How durable is applique with fusible adhesive? I get that question a LOT. People really want to know if it’s really ok to just straight stitch around the edges of the pieces in applique with fusible adhesive. People worry that they have to zigzag to make everything durable.
The best way to answer that is with a picture!
This is a close up of one of the cats on the quilt I made for my daughter almost two years ago. She uses it all the time – usually on her bed, but also dragged to sleepovers and occasional stints in the yard. I have no idea how many times it’s been through the washer and dryer – but it’s definitely been washed a LOT.
Look how great it still looks! There’s just a tiny bit of fraying on the edges. A very tiny bit.
This is mostly because the quality of the fabric is excellent. The fabrics that you buy in independently owned quilt shops are better quality than just about anything you can get at a Joann’s or a Hancocks, which is itself higher quality than what you get at a discount store like Walmart. A higher thread count and tighter weave makes for less fraying – and a more durable quilt overall.
If you’re using good quality fabric, you can definitely use a simple straight stitch around the edges with no worries.
One note – if you’re using flannel – even an excellent quality flannel – the small amount of fraying will be more visible because it will be white, so you might want to zigzag those edges as an artistic choice. But as far as durability goes – you’re good.
In 2022 I started using my own fabric designs from Spoonflower for all my quilts.
(It’s so much fun using fabrics I designed especially for applique – and knowing those designs won’t go out of print in a few months!)
Before I started using it, I (of course) needed to know how durable is applique with fusible adhesive when the fabric is Spoonflower fabric? I did what I always do – extensive testing to see how it frayed. You can see the results here. I use the Petal Signature Cotton for my background blocks because it’s a little less expensive, and I use the Organic Cotton Sateen for my applique pieces because it just about doesn’t fray at all, and the colors are a smidge brighter.
One more note – all of this is assuming you’re using the right weight adhesive. I use Heat-n-Bond Lite for my quilts. You can see the results of my fusible adhesive testing here.
Do you like that cat face? It’s one of the blocks in the Cuddly Cats quilt pattern. 🙂
Here are links to all the posts showing how to applique with fusible adhesive – my favorite method. It’s fast and easy and (with the right materials) it holds up beautifully to rough use and repeated washing.
- How to Applique with Fusible Adhesive – a very basic intro
- How Durable is Applique with Fusible Adhesive?
- Fusible Applique the Easy Way – the way I currently work – use with any of my patterns that include SVG files
- How to Use a Light Box to Layer Your Applique – perfect placement every time
- How to Applique with Fusible Adhesive – photo tutorial – use with any of my patterns that do not include SVG files
- How to Applique with Fusible Adhesive – video tutorial – use with any of my patterns that do not include SVG files
Here are links to special posts about eyes.
- Easy Eye Options for Applique
- Using Fabric Markers and Paints for Small Eyes
- Free Embroidery Machine Files for Machine-Stitched Eyes
- How to Machine Stitch Eyes without an Embroidery Machine
- How to Minimize Show-Through on White Eyes
- How to Applique Dark Eyes on Dark Faces
- How to Add Catchlights to Eyes
Here are links to some extra fun things you can do with your applique.
- How to Add a Baby Animal to Any Block
- How to Squish Two Animals into One Block
- How to Add Playful 3D Bits to Your Applique
- How to Add Soft 3D Pieces to your Quilt Block
- How to Add a Door (that Opens!) to Your Quilt Block
- How to Give Your Monster an Underbite
- Fake Trapunto (Stuffed) Applique
- Broderie Perse Applique
Other Applique Methods
Finished with this topic?