If you have never tried applique before, you should! Although it may look intimidating, applique is quite easy and a ton of fun.
Applique is the process of adding a layer of material, sometimes multiple layers of material, to a base fabric or item like a towel or sweatshirt.
Color stops are built into the design not just for changing colors, but for pausing which allows for adding fabric, trimming fabric, embellishing, and final edge stitching. I am going to applique on a towel to show you how it works.
Hoop an appropriate stabilizer, usually a cut-away. I used fabric-type water soluble stabilizer for this towel since the design would be visible from both sides. Crease the towel to mark the center. Spray the back of the towel with temporary spray adhesive and finger press it into place in the hoop.
Never spray in your hoop. Spray the back of the fabric and then apply it to the stabilizer or fabric in the hoop.
Run a basting stitch. That secures the towel to the stabilizer and (especially with plaid or checked items) shows you that the item is aligned properly and not crooked in the hoop.
The next color stop is a placement stitch. It shows where to place the applique fabric and how large it needs to be.
Either spray the back of the applique fabric with temporary spray adhesive or use an adhesive stick (purple school glue works well) inside the placement stitches.
When applying adhesive glue and finger pressing applique fabric in the hoop, be sure the hoop is on a flat surface. Pushing on hooped stabilizer loosens it and will knock design alignment off.
Finger press the applique fabric in the hoop and run the next stitch, the tackdown. It tacks the applique fabric to the base fabric.
Remove the hoop from the machine and trim away applique fabric close to the tackdown stitches.
When trimming is done, reattach the hoop.
Run the next color stop. In this design, it created swirly embellishments inside the leaf.
Run the remaining color stops to add decorative stitches around the outside and satin stitching to cover edges of the applique fabric.
Take everything out of the hoop, clip basting stitches, and trim away excess stabilizer close to the applique stitching. Launder or simply wipe the edges of the remaining stabilizer to remove it. Your towel is now ready to enjoy!