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Fussy Cutting Applique Embroidery Designs

By Serena Nabeta | March 27, 2007

Click the photos for a larger image.

Applique embroidery designs are fun and easy to stitch, plus they can save time by replacing fabric with stitches. But can you position the fabric so the butterfly or flower on the applique fabric is in the center of the applique design? If you can fussy cut quilt blocks and pieces, can you fussy cut the fabric for applique designs? Most definitely!

With most applique embroidery designs, the applique part of the design has 3 outline stitches to it: a placement stitch, a tackdown stitch and an outline stitch. The applique fabric is placed on the fabric in the embroidery hoop, then the placement stitch (a straight stitch) is stitched on top of the applique fabric. The applique fabric is trimmed close to the stitching, a tackdown stitch (an open zigzag stitch) is stitched and then the final outline satin stitch encloses the raw fabric edges, completing the applique design. See Applique Embroidery Designs for detailed instructions.

It is hard to know where the placement stitch will be sewn when the fabric is just laid in the hoop. You need a placement line before the applique fabric is laid down to see where the design will be stitched. Stitch the placement stitch twice and you will have a placement line for perfect fabric placement and a placement line to trim away the extra applique fabric.

Prepare the applique fabric by fusing wonderunder to the wrong side, making sure there is enough fabric around the the fabric motif which will be centered in the applique heart.

Hoop the fabric or spray it on the stabilizer with 505 spray adhesive. Select the design and stitch the first stitch – the placement stitch. This will stitch an outline of the applique design on the fabric.

Lay the applique fabric on top of the outline, centering the motif in the center of the shape.

Restitch the placement stitch. To do this you will need to go back a color by touching the back arrow on your machine. You could also go back a stitch at a time until you reach the starting point of the first placement stitch.
After restitching the placement stitch, be sure the motif on the fabric is in the correct place with the placement stitch. If it is not centered or where you want it, just rip the placement stitches out, reposition the fabric and restitch the placement stitch.

Trim the excess fabric around the applique shape and continue with the tackdown and outline stitch as you normally would do. The motif is in the center of the applique, exactly where it should be! Perfect placement with no guessing or ripping (hopefully!) involved!

Download my FREE applique heart and try out this technique for yourself!

Topics: Applique, Embroidery Designs, Helpful Lessons | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Fussy Cutting Applique Embroidery Designs”

  1. applique designs Says:
    April 5th, 2010 at 2:19 am

    […] quilt books, applique quilting books, applique designs, applique techniques, how to applique, etc.Embroidery TreasuresIf you can fussy cut quilt blocks and pieces, can you fussy cut the fabric for applique designs? … […]

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