How to Applique with Fleece

How to Applique with Fleece - 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!


It’s lots of fun to use cuddly soft fleece for your applique – and it’s easy!

But you can’t use fusible adhesive for it. The heat needed to melt the adhesive will also melt your fleece. Not good!

The solution is glue stick!

You’ve seen me use glue stick before to hold pieces in place on fleece while you stitch them down, like adding felt details to a softie face.

But you can also use glue stick to hold the fleece itself in place on a quilt block!

This is the glue stick I use.

It’s made specifically for fabric. It’ll hold really well (and make things kind of stiff) but it washes out easily so your finished quilt is cuddly and soft.

That means you do need to stitch the edges down permanently!

If you look at that blue bird up there you can see I used a fairly wide and open zigzag stitch around the edges. That’s one option.

Another option is just to use a simple straight stitch, like I do around all my other applique pieces. You can see that option on the snowy ground in this Shiny Happy Houses quilt block.

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

I loaded up large images for both of these – so you can click on them to see them closer. The zigzag stitching leaves a slightly crisper edge, where the straight stitch is a softer, fluffier edge. Choose what works best for your project!

Both of my examples are using cuddle fleece, but this method also works well for polar fleece. Just make sure to get the no-pill kind!

There’s a video lesson showing how to applique “fancy” fabrics like this in this Craftsy class.

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

I’d love to see some fluffy, fleecy cats and dogs!

Happy quilting!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

4 COMMENTS

  1. Ceil SAYS...

    Love this. Thank your for all the wonderful information. Do you have information on how to use the cuddle fleece that you use on the back as the binding? Do you do this. Thank you again.

    • I don’t use cuddle fleece for my binding. I’ve seen it done – so it’s possible – but the examples I saw were kind of stiff because of the thickness of the fabric. I use a regular cotton binding and apply it just like any other quilt and it works great.

  2. Patti SAYS...

    I have a baby quilt pattern that calls for wool felt in the appliques. Thinking of using fleece instead (doggy ears, etc.). My concern is that wool felt is not easily washable and this is a baby quilt that will get dirty. Is there a similar worry with fleece? Many thanks for your tutorials. I’ve made a few baby quilts in my day and am excited to have the time now to do this more often!

    • Fleece should work great and be much easier to wash. Just be sure to get the “no-pill” fleece. It costs a extra $1-2, but it’s totally worth it.

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