Introduction: How to Make an Applique Quilt
There are many ways on how you can make a quilt; I find the easiest and fastest way is by using the Applique technique.
Instead of the whole quilt being hundreds of measured pieces sewn together, use one sheet and sew your Applique pieces onto it.
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Step 1: Things You Will Need;
1- Any size sheet of your choice of color. I always purchase mine from Fabricland and usually go for 2 meters. This size is perfect for Wall Art or for snuggling on the sofa with. The best kind of material to use is of course cotton, but I have used silk, linen and broadcloth for all my projects and they worked out fine. But the 2 meters of material for the top and bottom, should be cotton or something similar.
If you would like to have a bed size quilt, you can easily just buy sheets a store that sells them, and use that for your Appliqué project.
2- Another sheet for the bottom of your quilt. Try to get one the same size. The trick I use to finish my quilt is to make sure the bottom sheet is a little larger than the top quilt, because when you make the border around your quilt, you’re using the bottom sheet for that. It doesn’t have to be larger, you will just have to make sure when you start to Appliqué, you want it to stay within 5-10 inches from each side, so when you fold in your border, you don’t cover your art.
3 – Batting. It’s hard to find batting that is the exact size of my quilts. You can buy them by bed sizes. (Twin, Queen, or King). I always use the Twin size one and cut off the left over.
4 – Material. This is up to you. As far as measurements go, it all depends on what you are creating.
5 – Scissors, pencil/marker, pins – lots of pins, thread to match the color of your materials, cardboard if necessary for tracing your design and either a quilting table, or a quilting hoop. The quilting hoop is ideal for these size projects, and since I live in an apartment, I can’t have a large quilting table.
** You can use a sewing machine, but for these quilts I didn’t have one at the time, so everything is all hand quilted.
Step 2: Lets Get Started on the Owls
The first thing I do is figure out what kind of design I’m going to make. For this example I’m going to use my first quilt I ever made using this technique – My owls on tree branches.
I was able to use some old clothes I knew I was not going to wear ever again for some of the material and most of the material at Fabricland. Like the 2 meters of cotton for the top and bottom.
TIP: Always go to the sale section first. Buying material can get really expensive, and if this is your first project, don’t use nice/expensive stuff.
The Owls in this design are done in layers. This is where cardboard boxes or old cereal boxes come in handy. Draw/trace your design on the cardboard, and cut out the pieces that are going to be layered as your design.
Now, take those cardboard pieces and trace them on the material you want to use. It’s hard to tell but I have 13 pieces for each Owl.
Before sewing each piece together, you should tuck in the edges of each pieces and stitch it in place. This will prevent fraying. Try to use the came color thread as the material. In this case, my materials are patterns so it’s hard to find thread to match, so I just used white thread.
Once all your pieces are cut out, the edges folded and stitched, and it’s to put them together. Using your design on the cardboard as a guide, assemble the pieces and pin together. Take a couple looks to make sure everything is right.
The best stitch for this would be a slip stitch because it’s used when you don't want visible stitches. You take a tiny stitch on the fabrics then bury your thread into the fold on the raw edge then take another stitch on the fabrics.
Once all your pieces are stitched together, you now have to place them on your quilt.
Step 3: Design
I thought about what kind of design I wanted to use, which was two owls sitting on tree branches, and had to place everything on the top sheet before pinning everything in place. Once you have the design you want, pin everything on the sheet, and stitch it.
Step 4: Quilting
So now, you’re ready to quilt. The easiest way for me to do this is to place the bottom sheet on the floor, right side down. Now, get your batting, and center it to the bottom sheet. You will have extra batting all along the edges, but you can cut it off after. Place your top sheet with your design on top of the batting right side up, match the top sheet as much as you can with the bottom sheet and go pin crazy. Pin all along the sides the center everywhere!
Now you can cut off the extra batting. Leave about 1-2 inches extra form the top and bottom sheets.
To quilt, you can use any design you like. Straight line, circles whatever. I always use squiggly lines. What I do, is take a pencil and draw squiggly lines all over the quilt. Starting the center and moving my way all around the quilt. I always start the drawing of my design in the center of the quilt, because that is where you will start quilting.
With the quilt still on the floor, take your quilting hoop, put the smaller ring at the bottom and the larger ring on the top, and place it in the center. Once it’s centered, tighten the hoop as tight as you can. The tighter the fabric the more details will come threw.
Get your thread, you can use any color you like, but where I had a white sheet, I wanted to use white thread, and started quilting! Knot your thread at the end of your needle, pierce threw the bottom and bring up to the top. Continue stitching. You will have to move your quilting hoop often. Also, try to make your stitches as tight as you can.
Step 5: The Edges
Sorry that I don't have a picture for this, but it is really simple.
Once your quilting is complete, you still have to finish the edges of the quilt. Since you have about 5-10 inches of extra fabric on the bottom, what you do is, fold the bottom fabric in once, and then again. Pin it to the top fabric. Do this for the whole quilt. It’s best to start in the center on each edge of the quilt. Stitch in place.
Step 6: Take a Look
Here are some pictures of other quilts I have made using this technique.