Earlier this week I showed you how to make a burp cloth and bib. Today, I will show you how to applique. Of course, my favorite thing to applique is a monogram! However, you can make anything into an applique pattern – items in children’s coloring books, cookie cutters and fonts from your computer. I recently got a Silhouette Cameo, so the process of finding an image and cutting it out hopefully will get easier soon, but here I will cover the way I have always appliqued – with a copier and a regular sewing machine (no fancy embroidery machine required – although I do want one of those :)). Once you find your pattern (in this example I am using a font), you will need to print it out and then use the copier feature in your printer to adjust it to the size you need, and then cut out the pattern.
Choose the material you want to use for your applique, and iron on a piece of Heat n Bond Lite that is large enough to fit the pattern to the wrong side of the material. You can buy the Heat n Bond in pre-packaged rolls in the Wal-Mart sewing section, and some Hobby Lobby’s sell it by the yard.
Then trace the pattern face down and cut it out. Remove the backing of the Heat n Bond and iron it on the piece you are working on. (I failed to get a picture of this.) Under the area of the applique on the piece, pin a piece of stabilizer (there is a tear-away kind and a kind that does not tear-away. I prefer the tear-away kind. This too is sold by the yard at Hobby Lobby).
Then using a tight zigzag stitch, you will start to go around your applique.
Use an applique foot. This is not a requirement; it just makes it easier as you have full view of where you are on your pattern so you know when you need to turn the material. (An applique foot does not have the bar across the foot in front of the needle. It also has a notched out area on the bottom that allows for bigger stitching to easily glide under the foot.)
Begin your stitching with the needle to the right of the design:
Stitch slowly and try to move around turns as much as possible without picking up the presser foot. When you do need to pick up the presser foot to make a turn, make several small movements. (Pick up the foot, turn the material just slightly, put the foot down make a stitch across and back, and then pick up the foot again, turn the material just slightly, put the foot down and make a stitch across and back, etc.) Making very small movements will keep the stitching tight and avoid skipping areas.
For an outside turn, have the needle to the right of the applique when you pick up the presser foot:
And for an inside turn, have the needle to the left of the applique when you pick up the presser foot:
When you are finished (for a pattern that you will meet back at the beginning, sew over the first few rows of your beginning stitching), pull the top thread thru to the back and knot all 4 threads together (be careful that your bobbin thread does not pull to the front when you pull the knot).
If you are using the tear-away stabilizer, tear it away.