Applique is a novel concept that has been sewn in machine embroidery for a long time. I prefer it for large areas instead of flat solid fills. Plus the wide range of fabrics that can be used, esp the almost solid fabrics with their various shades and minor prints, adds a special touch to the design you can’t get with machine embroidery thread alone.
Some applique designs are quite ornate as the Applique Elegance Collection.
With some minor variations it follows something like this:
1. Sew the outline of the applique shape onto the background fabric
2. Lay the applique fabric over that area
3. Sew the tack down stitches that apply the fabric to the background fabric
4. Take the hoop off the machine – Don’t take the fabric out of the hoop
5. Trim the excess applique fabric from around the outside of the stitching
6. Return the hoop to the machine
7. Sew the details on top of the applique fabric
8. Sew the finishing stitches around the raw edges of the applique fabric – usually satin stitching.
Applique is the perfect choice for towels and other fabrics with a pile (ie. velour, velveteen, corduroy). The applique fabric prevents the pile from coming up through the machine embroidery stitching and creates a flat smooth surface for the design to be sewn.
Some applique designs are quite elegant as the floral design in the Spring Quilt Banner.
If you have not sewn applique before, don’t be afraid to try it in your embroidery hoop. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.