Reva's Tips

Reva's Tip: What is Appliqué?

Reva's Tip: What is Appliqué?

Appliqué is a technique where a fabric is cut into a specific shape and then stitched on top of a larger piece of fabric. This is a great way to get specific shapes and add color to your project. Now bring in an embroidery machine! The addition of machine embroidery will give you perfectly shaped objects which are surrounded by beautiful stitches.

Let's break down the steps of a typical machine-embroidered appliqué. There are five basic steps. Below you will find an explanation of each of these steps and the tasks we must do between the machine's functions.

1. Placement Stitches: This is the first stitch in the appliqueé design that is stitched. It will show you what area needs to be covered with the appliqueé fabric. Thread color is not very important for this step.

2. Place your fabric over the placement stitches and tape into place with Embroidery Perfection Tape or Kimberbell Paper Tape. Make sure your piece is large enough to easily handle it to trim.

3. Tack Down Stitches: This set of stitches will secure your appliqueé fabric into place. Thread color is also not very important here either.

4. Trim around the outer edge of the appliqueé shape, cutting close (but not too close) to the stitches. The goal is to trim close enough so that the cut edge of the fabric does not extend past the decorative stitches in the next step. Using a good pair of appliqué scissors will help you to trim well. I like the Quilters Select Wave Appliqué Scissors and the Kai 5½" Curved Scissors.

5. Cover Stitches: These are the decorative stitches that are used to cover the cut edge of the appliqué fabric and to give your design a beautiful appearance. This is the step that you want to make sure that you are using the thread color that looks good with your design.

You might have appliqué designs built into your machine or you may find that you have purchased one or two from companies like OESD, Kimberbell or Anita Goodesign. Find a design you like and give machine embroidered appliqué a try. It is a very fun process and the results are wonderful!

We would love to see what you make. Post a picture of your project on Social Media and tag us with @QualitySewing or #QualitySewing.

Happy Sewing,


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