Tips for Making Easy Templates

If you cut your applique templates by hand, I will show you the easiest way I have found to do just that!

One of the reasons I like machine embroidery applique is because they contain placement and tack-down stitches. That make it so that your applique fabric is exactly the right size and exactly where you need it to be.

In the pie blog, the design I used was not a traditional applique so I had to cut the applique pieces out by hand. That always makes me nervous since I can barely cut a straight line with a ruler and rotary cutter, let alone curves.

Because this design was not digitized for applique, it did not have placement stitches or tackdown stitches which would make creating the applique shapes so much easier. Plus, the satin stitches along the edges were not very wide so there was little to no room for error.

Creating Applique Templates

Creating templates is relatively easy and can be done with basic embroidery design editing software. Often, depending on the digitizer, PDF templates are provided with the embroidery designs. Either way, print out a template of your design. Make sure it prints at 100%, not “print to fit.”

Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 by the Warm Company is a wonderful fusible backing you can use on applique fabrics. The magic is that the adhesive backing acts as a temporary adhesive. It will stay in place and can be moved around until you fuse it in place with an iron.

Fuse the Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 to the back of your applique fabric and lift off one side of the paper backing

Gently press the paper template on the adhesive side of the applique fabric. Don’t press too firmly, or it will be difficult to remove. Papers with a gloss finish work well.

Keep in mind that you may have to print the template in reverse so that the applique is fused on the correct side. Since both applique components of this design were symmetrical, I did not have to flip the design.

Trim the template as desired and carefully peel off the template paper.

You now have an applique piece that can be easily positioned, and re-positioned if necessary, on stabilizer or other fabrics. 

After embroidery, fuse pieces in place for a permanent applique. It’s much easier, and more accurate, than tracing!