What are Different Methods of Applique?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 March 2020
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Applique is a wonderful way to add color and texture to many of your favorite craft projects. Rather than one way to create beautiful projects using applique, there are actually several methods that are used frequently. Here are a few examples of applique methods that are suitable for someone who is just beginning to get into the use of applique in craft projects.

The baste method is a form of applique that works very well with quilting and similar projects. The process begins with tracing the outline of the piece directly on the fabric, then cutting out the design. The trick is to leave a quarter of an inch of extra fabric all the way around the outline. This will provide the extra room to fill the pocket of the applique. When basting down the cutout onto the foundational fabric, it is necessary to create smooth curves in order to achieve a smooth and finished appearance. This is managed by folding down the point and then folding the two sides of the point while basting. A stitch right on the outside point holds the material in a perfect position, making it possible to fill the applique and then complete the stitching.


Another approach is the freezer paper approach to applique. In this scenario, the patterns for the appliques are cut out of freezer paper. Make the pattern a little larger than is required for the finished applique. Lay the freezer paper pattern onto the fabric that will be used to the applique, taking care to iron it with the shiny side of the paper facing the fabric. Cut out the fabric according to the pattern, then gently peel off the freezer paper. Next, lay the freezer paper pattern on the foundational material and use it as a guide to secure the applique into place. The paper pattern can be removed just before the final stitches are made to complete the attachment of the applique.

Reverse applique is a fund method that is often used by persons new to the art form. This involves applying the applique form to the foundational fabric and then working on the inside of the form rather than on the exterior. This is achieved by cutting open a section of the foundational material to allow access to the underside of the applique. In many ways, it is like sewing a pillow cover. Because the stitching is non the inside, a novice can worry less about the look of the stitches and still create an applique that is visually pleasing and a lot of fun.


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