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How to create an appliqué motif
How to create an appliqué motif

An appliqué is a fabric design attached to the surface of a base material. It can be created by cutting a motif from other textiles, a combination of prints to make an image, or using a ready-made patch stitched to a base fabric.

  1. First, apply fusible webbing to the reverse of your chosen appliqué fabric. Draw the shape/design on the paper backing, then cut it out carefully using embroidery scissors. Peel away the paper backing and fuse the appliqué to the base fabric.

  2. If creating letters or numbers, remember to draw them back to front on the paper backing so that when turned over and fused in place, they will be the right way round.

  3. Appliqués can quickly and easily be machine stitched in place with a very narrow zig zag or satin stitch or with a blanket stitch (if the appliqué fabric doesn’t fray easily). Test stitch a sample of fabric with the same number of layers and interfacing.
    Stitch so that the left swing of the needle is in the appliqué and the right swing is in the base fabric, effectively covering the edges of the motif.

  4. Sew slowly to control the direction and ensure smooth edges. When working around curves or corners, stop with the needle down in the right-hand position so it is in the main fabric for outward curves. Lift the presser foot to pivot the fabric slightly before continuing. For inside curves, stop with the needle in the appliqué, raise the presser foot, pivot and continue as before.

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