The Beauty of Applique Quilting

What is applique quilting? It is a French word that basically refers to cutting out a fabric design and attaching it to the surface of another piece of fabric which serves as the background fabric to form pictures or patterns.

What is required in addition to fabric?

The design must be traced onto a template of some sort and cut out. The template can consist of cardboard, plastic template paper or freezer paper. The design is traced onto the template using a type of marker that washes away and does not stay on the fabric.

There are special scissors that have one side that is curved into somewhat of a half-moon shape thus preventing damage to the delicate design during the close trimming around seam allowances. Other types of scissors are used to actually cut out the design and to cut out the template.

Other types of supplies include a glue stick for glueing the design to the quilt prior to stitching. Threads can be decorative, matching in color or even invisible depending upon the effect that is desired.

The technique for stitching the design onto the background fabric can be either by hand or by sewing machine. Needles for either hand or machine stitching should be chosen so as not to damage the fabric during stitching of the design. The best stitch for sewing is the zigzag stitch.

You can find instructions for doing machine appliqué here. There are some excellent books on the market for learning the techniques. Some of the possibilities from are:

• Applique The Basics and Beyond by Janet Pittman

There are also some good DVDs available from as well.

For tips there are some websites with good information on applique quilting such as on their how to applique pages. There are also some good articles on the site.

Applique quilting is such a fun form of quilting and the number of themes or designs are as broad as one’s imagination, that this form of quilting is steadily increasing in popularity, thus giving the quilting arts even more of a boost among the sewing arts.

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