What is it?
Appliqué is a needlework technique using different sizes and layers of fabric. Smaller pieces of fabric are cut out to create a shape and sewn onto a larger piece of material to create a design. This technique is used a lot in quilting and banner making and it can be done either by hand or with a sewing machine.
What do I need?
You will need embroidery thread, a needle, fabric scraps, fusible webbing and a pattern to work from. There are a whole range of patterns online, such as the lovely designs on Free Applique Patterns to give you some ideas of what you can make.
How do I make it?
There are lots of different methods of appliqué but the basic premise is as follows; when you have decided on your pattern, trace the design onto the fusible webbing and roughly cut around the shapes. Then iron the webbing onto the reverse side of your chosen fabric scrap and cut out the exact shapes. Peel off the backing from the webbing and lay out your shapes according to your pattern and then iron them in place. Finally sew around the edges to finish off your design.
Why do you like it?
You don’t have to be a sewing expert to create something truly unique, appliqué can be as simple or as complex as you like and you can create all sorts of things from cushions and wall hangings to customized clothes and gifts. On a more nostalgic note, I had a beautiful Christmas stocking when I was little which was made using the same method and I have been fascinated with appliqué ever since.
Do you have a preferred method, favourite book or tutorial? Let me know, I would love to hear from you!