Hand Applique

Applique is the process of applying one piece of fabric on top of another for decorative or functional purposes.

Traditional hand Applique uses a template made from the desired finished shape without a seam allowance added.

After fabric is prepared, trace the desired shape onto the right side of the fabric with a water-erasable marker, light lead or chalk pencil. Leave at least 1/2" between design motifs when tracing to allow for the seam allowance when cutting out the shapes.

When the desired number of shapes needed has been drawn on the fabric pieces, cut out shapes leaving 1/8" - 1/4" all around drawn line for turning under.

Turn the shape's edges over on the drawn or stitched line. When turning the edges under, make sharp corners sharp and smooth edges smooth. The fabric patch should retain the shape of the template used to cut it.

When turning in concave curves, clip to seams and baste the seam allowance over as shown below.

Hand Applique

During the actual Applique process, you may be layering one shape on top of another. Where two fabrics overlap, the underneath piece does not have to be turned under or stitched down.

If possible, trim away the underneath fabric when the block is finished by carefully cutting away the background from underneath and then cutting away unnecessary layers to reduce bulk and avoid shadows from darker fabrics showing through on light fabrics.

For hand-Applique, position the fabric shapes on the background block and pin or baste them in place. Using a blind stitch or Applique stitch, sew pieces in place with matching thread and small stitches. Start with background pieces first and work up to foreground pieces. Applique the pieces in place on the background in numerical order, if given, layering as necessary.

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