I suggest you start with something
simple like a flower with two parts - the petals as one piece and a
little circle center for piece two or try a heart... once you get comfortable
(and yes it takes a few times before it comes easy to you) then you
can go onto more complicated patterns or make your own like I am doing
for the cars and the sample of the arm I used below is for a Power Ranger.
I use many coloring books or other pictures to make my patterns from
including wood making patterns.
- Freezer Paper (you can find
this in your stores - I got mine at WalMart has and the price was
- Little Appliqué Pins
(these are very small and take a bit to get used to but work much
better than longer pins)
- Appliqué Needles
(one for each color thread your using) They are thinner and sharper
than ordinary sewing needles. Using one for each color helps save
time and thread - if you don't use the complete piece of thread you
just set it aside in your pin cushion for the next piece using that
- Thread (matching color to
your appliqué fabric - this will help your thread to disappear
and not be apparent after you stitch it.)
- Background Fabric (cut 1/2
inch larger than actual size of your background square. So if you
want a 15 inch block then cut your background to 15 1/2 inches. This
allows for shrinkage when appliquéing and also allows you to
trim to square up your block)
- Fabric Scraps in the colors
you want your pieces.
- Blue Washable Marker
- Fingercot (optional) These
are wonderful and can be found at your local drug store near the Band-Aids
or ask the pharmacist. They are like a rubber glove but for the finger
only and when worn on your pointer finger they help you to grasp the
needle without it slipping. They get old within a few uses and the
oil from your finger and air so I buy them by the little box.
- Clear Upholstery Vinyl (optional)
- I have a picture below of using this. It is great if you have an
appliqué pattern that is complex and has a lot of overlapping
First trace your pieces onto
your freezer paper (it has a glossy side and a dull side - use the dull
side). Then cut your pieces out along the lines. When you trace be sure
to label your pieces and number them if you are using a pattern that
calls for which piece is placed 1st... etc.
Next with the glossy side down
- iron it onto your fabric RIGHT side.
Cut out fabric about 1/4 inch
away from the freezer paper (this will give you the edge you need to
turn under as you stitch) - I cut out all my pieces before starting.
Now position the appliqué piece where you need it to be (refer to the clear upholstery photo below
if complicated pattern) and pin it in place.
with your scissors into any areas that are curved in or come to an inner
point - red arrows in the photo to the left show where I snipped for
Next turn and slip stitch like
indicated in photo.
be sure to go under the edge of the fold just a little and it will help
keep your thread from showing.
Keep going until you have gone
completely around the entire piece then bring needle through to back
and tie off. Cut thread. Remove pins and peel off freezer paper.
Clear upholstery vinyl - I
traced my pattern onto the vinyl (same size as background fabric) and
then pined it to the background piece with safety pins along the top
(I used 3 for this one).
you place your piece under the vinyl and on top of the background block.
Move the piece around until you have the freezer paper lined up with
the line drawn on the vinyl. Carefully lift vinyl up after piece is
in place and pin to background. Then turn and slip stitch.