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How to Applique with Shiny Metallic Fabric

How to Applique with Shiny Fabric - tips and tricks from Shiny Happy World

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It’s the easiest, most fun way to make an applique quilt. You can do it!

Whoa! That monster is silver! Shiny, metallic silver!

When I want a bright, metallic look to my applique, I always grab some tissue lamé.

This surprises a lot of people, because tissue lamé is a notoriously fragile fabric and kind of a pain to work with. But I have tricks!

One of the main problems with it is that the edges fray like crazy.

How to Applique with Shiny Fabric - tips and tricks from Shiny Happy World

Seriously. All you have to do is look at it and it does this.

But you can reinforce the fabric with fusible interfacing and it makes it much stronger and controls the fraying. Once the interfacing is applied you can treat it just like any other fabric.


Except that some tissue lamés melt at the temperatures required to melt the fusible adhesive on the interfacing. But you can use a press cloth – just like you do for the satin I talked about in this post.

Here’s a piece all ready to cut and applique.

How to Applique with Shiny Fabric - tips and tricks from Shiny Happy World

And here are the steps I went through to get to this point.

  1. Lay the tissue lamé out on your ironing board.
  2. Layer a piece of fusible interfacing over the lamé. I use Pellon light weight interfacing.
  3. Layer a press cloth over that and press, following the instructions on the interfacing for time and steam/no steam.
  4. Rough cut your paper-backed fusible adhesive pieces and layer them over the interfacing. Cover that with a press cloth and fuse according to the fusible adhesive instructions.

Now you’re ready to cut out the pieces and fuse them to your applique – again keeping a press cloth between the lamé and your iron.

Here’s a block where I used those hexies for shiny windows.

How to Applique with Shiny Fabric - tips and tricks from Shiny Happy World

I just stitched around the edges as usual. The combination of fusible interfacing and fusible adhesive keeps the edges from fraying in every lamé I’ve tested – but the fiber content can vary quite a bit so I recommend testing before you use it for a full size quilt that you’re planning to wash a lot.

A little pop of metallic shininess can add so much to a lot of quilts. And tissue lamé comes in lots of fun colors!

Here’s a round-up of information about using applique with fabrics other than quilting cottons.

Don’t be afraid to explore the fabric store beyond the quilting cottons section! A lot of those fabrics can be used in applique with just a little special handling. 🙂

Happy quilting!

Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

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  1. Lori SAYS...

    Thank you for sharing your tissue lame applique knowledge! I am faced with a custom apron project where the customer wants metallic Dream Team on the big. Your process works perfectly!! I can’t thank you enough!!