Introduction: Scrap Fabric Creations | Appliqué Ideas: 4-Steps

About: Hi! My name is Andrea, and I live in Ontario Canada. I am a grandma, and a passionate DIYer whose imagination only stops when I’m sleeping. Too, I have a lifetime of creativity spilling out of me. And if I do…

Scrap fabric creations are some of my newer undertakings. At least, compared to my entire sewing career. And since I have set my spotlight on them, I get excited at the thought of the next design –a first for me.

In particular, I found I can create whole new surfaces when using them to create appliqué.

Now, if you are unfamiliar with what that is, it is a decorative surface detail used in sewing.

Fundamentally, it involves attaching small sections of fabric to a larger piece. The first step entails cutting out the motifs or fabric pieces. Then, securing them to a base layer with glue or stitches. So, let's try it.


Cut-out shapes or motif


Sewing machine (Not necessary -but it will reduce sewing time -especially in larger projects)

Cutting surface

Dressmaker’s chalk (To mark motif placement position)

Pins and needles

Fusible web or temporary fabric adhesive (Optional -can use instead of pins)

Thimble (Optional - it helps to protect fingertips in hand-sewing)

Matching or contrasting thread (Embroidery or thick thread for highlighting edges)

Step 1: Cut Out and Position Motif -Thread Needle

(a) To begin, cut out the desired motif with a scant ¼-inch seam allowance.

In certain circumstances, cut-out shapes require a backing or interfacing to stabilize them. But in this case, I did not use any -with sustainable results.

(b) Next, mark and position the shape on the background fabric, and glue or pin it in place.

Here, is where you will use your dressmaker's chalk to create a placement mark for the cut-out shape. Sometimes, it wouldn't matter. But where you need precision, marking an X will be beneficial.

(c) After arranging the motif on the base material, thread a needle and tie a knot at end of the thread.

Step 2: Create Anchor Stitch and Conceal Thread Knot

(a) To make the knot invisible, place it between both layers of fabric and bring it up to about 1/8-inch inside of the motif edge.

(b) Next, hold the layers in place with a firm hand and push the needle down through the base fabric.

(c) Following that, bring it up again through both layers near the previous entry point. This is your anchor stitch. To ensure the thread is fastened, apply a gentle tug.

If you prefer, you may use fabric adhesives in place of pins.

Step 3: Sew Around Border

Continue sewing around the entire base of the design using small even stitches about 1/8-inch apart. And from time to time, pull lightly on the thread to remove any loose stitches.


Important to note is, variation in thread and fabric density may leave some raw edges visible.

For this reason, if you prefer complete edge coverage, repeat the sewing process. And make sure to stitch into the exposed areas the second time. In the same way, if you're using a sewing machine, repeat the zigzag stitches.

Regarding time, appliqué by hand generally takes longer than using a sewing machine. But hand-sewing offers superior control when working with small surface areas.

In the photos at above middle, and right, I used a sewing machine to apply the hearts.

So, if time deficiency is a factor, you may use a sewing machine, and you will get comparable, quicker, results. But remember to set it at an appropriate zigzag stitch and follow the instructions.

Step 4: Secure Thread Ends With a Finishing Knot

(a) To conclude, push the needle through to the wrong side of the base fabric. Then, loop the thread around a stitch.

(b) Afterward, stick it through the same loop a second time, and make a knot. Finally, to conceal the thread ends, poke the needle between the top and bottom layers.

(c) Then, bring it up through the wrong side -tug on the thread a bit and cut it off.

The Shape of Circles and Curves Change Direction

Bear in mind, varying measurements between the inside and outside of curved edges will cause stitches to rotate. In particular, they will form slanted or fan-shaped patterns. That is acceptable.

There, you have it, Now that we've covered the steps to creating appliqué, I hope you find myriad ways to use your scrap fabrics. Happy Creating!

Thank you for dropping by and sharing your time.

For more ideas on appliqué, visit