the fusible web 1⁄4" inside the drawn line, making a ring of fusible web.

Following the manufacturer’s directions, iron the web, paper side up, to the wrong side of the fabric. Cut out the shape exactly on the drawn line. Carefully pull away the paper backing. Fuse the patches to the background where marked.

To finish the raw edges, machine satin stitch with a colored thread, or zigzag or blind hem stitch using invisible thread.

Bias Strips

Bias strips are cut at a 45º angle to the grain of the fabric. They are stretchy and therefore ideal for creating curved applique stems.

Make your first cut by aligning a 45º guideline on your acrylic ruler with the cut edge or selvage of your fabric. Use this new bias edge to cut strips the required width.

Prepare bias strips for applique by folding in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Stitch 1⁄4" from the fold. Offset the seam allowance; press toward the center. Trim the seam allowance to 1⁄8".



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