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20+ Applique Techniques and Sewing Tutorials on How to Applique

Note: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means I will receive a commission if you order a product through one of my links. I only recommend products I believe in and use myself. 

Are you looking for a new way to add a fun spin to a current project? Applique is a great way to make that happen.

Not only does it add some fun and uniqueness to whatever you’re working on but it also gives it depth and something a little “extra” as well. 

I guess you know what “applique” means but I will quote Wikipedia to give the exact definition:

“Appliqué is ornamental needlework in which pieces of fabric in different shapes and patterns are sewn or stuck onto a larger piece to form a picture or pattern. It is commonly used as decoration, especially on garments. The technique is accomplished either by hand stitching or machine.” Wikipedia

20+ applique tutorials, applique techniques and ideas.

Applique has long been used to decorate and significantly brighten up clothes, accessories, and household items. In my opinion, it can adequately complement practically anything. And it’s also very useful for masking holes and defects in clothes, especially for kids.

I remember very clearly when I was a little girl and was learning how to write I was using a fountain pen (OMG, am I that old?!) and put an ugly blue spot on my new red dress ( which I liked very much). Buying a new one was expensive so my grandma covered this spot with flower applique and I was able to wear the dress until I’ve grown out of it. 

Appliques look very nice on pillows, blankets, and towels, and most importantly, the cost of the material is minimal because scrap pieces of fabric can be found in any home.

The traditional methods of doing applique are to sew parts onto the base fabric by hand or with a sewing machine, but over time some other techniques have also appeared, which we will discuss below.

As for the choice of patterns and templates, you can draw them yourself or choose from a variety of ready-made templates offered online and in magazines.

Making appliques is not difficult even for beginner sewists! I recommend choosing fabrics that do not stretch and keep their shape – it will be easy to work with such materials. Natural cotton is ideal for appliques. Transparent fabrics, such as organza, are perfect for reverse applique.

If you plan to make appliques often, I recommend purchasing special scissors, called Duckbill scissors which allow you to perform this operation as easily and accurately as possible. Check the video below.

The applique tutorials that I’ve gathered for you today will show you how to make your own DIY applique. 

How to applique by hand

Here are some applique tutorials on how to applique by hand

Hand Applique: How to Step by Step Freezer Paper Tutorial

Inside This Freezer Paper Applique Tutorial by PatchWorkPosse you will learn how to use freezer paper for your applique, simplify the process of needle turn applique, how to trace, fuse, cut, and sew the applique to your background fabric, how to overlap or layer your applique pieces as well.

How to Sew on Hand Applique 

You will like this video tutorial How to Sew on Hand Applique by Professor Pin Cushion on YouTube. It shows in detail how to do hand applique correctly using little scraps of fabric that you may have. It can be a great embellishment for any of your sewing and quilting projects. 

How to Applique by Hand using the Applique Stitch

Once you get the basic stitching down, it opens the door to making so many other great applique creations. This tutorial How To Applique by Hand Using the Applique Stitch by My BluPrint walks you through the process to make certain that you know that there are two ways to accomplish this stitch and it gives you the information to choose which one works best for you. 

Hand Applique Tutorial for Beginners

If you’re starting from the very beginning, welcome! This Hand Applique Tutorial for Beginners by Thimble Lady is a warm and welcoming way to get started. She has a way to make the learning process fun and it will motivate you to keep going to learn even more. 

How to Hand Applique by WikiHow

This How to Hand Applique by WikiHow shows you 14 steps (with pictures) on how to attach the fabric to backgrounds by hand. This DIY tutorial will show the entire process from start to finish. 

How to applique with a sewing machine

Now that we’ve tackled how to applique by hand, let’s move into the applique tutorials for how to machine applique

Machine Appliqué Tutorial

This Machine Applique Tutorial from WeAllSew is motivating and will have you wanting more. Quilter Jill Finley does a great job and presents it in an easy-to-follow method that those who are interested will find success with. 

How to Machine Applique for Beginners

If you’re new to machine applique, this is where you want to start!  How to Machine Applique for Beginners by Swoodson Says is a great tutorial for beginners that break it down into an easy explanation with doable steps. 

