Learn How to Appliqué on a Baby Quilt

A trip to the grocery store today prompted this blog entry on tackling your next project to learn how to appliqué on a handmade baby quilt.

I was in the aisle looking for baking supplies when I noticed freezer paper.  I bought a roll and wrote myself a note to find the information for those who might be interested in learning appliqué but need some hints.

You might be a great patchwork quilter but the comfort level with the appliqué quilt can be a challenge.  Here are some successful techniques that not only ease the frustration but make you feel comfortable to make that first appliquéd baby quilt look great.

If you are using fusible web, and there is a problem with it not sticking to the fabric, stop and read or reread the manufacturer’s directions.  Follow these directions exactly.  In most cases, if you press the fusible web longer than is recommended the glue no longer sticks to your fabric because it loses it adhesive quality.

Don’t shy from those curved edges.  Buy and use freezer paper.  Iron it to your fabric.  Trim the seam allowance to 1/8 inch to reduce the bulk.  The wider those seams are, the harder it will be for the fabric to stick to the paper since too much fabric is harder to gather.

learn to sew tips, applique tips

Plan ahead with pattern pieces. If your baby quilt requires many pieces of the same shape to be appliquéd, first make a plastic template.  It is more accurate and easier to trace around and onto the freezer paper with a plastic template than using a printed paper pattern.

Using fusible web is great for appliquéing but it makes your baby quilt stiff. To help to reduce this problem, cut away the center portion and leave ¼ inch of the fusible web around the perimeter of your pattern.  This amount is just enough to secure the appliqué pattern onto your baby quilt and keeps them flexible for you to do the appliqué stitching.

Cutting the background fabric is essential so that you can remove the freezer paper from underneath your finished appliqué pattern. Leave ¼ for your seam allowance.  Another option which leaves the background in place and this way it will not fray, is to make a diagonal snip in the background fabric.  This small opening allows you to pull the freezer paper through.

Change needles often.  A sharp needle is important for learning how to appliqué on your baby quilt.

There are two ways to learn how to hand appliqué on baby quilts.  The top edge is referred to as the “mountain” because you are looking over the fold.  The second way is to stitch along the “valley” or the bottom edge where you can see the exact edge of the fold.  My suggestion is to try both methods and see which is more comfortable for you.

Unlike other types of baby quilting, appliqué projects are perfect for traveling.  Reseal able plastic bags are perfect for storage and carrying the appliqué supplies.  These keep your project organized and portable when you are ready to go.

Go buy that roll of freezer paper and start to learn how to appliqué on a baby quilt today.

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