Beginning Machine Appliqué

Beginning Machine Appliqué

Let’s talk about appliqué. If you’ve always wanted to try it out, but imagined it might be intimidating, we’ve got the tools, techniques, and tips to change your mind. Appliqué is a lot easier than it looks – and it looks pretty spectacular personalizing and decorating your quilt!

Beginning Machine Applique

Our newest class at Missouri Star is Beginning Machine Appliqué with Courtenay Hughes. In this online class, you’ll learn approachable machine appliqué tips that will build your confidence. You’ll learn:

  • Fusible appliqué techniques with two different fusible webs
  • How to layer multiple fabrics and shades to create your appliqué shape
  • Three beginner-friendly stitches that look great with matching or contrasting thread
  • How to conquer curves and perfect your points as you work with tricky shapes
  • And more expert machine appliqué tips!
Beginning Machine Applique

We talked to Courtenay about machine appliqué designs and tips…

Q: Courtenay, how long have you been sewing machine appliqué? 
A: I have been quilting for over 25 years. I’ve had about 20 odd years of practice at machine appliqué. And I am really looking forward to sharing some of that with you

Q: What’s your favorite part of teaching appliqué for beginners?
A: My favorite part of teaching is when students who aren’t sure they can complete their projects get to the point where they realize that, yes, they can make them—and they will be beautiful! Whether that’s how to machine appliqué small pieces, how to hand appliqué in the car on road trips, or how to let loose and try something completely new, like a free-motion zig-zag “heartbeat” stitch that looks complicated but is actually very freeing, I love seeing students succeed!

Beginning Machine Applique

Q: What shapes can you make with machine appliqué?
A: Anything you can imagine – and any pattern in your library, really. I like to show you tips for leaves, stems, circles, stars, hearts, petals, and working in layers. While a lot of my patterns are flowers or animals – ask me about placing bunny ears – the sky is the limit. You can decorate any quilt with appliqué, in blocks, borders, even your quilt label.

Q: What are some tools you recommend for appliqué?
A: This depends a little bit on which method you’re using, but some of the applique essentials are:

For Machine Appliqué:

  • Fusible Web  – Use this to temporarily glue fabric pieces in place while machine stitching.
  • Appliqué Pressing SheetPlace over the project diagram to use as a guide while layering fabric shapes.
  • Marking PenUse a fine sharpie or marking pen to trace designs onto projects.
  • Scissors A good pair of scissors come in handy for cutting fusible and fabric pieces.
  • Machine Needles – A sharp needle that is great for stitching through layers of applique pieces. 
  • 50wt Thread – A strong thread that blends with fabric shapes. Or black thread for a “folk art” look. 
  • Self-Threading Needles An easy way to bury threads after stitching pieces to background.
  • Iron and Iron Cleaner – An iron for fusing paper shapes to fabric, and iron cleaner.
  • Embroidery Hoop – (optional) These come in handy when stitching pieces in place on background, especially when using the free-motion zig-zag “heartbeat” stitch.

For Hand Appliqué:

  • Appli-Glue or Lapel StickUse this to hold fabric pieces in place while hand stitching.
  • Freezer Paper Draw a design on the dull side, cut it out and lay the shiny side down on the project to use as a guide.
  • Bias Tape MakerUse this to make stems and more, especially when doing floral applique!
  • Marking PenUse this a pen to trace designs onto projects.
  • Precision Appliqué ScissorsA smaller pair of scissors come in handy for cutting smaller pieces.
  • Hand Needles A smaller point for hand stitching, but also a bit enough needle to prevent hand cramping.
  • Mini Iron – A tiny iron will give more control over tiny fabric pieces.
  • Appliqué PinsThese come in handy when fitting several pieces into place.
  • Fusible Web (optional) – Melts to adhere the fabric pieces together.
Applique Tools

We think it’s time to give appliqué a try!

We have two classes for beginners at Missouri Star Quilt Company. You’ll learn multiple methods, troubleshooting tricks, how to machine appliqué a quilt or how to hand appliqué a quilt. Each class also comes with a FREE quilt pattern so you can show off your newly mastered skills! Try appliqué today!

Let us know if you enjoyed the class by posting a picture of your next appliqué project here ⬇️

A Guide to Appliqué

A Guide to Appliqué

In the intricate world of quilting, there are so many different ways we can make a sewing project unique! Appliqué is a fun (and super easy!) way to decorate a quilt with personalized designs and patterns.

  • Appli-Glue or Lapel StickUse this to hold fabric pieces in place while hand stitching.
  • Freezer PaperDraw a design on the dull side, cut it out and lay the shiny side down on the project to use as a guide.
  • Bias Tape MakerUse this to make stems and more, especially when doing floral applique!
  • Marking PenUse this a pen to trace designs onto projects.
  • Precision Applique ScissorsA smaller pair of scissors come in handy for cutting smaller pieces.
  • Hand Needles A smaller point for hand stitching, but also a bit enough needle to prevent hand cramping.
  • Mini Iron – A tiny iron will give more control over tiny fabric pieces.
  • Applique PinsThese come in handy when fitting several pieces into place.
  • Fusible Web (optional) – Melts to adhere the fabric pieces together.
  • Applique shapes (optional) – Precut shapes come in handy for quick and easy projects

 Learn the basics of appliqué with Jenny and Jan Patek in this four-part tutorial series. They teach the essentials needed for hand appliqué along with tips and tricks for applying leaves, stems, circles, stars and more onto your sewing project.

Beginning Hand Applique Online Class

For a more in-depth look into hand appliqué, join our newest online class! Beginning Hand Appliqué is an online class taught by our very own Courtenay Hughes. Courtenay teaches two different hand appliqué methods, troubleshooting techniques for tricky shapes, how to make reusable templates, and clean appliqué hand stitching!

Discover new ideas within our appliqué tutorials. The Finish Line Quilt can be found in our latest issue of BLOCK Magazine. The appliqué project uses two of our favorites; the orange peel template and 2.5″ strips!

The Itty Bitty Club Pattern pack is a great way to add some fun springtime decor to your home. Stock up on warm, fuzzy wool though because this pack comes with five different appliqué project patterns!

For antique blocks (or any finished blocks that haven’t found a home yet), watch Jenny’s “What to do with vintage blocks” tutorial to make a pretty, antique looking appliqué quilt!