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Making Your Own Embroidered Appliqués

By Pauline Richards, Total Embellishment Newsletter

(Originally published in the Winter 1997 issue of Total Embellishment News.)

You can make your own beautifully embroidered appliqué using your home machine following these simple techniques:

  1. Choose a pattern dense enough to support the design after the backing fabric is trimmed away. (The more solid the thread embellishment, the sturdier the appliqué.) Freehand embroidery works equally as well as programmed motifs.
  2. Hoop the following, from bottom to top: one layer of tear-away stabilizer, one layer of water-soluble stabilizer and one layer of very sheer fabric, such as nylon tulle or nylon organdy. Note: The upper layer of fabric needs to melt when heat is applied.
  3. Adjust the fabric and stabilizer in the hoop and clamp in place so all layers are very taut.
  4. Embroider your design, following the manufactures instructions, but do not remove the design from the hoop.
  5. Coat the back of the design with Aleene’s© O.K. To Wash It glue and allow the design to dry.
  6. Remove the fabric from the hoop and tear away the stabilizers.
  7. Using very sharp scissors (appliqué scissors work great!), trim away excess fabric around the design edges. Do not cut the embroidery!
  8. Light a smokeless candle and carefully sear the appliqué edges. The fabric edge should melt into the appliqué, but not darken or burn. This process takes only a few seconds, so don’t blink! (If you have a hot knife, place the appliqué on a heat resistance surface and carefully seal the edges.

Did you know?

That typewriter and computer paper can also be used as stabilizer and are especially good when applied to the wrong side of fabric to stabilize appliqués. When one sheet of stabilizer or paper is not enough, use two.

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