Fusible Applique is a method to adhere applique shapes to the quilt top using a glue-based product attached to the back of the fabric shape. The raw edges of the fabric shape can be kept unstitched or finished with decorative stitches using decorative thread. Fusible Applique can also allow for a finished or turned-edge applique where the fabric shape is prepared in advance with the raw edges turned under. Decorative or plain stitches are then used to sew the shape securely to the quilt top.
Benefits of Fusible Applique
- Speed is often the quilter's primary goal with Fusible Applique.
- The fusible product is pressed to the back side of fabric and the applique shapes are cut out.
- If raw edge applique is the method being used, the applique is then ready to be pressed in place on the quilt top.
- If the edges are to be turned under, there is more prep time needed, but once prepared the shapes are pressed to the top, ready for decorative stitching.
- Fusible Applique makes it possible to create any shape or lettering a quilter wants to use, quickly--if you can draw it, you can create the applique shape.
Supplies and Tools for Fusible Applique
- There are many brands of Fusible Applique products on the market today. Quilters Select Appli-Web, Wonder-Under, and Steam-A-Seam are just a few availble. Some can be run through a printer making it possible to create shapes quickly without having to draw them when using a pattern available for downloading to a computer.
- As with most products, it is very important to follow manufacturer's directions carefully for successful results. The heat of the iron is important with most fusible products--some require high heat, others require less heat. Press cloths are helpful when working with fusibles.
- If making lettering, it is important to remember that shapes are usually reversed when the fusible is adhered to the wrong side of the fabric. Plan carefully so letters are not backwards when turned to the right side.
- Decorative threads add a nice touch to Fusible Applique when the quilter wants the fabric shape to have a finished appearance. Many machines offer a wide variety of decorative stitches and there are many threads available, from cotton to rayon to silk, in bright, shiny or variegated types. The possibilities are endless.
What I Wish I Knew When I Started Fusible Applique
Be sure to use the right FUSIBLE APPLIQUE product for the fabrics. Heavy-duty fusible is not intended to be stitched through and will gum up your needle and be difficult to stitch through. Follow the manufacturer's directions--the amount of heat needed for each product is different--too much heat can even make the fusible ineffective.
Use a pressing sheet or cloth to protect your ironing surface and your iron.