How to make a GREAT applique!

Hi everyone! I get a lot of questions on how to make a GREAT applique, so I wanted to share a few tips and tricks I’ve learned that give me GREAT results every time ! This is my preferred method, everyone has their own way of doing things.

First, its all about using the right products for your project, stabilizer being #1. In this tutorial I am focusing on applique for a t-shirt.

The supplies you will need are:
1- A no-show mesh CUTaway stabilizer
2- Heat N Bond LITE
3- Water Soluble Stabilizer
4- A Ball-point needle
5- Pair of duck bill applique scissors


Insert a BALL POINT needle for stretch knits! If you don’t, the sharp needle will cause holes in the tshirt. If they aren’t visible right away, they will be after a few washes…. I used a 70/09 ball point Singer needle…


Hoop your no show mesh cutaway stabilizer (I do not hoop the actual shirts)  Click HERE for my tutorial on how I hoop a shirt…


Prepare your applique fabrics with Heat N Bond LITE… HNBL will keep your applique fabrics from bubbling and wrinkling after washing.
Cut a piece of HNBL to match each applique piece but just a tad smaller than the fabric…
For a more in depth Heat N Bond Lite tutorial, click HERE


With your iron setting on medium, iron the HNBL onto fabric…


Once fabric has cooled, remove the paper…


Lay your applique fabric down after stitching your guideline…. stitch your tack down and cut around the edges as close as you can without snipping the threads… BUT if you do accidently snip your threads, don’t freak out, when you adhere the HNBL, the fabric wont shift :)

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Now that the applique fabrics are cut out, remove your hoop from the machine and bring it over to your ironing board, we are going to iron the HNBL onto the shirt now using a small travel sized iron, you can purchase them at Joann’s or any craft store….

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Let your shirt cool for a few seconds, then grab your water soluble stabilizer. I am going to pin a layer of this on top now that my applique fabrics are complete. The wss will keep my stitches looking crisp and flat, this is how you get those nice thick, flat satin stitches. It also keeps your stitches from sinking into your fabric and causing a not so pretty finish… Of course you have to be using a design that has a thick satin, as mine do at Hooked On Applique :)

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Put your hoop back onto your machine and finish with your satin & decorative stitches….


Remove your hoop and peel off your wss from the top….

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See how pretty that is! Flat, crisp satin stitches, and all the small details are on top of the shirt and visible :)

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I little tip for removing wss from little stubbirn spots, use a clean, new pencil eraser and rub it on the wss and it will pull up :)

I really hope this tutorial helps you in making GREAT appliques :)

This adorable sailboat applique design can be found on my website along with the matching “boy” version :)

btw, I have a Singer Futura Quartet FQ-4

Happy Stitching!

Hooked On Applique



2 thoughts on “How to make a GREAT applique!

  1. YAY Thanks for sharing how you work with your FQ4. I have one too and I have the hardest time getting into tiny shirts. I can’t wait to read your other posts now. *Have you tried shirring with your FQ4? I have not had success with it.

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