Applique, the art of adding embellishments and shapes -- such as letters -- cut from fabric onto a background of another fabric, is a time honoured tradition in decorative sewing and quilting. To attach appliques to background fabric, you use a basic embroidery stitch which tacks down the edge of the applique while adding an attractive border. You can use thread that matches the colour of the letters or a contrasting colour to draw attention to the stitches.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Fabric letter applique
- Background fabric, such as a pillowcase or shirt
- Straight pins
- Sewing needle
- Thread in contrasting or matching colour
Pin the letter applique in place using straight pins.
Cut a length of thread approximately twice the length of your arm. Thread it through the needle and tie a knot at the end.
Pull the thread through the background fabric and applique from the back (wrong side) of the background fabric up through the appliqué, about 1/8 inch from the edge of the appliqué. Tug the thread so the knot is flush against the background fabric.
Poke the needle back into the fabric, right side to wrong side, just off the edge of the appliqué. Pull the stitch firmly.
Push the needle back up through the background and appliqué, wrong side to right, poking the needle so it is 1/6 of an inch from the top of the previous stitch, inside the applique.
Hold the background fabric and appliqué together and pull stitches firmly. Straighten out any puckering.
Repeat Steps 4, 5 and 6, moving around the edge of the applique.
Knot the last stitch and clip off excess thread.
Tips and warnings
- For a clean look, keep your stitches the same size and evenly spaced.
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