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Multi-Piece Classic Applique Embroidery

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Applique embroidery uses pieces of fabric to cover areas in the designs. This tutorial demonstrates how to stitch an applique design that uses several different fabric pieces in the design. See how to use a dieline to cut the applique fabric to the proper shapes and sizes before stitching.

Project Needs & Notes

- Applique fabric (good-quality and tightly-woven
  quilter's cotton, denim, felt, canvas, twill, etc.)
- Medium-weight (2.5 ounce) cutaway stabilizer
- Base fabric (in this example, a kitchen towel)
- Temporary spray adhesive (like Gunold KK100)

For this tutorial, I used the Floral Folk Art (Applique) design. Visit the Multi-Piece Classic Applique department to find even more.

Designs Used

All applique designs from Embroidery Library come with  dieline files.

Download the applique design and unzip it. Extract the files, and look for the file marked with the letters "DL." That is the dieline.

Dielines are used to cut applique fabric to the right shape and size.

Dielines are embroidery designs. Open the dieline with embroidery software and print it.

Look at the dieline to see which parts are filled in with fabric. In this example, the fabric is in the vase and flowers.

If you do not have embroidery software, Wilcom's TrueSizer is a free program that can print templates.

Cut the dieline into separate pieces.

To prepare an applique piece, spray a piece of medium-weight cutaway stabilizer with temporary adhesive.

Smooth the applique fabric on top. Then, place the printed dieline on top, and cut out the shape.

Repeat for the other dielines. In this example, different fabric colors and prints are used for the vase and flowers.

A template is a printout of the design, and it's an excellent tool for positioning and placement.

In this example, the template is arranged on a tea towel. Mark the center point and the axis lines.

Cutaway stabilizer is a good choice for a tea towel. Hoop the towel with one piece of medium-weight cutaway stabilizer, lining the marks on the towel with the marks on the hoop.

Send the full embroidery design (not the dieline) to your machine.

The color change sheet shows the stitching order. The first thing to stitch is an outline, which traces the shape for the first fabric piece.

After that has stitched, remove the hoop. Spray the back of the fabric and stabilizer piece for the vase with a bit of temporary adhesive, and place it in the stitched outline.

Attach the hoop to the machine, and continue embroidering the design. The next stitch is a tackdown, or zigzag stitch, and that binds the applique fabric to the towel.

More outlines will stitch. Keep adding the fabric pieces along the way, using the color change sheet as your guide.

After you've finished embroidering the design, trim the cutaway stabilizer away from the back. Leave about 1/2" around the design.

Applique is a fabulous way to add your favorite patterns and fabrics to embroidery. Use up fabric scraps, or purchase new patterns and colors to personalize the designs.

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