How To Prepare Fusible Applique

Layout 1 These techniques and photos were first published in Colorful Quilts for Playful Kids by Janet Pittman.

FEAT_PrepApp Paper-backed fusible web can be used for any machine appliqué. It is especially useful for shapes with intricate edges that would be difficult to turn under.

BLOG_PrepApp1 1. Place lightweight paper-backed fusible web with paper side up on the appliqué pattern. Using an ultra-fine tip permanent marker or pencil, trace each pattern piece onto the paper side of the fusible web. Mark the pattern name near an edge of the pattern.


BLOG_PrepApp2 2. Trace appliqué pieces that will be cut from the same fabric about 1⁄8″ apart.


BLOG_PrepApp3 3. If desired, remove the fusible web from the center of the larger pattern pieces. Cut through an outer edge into the center of the pattern. Cut out the center leaving a scant 1⁄4″ inside the traced line. This makes the appliqué center softer to the touch and in appearance. This technique is frequently called “windowing”.


BLOG_PrepApp4 4. Cut away excess fusible web about 1⁄8″ from the traced lines. Fuse patterns to wrong side of fabric, following manufacturer’s directions. Each brand of fusible web comes with instructions detailing pressing times and iron temperatures.


BLOG_PrepApp5 5. Cut out fused appliqué pieces on the traced line. Do not remove paper backing until just before arranging the pieces for pressing to background. This preserves the pattern name. If you are working with hand-dyed or batik fabrics where it is hard to tell right from wrong side of fabric, this will also help tell which side has the glue. It also prevents a gummed up iron surface.


Tips for Successful Fusible Appliqué

BLOG_PrepApp-Tip1 Fussy Cutting
If you want a specific printed motif on an appliqué piece, trace the pattern piece separately and window. Windowing allows you to see the area desired in the appliqué piece. Turn fabric over and fuse the pattern to the wrong side in the chosen position.


BLOG_PrepApp-Tip2 Protect Your Iron and Ironing Board
To prevent fusible web from gumming up the surface of your iron, cover the appliqué patterns with a non-stick pressing sheet or parchment paper. Do this as you are pressing fusible web to wrong side of appliqué fabric and as you are arranging the layout.


BLOG_PrepApp-Tip3 Removing Paper Backing
If you do not window the fusible web, it may be difficult to find an edge of the paper to pull away. Drag a pin across the center of the fused pattern to cut the paper but not the fabric. This provides an edge of paper to pull to remove it.


To Prevent Creases
Press all fabric to remove wrinkles and creases before preparing appliqué pieces. Any creases will be almost impossible to remove after fusing.

BLOG_PrepApp-Lining1 Lining Light Colors
When light colored appliqué pieces overlap darker colors, the darker color often shadows through. To prevent this, line the appliqué pieces with the same color or white fabric. Notice how the area of overlap of the pink fabric and white fabric does not have a ghost of the stripe fabric showing through.


BLOG_PrepApp-Lining2 BLOG_PrepApp-Lining3 For paper-backed fusible web, make duplicate tracings. Fuse the pattern pieces in the same position on the same size pieces of appliqué and lining fabric. Remove paper from the appliqué and fuse it to the lining fabric, lining up the patterns and the fabric edges. Cut out using the traced line on the fusible web.


These techniques and photos were first published in Colorful Quilts for Playful Kids by Janet Pittman.



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