A few days ago we went over the ins and outs, highs and lows of needle-turn appliqué. If you missed it, you'll definitely want to read up – click here!
Now that we’ve covered turn-needle appliqué you're going to think raw edge appliqué is a cake walk. I'm guessing you may not even believe these instructions because they are so simple. You’re going to read this and think, “What? That’s it?” And then I will say, "Yes, young grasshopper. It is."
And then you will go forth with confidence, like the champion quilt ninja that you are.
Raw Edge Appliqué Supplies:
- Fabric Scissors
- Marking Tool
- Pellon Wonder Under Fusible Web 805
- Spray Bottle (I'm going to let you in on a little secret I learned through trial and error. I still think following the fusible web instructions is a good idea, but I found that spraying water directly on the fabric you wish to fuse down is quicker and more effective than using a damp cloth. I spray a little mist over the fabric, then place the iron directly on that piece and hold it there for about 5 seconds. I then slowly start moving it around so the fabric doesn't burn.)
- Safety Pins
The 6 Easy Steps of Raw Edge Appliqué
- With a marking tool, trace the outline of your template onto the right side of your fabric.
- BEFORE cutting out your shape precisely, roughly cut out the area around your shape – leaving at least a 1/2" of wiggle room all around.
- On the wrong side of your fabric, iron the textured side of your fusible webbing.
- Peel off the paper and cut out your shape precisely.
- Arrange the appliqué piece onto another piece of fabric, and following the fusible webbing packaging instructions, iron it on top of the other fabric to fuse it in place.
- Once your pieces are secure, straight stitch or zig zag stitch around the edges to completely secure it in place.
Raw edge appliqué doesn’t need a lot of set-up or mental prep (though depending on your project, you may want certain tools to keep your pieces in place. More on that later). For raw edge appliqué, the raw edge of your fabric pieces will be visible in your finished product… hence the name. So make sure when you’re precisely cutting your fabric, you’re pretty happy with how it looks – cause that's how the pieces are going to look when finished.
Once all of your pieces are cut, arrange them where you want them on your fabric surface, and adhere them in place*. The final step is to sew them onto the background fabric by stitching around the perimeter depending on how much you want the edges to fray. I personally do not like a lot of fraying, so I stitch as closely to the edge as possible.
Oh, were you expecting something complicated and difficult?
Too bad! Raw edge appliqué is very straight forward. Sure, it may take a little practice to get used to machine sewing around those points and curves, but you’ll get there sooner than you think.
* In the needle-turn appliqué tutorial I used safety pins to keep my fabric pieces in place. This time around I used a fusible webbing. I did that because I had fewer pieces to adhere, and they were much larger than the pieces in my needle-turn appliqué quilt. When choosing what to use in your project, keep those factors in mind.
Raw Edge Appliqué – The Possibilities are Endless
Last summer I was commissioned by Toyota to create a cityscape quilt. There were a few different ways I could have tackled this, but with a deadline of ten days (that's right. I said TEN DAYS), raw edge appliqué was my only realistic option.
Because this technique is similar to cutting pieces of paper and glueing them down, the design possibilities are huge! Just look what I was able to achieve with some scraps of fabric and fusible webbing!
Read more about my adventures with Toyota here.
Click here to get the free Hidden Garden quilt pattern. With this quilt, I actually fused the fabric pieces to the background fabric first. I then basted my quilt sandwich together. The final step was stitching around the fabric petals so I was feeding two birds with one scone by sewing the appliqué down AND quilting the quilt. Nifty, huh?
Remember that since these raw edge appliqué and needle-turn appliqué are simply two ways of doing the same thing – you can interchange these techniques. Just because I made my Hidden Garden quilt with the raw edge appliqué technique doesn't mean you can't change it up and use needle-turn appliqué. Know what I mean, Jean?
Good luck, my little Crickets! Or was it Grasshoppers? I can't remember. I wish you well on your adventures in appliqué, my sweet chirping bugs! And let me know about tricks you've picked up along the way in the comments! xo