Ugh! How on earth do you applique eyes? They’re so small!
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 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. 🙂
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 Heat & Bond Ultrahold fusible adhesive.
The Heat & Bond Ultrahold is too stiff for the main applique, but you’ll never notice the stiffness on such small pieces as the eyes.
Careful! If you choose this option, you need to be sure to dry your quilts on a less hot setting. If your dryer gets as hot as the wool setting on your iron, that’s hot enough to re-melt the adhesive and the eyes could come loose.
I’ve got two different posts showing how you can embroider eye shapes by machine.
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.
If you want to satin stitch larger eyes and you have an embroidery machine, this post includes a file for embroidery machines to embroider eyes in a wide range of sizes.
Of course, you can also embroider the eyes by hand. If you go with that option I recommend using satin stitch for larger eyes.
For smaller eyes, I recommend this stitch.
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!
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. 🙂