Machine Embroidery Tips for Perfect Applique


Sew Crafty Ladies!

The Sew Crafty Houston Ladies! Photo By: Laura Burlton

Ok!  I know I posted this picture just a few weeks ago, but I have a good reason!

#1 I’m really missing my time with these gals.

#2 Don’t we look great?

#3 I promised to talk about how I made this applique banner in a future post.

Remember?  Well,  we are presently in the FUTURE!

So, here is a “General” Tutorial for how I did this and also some great tips for making machine embroidered appliques!

Machine Embroidered Banners 101

  • Decide how wide your finished banner will be.
  • Decide how large your letters will need to be.
  • Select the appropriate font and size from your favorite embroidery designs collection.  (I purchased an applique font online and chose the 5×7 hoop sized letters for this project)
  • Using your embroidery software, print out a template of each letter in your banner.
  • Using see through tracing paper, make a triangle template that nicely frames your letters.  Mark center on this template.
  • Using Embroidery Machine:  Hoop a 10″x10″ or larger piece of background fabric and applique a letter to it.    (see applique tips) Make sure you place the letter carefully so that you’ll have enough room to cut out your triangle!
  • Un-hoop the fabric.  Press if desired.  Lay your triangle template on top of your fabric, centering the appliqued letter within the triangle.  Pin the template to the fabric and cut out the triangle using pinking shears.  (If you don’t have pinking shears, you could just use regular scissors and hem your triangle to prevent unraveling.)
  • Repeat for all the letters in your banner.
  • Sew your appliqued triangles to a ribbon (I used 1″ wide grossgrain) and make sure you leave long tails at each end so you can hang your banner.
  • Enjoy!

A blurry closeup of one of my letters!

Machine Embroidery Applique Tips:

Recommended Stabilizers:  Floriani Appli-Kay Wonder or SewVac Outlet’s Fuse ‘n Stick

These stabilizers are fusible on one side and sticky on the other.  This allows you to hold applique pieces in place while you stitch.  I love it because it prevents shifting and bubbling in my applique and my needle doesn’t get gummy!  An alternative to the stabilizers would be a temporary spray adhesive that you use to spritz the back of your applique before you place it on the fabric.  This works, but I find that the stabilizer gives me more consistent results.

Seven Steps to Perfect Appliques:

Step One:  Hoop the fabric that you will use for your applique letter.  You don’t need a stabilizer beneath it – unless you’re using stretchy fabric.

Step Two:  Stitch the outline of the design.  Un-hoop the fabric and press if needed.

Step Three:  Lay your fabric with the design outline wrong side up so that you are looking at the back of your design.  Lay a piece of the Fuse n’ Stick or Appli-Kay Wonder on the fabric with the fusible side touching the back of your design.  (The fusible side is the shiny side.)

Step Four:  Fuse the stabilizer piece to the wrong side of the decorative fabric using a medium to high temperature setting on your iron.  (No Steam).  Start at a med. temperature and slowly increase until you get a good fuse.  Hold the iron in place for at least 3 seconds and then flip the piece over and press again on the fabric side.

Step Five:  Once cooled, cut out the appliqué design using the trace lines/ stitched lines.

Step Six:  Peel back the protective sheet to expose the sticky surface. **It is very important to let the applique cool before removing the paper.

Step Seven:  Hoop your backround fabric (use a cutaway or tearaway stabilizer behind it!)  and stitch the design outline one more time.  Now, position the sticky appliqué piece over the design outline and finger press in to place. *Press on the appliqué side and the fabric side for maximum bonding. Finish by stitching out the rest of your embroidery design, changing thread colors as needed.

Gift Give-Away Contest Update:

We only need 2 more winners!!!  Click the link to enter to win and find out what you get!  Contest Link

Let’s Get Sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

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