Using a fusible adhesive is the easiest way to applique. You’re essentially gluing the fabrics together, and then you have the option to stitch around the edge of the applique to add extra strength. I usually straight stitch around the edge, or do a running stitch by hand with embroidery thread, but in the video I show you how to zigzag stitch around the edges of the patch.
For a long time I hardly ever used fusible adhesive for quilts. The products were all just too stiff, and the ones that were more flexible just didn’t hold well.
There are have been a lot of improvements in this category and now this is my very favorite applique technique – which means I have a lot more videos for it.
Here’s the post where I test some of the new products on the market.
Heat & Bond Lite is the brand of fusible adhesive I settled on. You can buy it in a roll or by the yard, but I especially love the printable sheets because I’m lazy and I hate tracing.
This video shows all the details for how I use fusible adhesive for all my quilts. I demonstrate with an actual pattern. Use this method for any of my patterns that do NOT include SVG files.
In 2020 I made some changes to how I format my patterns – they now include the seam allowance for overlapping pieces. This video shows how I use fusible adhesive now, using one of my newer-formatted patterns for the demo. Use this method for any of my patterns that include SVG files.
One more note. If you use fusible adhesive, you really need to prewash your fabric. The manufacturer applies sizing to the fabric to keep it looking fresh and crisp in the shop – but that sizing can also keep the adhesive from sticking properly. It doesn’t happen all the time – but when it does it’s maddening. Liquid fabric softener can do the same thing, so don’t use any when you pre-wash. (Dryer sheets are fine.)
Wendi! I am so glad I found your website. I love your tutorials and they have been so helpful. I think you can read my mind. Everytime I’m wondering about a technique, I open your e-mails and there it is!
You are so smart Wendi! Thanks for the tutorial. What weight do you usually use? I appliqued some cute stuff on onesies and the bonding fabric was way too thick and sticky to stitch through by hand OR machine.
And Becky – excellent question! I should have mentioned that for clothing and quilts I always use the lightest weight stuff I can find. Anything heavier is too hard to sew through byb hand and will gum up your sewing machine needle if you try it by machine.
And in my “experiment” I found that the alleged strongest stuff does not stay stuck to knit onesies. 🙁 Luckily it did soften a bit after washing so I was able to repair all of ’em without too much stabbage to the fingers!
I love your instruction. Thanks.Sumara
thank you for responding to my many questions. I can not find the video for using fusible for multi layered appliqués. Would you please help me?
I don’t do anything different for multiple layers.