Unbeelievable: The Many Styles of Applique

Applique is versatile in both its style and process.

Not only does applique change according to the different fabrics you use. The varied techniques to create applique make it just as appealing.

Satin Stitch Applique

Most machine embroidered applique is created with a satin stitch edge that would be tedious to complete by hand. Jewelled Bee from Anandas Divine Designs and Bold Flower Applique from Allstitch, both shown in our header image, are examples of satin stitch edging.

Blanket Stitch Applique

Traditional in nature, blanket stitch like that in Baby Applique from Dianas Dezigns mimics hand stitching. It is so much easier to do by machine and low stitch counts make it a quick sew.

Raw Edge Applique

It may seem like the opposite of what you want to accomplish, but raw edge applique is gaining in popularity. Instead of satin stitches around the edge to seal fabric, the fabric edges are left to their own devices after being secured to the base fabric with straight stitching.

Puppies in Basket from Blue Stitch Sky is made using the raw-edge applique technique. Over time, the edges of woven cotton fabric fray, giving the applique a shabby chic appeal.

Fabrics like felt, cork, or vinyl are ideal for raw-edge applique since the cut edges will not fray. Raw Edge Applique Trees from Ace Points Embroidery uses felt for a clean finish.

Reverse Applique

Where applique adds fabric on top of other fabric, reverse applique cuts a top layer of fabric away to reveal the fabric underneath.

Reverse Floral Applique from All Stitches n Paint makes a stunning presentation by using a striking color of fabric behind a bright white surface. The design also includes quilting files great for pillows and blankets.

The more contrast between the fabrics, like Reverse Floral Applique 2 also from All Stitches n Paint, the more impact the project makes. It is almost like cutwork with a backing.