There are many different methods for appliqueing a quilt, but the hand-sewing method is often considered to be the most difficult. In this tutorial, we will discuss the steps involved in hand applique, from choosing fabrics to securing the stitches. We will also provide some tips and tricks for getting started. So grab your fabric and let’s get started!
What Is Applique?
Applique is a technique in which one or more pieces of fabric are sewn to a background fabric. This can be done by hand or machine, and is often used to add detail or texture to a quilt. Applique can be used for decorative purposes, or it can be functional, as in the case of mending a hole in a quilt.
There are two main types of applique: raw-edge and turned-edge. Raw-edge applique is the most common type, and it is typically used for decorative purposes. In raw-edge applique, the edges of the fabric are not finished, and they will fray when exposed to air.
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Turned-edge applique is less common, but it can be used for both decorative and functional purposes. In turned-edge applique, the edges of the fabric are finished (usually by serging or binding) before they are sewn to the background fabric. This prevents the fabric from fraying.
Can A Sewing Machine Be Used to Applique a Quilt?
Applique can be done by machine, but many quilters prefer the look of hand-applique. It is a slower process, but it can be very relaxing and satisfying.
The key to successful hand-applique is to use a small, sharp needle and thread that blends well with the fabric you are using. You will also need a thimble to protect your finger from the needle.
How to Applique A Quilt
In the sections below, we will discuss the steps involved in hand applique.
Choosing Fabric for Applique
One of the most important aspects of applique is choosing the right fabric. The fabric you choose should be contrasting in color or value to the background fabric. This will help the applique stand out and give it a more finished look.
When choosing fabric for applique, you should also consider the weight of the fabric. Applique fabrics can be either light or heavy, but they should not be too thick or bulky. Heavy applique fabrics can be difficult to work with and may not lay flat on the background fabric.
Preparing the Fabric for Applique
Once you have chosen the fabric for your applique, it is time to prepare it for sewing. If you are using a raw-edge applique, you will need to trim the fabric so that it is about 1/4” smaller than the shape you are appliqueing. This will help prevent the fabric from fraying.
If you are using a turned-edge applique, you will need to finish the edges of the fabric before sewing it to the background. You can do this by serging the edges or binding them with bias tape.
Sewing the Applique to the Background
Now that you have chosen and prepared your fabric, it is time to sew it to the background. If you are using a raw-edge applique, you will need to use a blind stitch or other hand stitch to attach the fabric to the background. Be sure to use a needle that is appropriate for the type of fabric you are using.
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If you are using a turned-edge applique, you can sew it to the background with a straight stitch or other machine stitch. Be sure to use a thread that is contrasting in color to the applique fabric. This will help the stitches blend in and give the applique a more finished look.
Securing the Stitches
Once you have sewn the applique to the background, it is important to secure the stitches. This will prevent the applique from coming off of the background fabric.
If you are using a raw-edge applique, you can secure the stitches by knotting them or using a fabric glue. If you are using a turned-edge applique, you can use bias tape or thread to secure the stitches.
Finishing the Applique
Once you have secured the stitches, you can trim the excess fabric from the applique. If you are using a raw-edge applique, you will need to be careful not to trim the stitches.
If you are using a turned-edge applique, you can trim the excess fabric close to the stitches. You can also press the applique to give it a more finished look.
Now that you know how to applique, you can use this technique to add detail and texture to your quilts. Experiment with different fabrics and stitches to create unique applique designs.