Why does some applique look so much better than others? These tips make a difference!
Sometimes the smallest effort pays big in your final project. Here are five tips for stitching top-notch applique.
1. Fuse Your Appliques
Fusible adhesives give fabric a little bit more body and no puckers when it is fused flat against your base fabric. Also, the applique fabric’s edges will not fray or pull away from edge stitching, preserving the life of the applique. Note: Fusibles are not needed for GlitterFlex but are great for traditional applique fabrics.
I prefer to use HeatnBond Lite on the back of my applique fabric. It fuses nicely and does not gum up your needle. Another option is Applique Fuse & Fix by OESD. A Teflon pressing sheet protects on your ironing surface and, ultimately, your project. Fusibles peel right off of the Teflon sheet for easy cleanup.
2. Fuse Big
To me, as I am sure it is for many of you, time is one of my most valuable assets. Rather than add fusible to a piece of applique fabric slightly larger than the shape I need, I like to cut fabric about 10 or 12 inches square and fuse the entire piece. Save leftovers for a future project.
If you don’t have enough fusible for the entire piece of fabric, butt two pieces of HeatnBond Lite next to each other. That works just fine.
3. Trim Close
The idea is to trim as close as possible to the tack-down stitches. You want to cut enough fabric away so that the satin stitches completely cover the edge of the fabric but not so close that you clip the tack-down threads holding the applique. The right scissors make a big difference.
4. Use the Right Scissors
This pair from Gingher is one of my favorites. They are small and strong with a slight curve and bigger finger openings.
Applique scissors are a wonderful tool. Also known as duck-billed scissors, one side is fat and the other side is straight. Trim on a flat surface with the bill portion of the duck-billed scissors over the applique portion of the fabric. The scissors should glide flush to the fabric when cutting. I have heard that these are available for those who are left-handed, too.
5. The Finishing Touch
When machine embroidery is done, be sure to press your design from the back. If the applique is on a garment, adding a layer of Fuse So Soft over the back of the embroidery area cuts down immensely on skin irritation. I always back items for babies in this manner to protect their sensitive skin.
Have a day blessed with perfect stitches and GlitterFlex!!