Back to School: Appliqué Brush Up – Fons & Porter

Dreaming of Spring

It’s almost hard to believe, but summer break is drawing to a close and kids are preparing for their return to the classroom. Backpacks filled with binders, markers, and new pencils stand by along new shoes and clothes to be called in to action on that exciting first day. Expectant students wonder who their classmates might be, whose locker will be next to theirs, who will share the most entertaining summer adventure story.

This Back-to-school season serves as a reminder that it’s always a great time to learn new skills, brush up on those we haven’t exercised in a while, or revisit the fundamentals of those that we’re all-too-familiar with. It’s also a great time to begin working on projects we’re planning to enjoy, display, or gift this coming winter and spring (see the photos in this article if you’re still looking for a few fun ideas!).

Blocks for all Seasons
Blocks for all Seasons

Today, class is in session and we’ll be sharing an overview on how to prepare your appliqué projects for success – we hope this encourages you to explore, improve, or revisit this fun technique!

Be sure to use a lightweight, paper-backed fusible web that is suitable for sewing. If necessary, join the pieces as indicated on the template for your pattern before tracing on fusible web.

Appliqué Brush Up

  1. Place the fusible web, paper side up, over each template piece, and trace the shape onto the paper side. Write the name, piece number, and fabric color on each piece as you trace it.


    Keepsake Stocking Kit
    Keepsake Stocking

    Note: In places where the pieces butt up to one another, overlapping them will keep them from gapping. Either cut the pieces the exact size and then overlap slightly, or add approximately 1⁄16″ to the underneath piece. The latter method will add some bulk to your project, but works well if you are new to satin stitching.

  2. Roughly cut all the pieces approximately ¼” outside the traced lines.
  3. Following the manufacturer’s instructions for the fusible web, fuse the traced pattern pieces onto the wrong side of fabric.
  4. Cut out pieces neatly along the traced lines.
  5. Transfer any placement and stitching lines to the right side of the fabric using a lightbox and a pencil.
  6. Arrange all of the appliqué pieces as pictured. When you’re satisfied with the arrangement, fuse them to the background.

Your homework assignment: find a great appliqué project, reserve some time in your favorite sewing space, and get ready to have a lot of fun! And just in case you’re looking for a little extra credit, here’s a great article on fusible applique from Nancy Mahoney, and below is a great Sew Easy lesson from Fons & Porter Sewing Specialist, Colleen Tauke.

If that’s *still not enough, here are a few more resources you might find informative.

Class dismissed!

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