Applique is a needlework technique in which one or more pieces of fabric are attached to a larger background fabric to create pictures or patterns. The fabric can be attached by hand, machine or fused. The word comes from the French meaning "applied or laid on another material."
Benefits of Applique
- One of the best benefits of Applique is Freedom! You can make anything by cutting the shape you want and sewing it down on another fabric.
- Curves, waves, circles, etc., can be hard to piece but may be appliqued more easily.
- Quilters use applique to achieve depth and texture.
- You can hide your stitches with thread that matches the applique or by using very fine threads.
- Contrasting thread allows the stitches to be featured as a design element.
Supplies and Tools for Applique
Depending on your chosen applique method, you may use templates, stabilizers, fusible adhesives, freezer paper, starch, glue, special needles, special stitches, light boxes, and helpful fabric turning tools. Try a variety of techniques to find your favorite. Basic hand applique can be accomplished with just a needle, thread, thimble, scissors and fabric!
What I Wish I Knew When I Started Applique
There are many methods, techniques, shortcuts, and design options with APPLIQUE. By preparing applique shapes in advance of the stitching, you can plan shape placement--edges that are under other pieces do not have to be stitched down as they will be hidden. This also speeds up the sewing process. Your shapes are ready to go when you are ready to stitch.