Machine Applique

Just when you thought you knew everything once you conquered hand applique, this Machine Applique by My BluPrint will have you amazed at everything you still need to learn. The tips on this tutorial will have your head spinning (in a good way!) for sure. 

Machine Applique Tips

One can never have too many tips and guidance and this Machine Applique Tips post by All People Quilt prove just that. You’ll learn about the importance of using a stabilizer before starting – and that is one tip that you don’t want to overlook! 

Learn How to Applique Using a Sewing Machine

This Learn How to Applique Using a Sewing Machine by Seasoned Homemaker showcases 5 simple techniques that are perfect to help you learn and get started. You’ll be ahead of the game after checking these tips. 

How to applique with an embroidery machine 

Since this is a newer process, there aren’t as many tutorials out there but here are a few that I was able to locate. 

How to Applique on an Embroidery Machine

This How to Applique on an Embroidery Machine by That’s What {che} Said breaks it down and shows you how to do it on a Brother SE400/SE600. There’s no limit to what you can applique on once you learn these tips. 

How to Appliqué with Your Embroidery Machine?    

Yes, it’s possible. This How to Applique with your Embroidery Machine by Crafts Selection will show you that it’s really not all that hard to work with the embroidery machine, contrary to what other people might say. 

The Applique Tutorial: Applique On Your Embroidery Machine

Don’t miss out on The Applique Tutorial by Applique Corner. Kathy Garrett and Lori Hernandez showcase their talents and share their tips with you. This easy applique tutorial is a great way to learn quickly how to use your embroidery machine. 

As for me, I just love to use my embroidery machine to make appliques. I published a video tutorial on making a quilted sewing machine cover and I made the quilting blocks with a flower applique in the middle – all in-the-hoop!

Reverse applique

Let’s check out the different options for how to use a reverse applique as well. 

Reverse Applique – 4 different methods

There is more than one way to do a reverse applique and this Reverse Applique – 4 Different Methods by Sew Guide will show you how to do each and every one. This is shown and explained in great detail so you’ll be ready to try them all. 

Easy Reverse Applique: Quilt Tutorial with Rob Appell of Man Sewing

Check out this Easy Reverse Applique Quilt Tutorial with Rob Appell. He does a great job of showcasing his skills while also breaking them down so it’s not an overwhelming process. 

Customize Your Quilts with Easy Reverse Appliqué      

Who knew that there was such an easy way to customize your quilt! This Customize Your Quilts with Easy Reverse Appliqué! by My BluPrint shows you how to get great results that you can use to make your quilt look any way that you want it to. 

149 Best Reverse Applique images | Reverse applique, Applique tutorial, Sewing

Just when you thought that learning the applique technique was going to be limited, along comes this 149 Best Reverse Applique Images by Ruthi Ray Ford. See all the techniques easily and learn how to use them. 

I published my own tutorial on making reverse applique (as well as other applique techniques)

reverse applique technique for refashioning

faux chenille technique for refashioning t-shirt

Applique with Cricut or Brother Scan and Cut

Last, but not least, here are some tutorials on how to applique with a cutting machine.

Using the Cricut Maker and Design Space for Fabric Applique

In this video Using the Cricut Maker and Design Space for Fabric Applique by Patchwork Posse, you’ll learn all about how to make fun patterns and shapes. Then you’ll figure out how to resize it and cut it as well. 

Cutting Fabric Applique Shapes Using a Cricut 

Part of the fun of using the Cricut is to be able to cut out fun or funky shapes. This post How To Easily Make Your Favorite Appliques With A Cricut teaches you how to use your Cricut to create some unique and amazing shapes for your crafts as well. 

CRICUT MAKER: How to use an SVG to cut Applique fabric for embroidery

Are you looking for some help on how to set up and cut out an SVG file? If so, you’re going to want to watch this How to Use an SVG to Cut Applique Fabric for Embroidery video on YouTube. It’s going to walk you through the entire process from start to finish. 

I have made an applique with a cutting machine (mine was Brother Scan and Cut). It was a Halloween project and you can find a video tutorial on my YouTube channel

Now that you have all these applique tutorials to go through, it’s time to get started on being creative. Have fun learning how to applique and be proud of all the new things that you can now create and do.

20+ applique tutorials, applique techniques and ideas.

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