Easy Eye Options for Applique

Easy Eye Options for Applique - a tutorial from Shiny Happy World

The eyes are definitely the trickiest part of any of my applique patterns, but I have several posts that show you easy ways to deal with them!


I usually applique my eyes using solid black fabric. I like the look of it, and (after some practice) I don’t think it’s too tricky to outline those eyes. Plus I use black thread on black fabric so if my line gets wonky, nobody really sees it. 🙂

Stitching Eyes and Mouths - a video tutorial from Shiny Happy World

For tips on outlining those small eyes, watch this video.

If you want to applique the eyes but you don’t want to do the outline stitching, use this super-strong fusible adhesive.

Heat & Bond Ultrahold - no sew fusible adhesive perfect for eyes and other small bits

It’s too stiff for the main applique, but you’ll never notice the stiffness on such small pieces as the eyes.

Machine Embroidery

I’ve got two different posts showing how you can embroider eye shapes.

How to Machine Stitch Eyes

This one shows a “cheater” way to do it using a regular sewing machine. It only works for small eyes, like those on the Paper Dolls and Dinosaurs quilt patterns.

Free Embroidery Files for Machine-Stitched Eyes - from Shiny Happy World

This post includes a file for embroidery machines to embroider eyes in a wide range of sizes.

Hand Embroidery

Of course, you can also embroider the eyes by hand. If you go with that option I recommend using satin stitch for larger eyes.

how to satin stitch - embroidery video

Here’s a tutorial showing how.

For smaller eyes, I recommend this stitch.

My No-Longer-Top-Secret-Method for Embroidering Eyes

It gives a nice, rounded oval.

Markers or Paint

You don’t have to sew the eyes at all! You can use fabric markers or fabric paint for them!

Using fabric Markers and paints for Small Eyes - a Product Review from Shiny Happy World

I tested a bunch of different markers and paints and in this post I shared my favorites.

See? Lots and lots of options for those pesky eyes. 🙂

Happy quilting!

Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World