How to Applique by Machine

Take your project to the Next Level

Applique can open so many avenues for your project from making a personal monogram to creating one of a kind likenesses of coloring patterns of a horse to adding decorative shapes and much more.  

Applique is Ornamentation, such as a cutout design, that is sewn onto or otherwise applied to a piece of material.  Applique can be done by hand or by machine.  I am addressing machine applique here.  


What you will need:

  1. Base Fabric (the fabric you will be sewing the shape onto)
  2. Decorative Fabric (the fabric you will be using to make your shapes)
  3. Iron-on Adhesive, Spray Adhesive or Straight Pins
  4. Stabilizer/Interfacing
  5. Thread
  6. Sewing Machine
  7. Scissors

Some sewing machines have many options for decorative stitches.  My go-to stitch is the basic “satin stitch” which is a zig-zag stitch where the stitches are right next to each other rather than spaced in a zig-zag shape.  I like the satin stitch because it smoothly covers the whole raw edge of my shape.  

I love to use Heat N Bond Light Iron-on Adhesive for most of my applique work.  A spray adhesive works well to, which I use on large applique pieces.  Pinning the shape in place on your base fabric also works…but isn’t my preferred method.

To use the iron-on adhesive:

  1. Trace the shape onto the paper side of the adhesive.  
  2. Iron the rough side of the adhesive to the back side of the fabric.
  3. Cut the shape out.
  4. Peel the paper backing from the adhesive.
  5. Place the shape in the desired position on the base fabric.
  6. Iron the shape in place, activating the adhesive.

Back the wrong side of the base fabric with a stabilizer, such as an iron-on light weight interfacing.  (choose the weight of the interfacing based on your fabric and project, I often don’t use if when I use duck canvas)

Use your desired stitch to sew the decorative shape to the base fabric, I used a satin stitch.  Peel the interfacing from the fabric and trim (or tear) away.

The possibilities are endless…what are you going to make?

This is a great image to pin!  Pin this now and save this project for later.