top of page

Our top tips for raw edge, fusible machine applique.

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

In part 4 ouf our Island Home Mystery sewalong we focus on fusible machine applique.

The tutorials are FREE for everyone to enjoy on YouTube, click on the link at the bottom of the page to watch.

The 14 page course notes have all the detailed instructions with step by step photos and full size applique shapes.

How to get the course notes if you would like to make the quilt: Pay as you go

The course notes are available to purchase on our website here

Island Home Facebook Members:

Head to the private Facebook group, click on GUIDES to download the course notes.

Please note: Facebook members do not have access to the Island Home members section on our website because we are phasing it out).

Early Bird Members:

Click here. (You must be logged in to our website to access the course notes)

If you are in the Island Home Facebook group, you can also download the course notes there.

Appliqué has a rich history; it dates back as far as the early Egyptians. To put it simply, appliqué is the process of making patterns or pictures with fabric. Fabric is layered on top of a base fabric to create a design. The layered fabric is held in place with hand or machine stitching. There are many ways to appliqué, ranging from the more traditional to modern methods.

Fusible applique is made possible with a clever product called fusible web. Fusible web is used to bond 2 fabrics together. Fusible web has paper on 1 side with the web of glue on the other side. Some people have expressed concern with fusible web applique shapes fraying after they have been washed, so this week we put 5 of the top brands to the test.

We made a sample block of 5 heart shapes, each heart was fused onto the background fabric with a different brand, the brands that we used are:

Vliesofix, HeatnBond Lite, HeatnBond Featherlite, Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 and Tildafix.

2 hearts were blanket stitched, 2 were zig zagged and 1 was stitched with a triple straight stitch close to the edge.

We layered the heart block together with batting and backing and stitched around the edge to make a mini quilt.

The mini quilt was washed in cold water on a regular cycle in the washing machine.

Living in Australia, I would not normally put a quilt in a tumble dryer, I would hang it on the line on a sunny and windy day but as this is not always possible for everyone, we tumble dried our sample on low heat for 25 minutes.

And this is the result.

The applique pieces remained a tiny bit stiffer than the background fabric which is to be expected because the glue is permanent and does not wash out.

There was no fraying on the zig zagged and blanket-stitched hearts because the permanent glue bonds with the outside edge fibres which prevents them from separating.

There was a tiny amount of fraying around the edge of the triple straight stitched heart.

In conclusion, we were happy with the end result and will definitely continue our love of fusible applique!

In the Island Home part 4 video tutorial, we focus on fusible raw edge, machine appliqué whilst giving lots of hints and tips! For easy reference, here are our top tips:

1. Make sure that the fusible web that you purchase is for sewing. Never use heavy or ultra-hold fusible web, as they are not designed to be sewn through and could leave glue all through your machine.

2. Read the instructions for the brand of fusible web that you are using. Different brands have different heat setting for the iron.

3. Use appliqué fabrics that have a high thread count such as quilting cotton or batik as there will be less chance of fraying.

4. When ironing fusible web, protect your iron from stray glue with an appliqué mat or parchment paper.

5. An open toe foot makes it easy to see the edge of the appliqué shape when sewing, it also has a groove on the underneath so that it can easy glide over the raised appliqué stitches to prevent bunching up. If you don’t have one with your machine, it’s worth the investment.

6. Use the correct needle. A size 75 machine embroidery needle is a fine needle with a sharp point, so it won’t leave large holes, especially with the dense stitching around the appliqué shapes. It also has a larger eye to enable the embroidery thread to glide through and prevent breakages.

7. Use good quality machine embroidery threads. For blanket stitch, use a darker colour to stand out. For zig zag, use threads that blend with your appliqué fabric because it will look neater.

8. Is your embroidery thread polyester? If so, don’t iron your completed appliqué as the stitches may melt. Test with a sample first.

9. I like to use bobbinfil in my bobbin, it’s a fine thread and it saves your embroidery thread for the front of your work, however, if you are having persistent tension problems, try using the embroidery thread in the bobbin too.

If your bobbin thread is coming to the top, reduce the top tension to a lower number.

10. Stiffen your background fabric with spray starch before applying the appliqué shapes.

(Test first to make sure that the spray starch and fusible web that you are using will work together)

11. I prefer not to use tear away stabiliser under my background fabric because removing it when your stitching is complete is time consuming but if your appliqué is puckering as you sew and you have tried reducing your top tension then you may need to use a tearaway stabiliser.

12. Don’t push or pull on your work while you are sewing as this may distort the stitching. Let the machine feed your work through at its own pace and enjoy the process.

13. Having difficulty removing the paper backing from your applique shape? Carefully score the backing paper with a pin and peel away from where the paper has been cut.

Click on the link below to watch the video tutorial.

Shop our applique patterns here.

Comment below if you have any applique tips that you would like to share.

Happy sewing!

Monica and Alaura

Recent Posts

See All

1 comentário

07 de mai. de 2022

I have to say, both of these applique blocks have a wonderful style to them. They are coming out gorgeous in every fabric combination you can imagine. Some remind me of an elevated antique wallpaper or tapestry design others have a more folk art print feel but somehow they are universally lovely. I can't wait to see what the next designs will be!. Thank you!

bottom of page