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How to Stop Seeing through Fabric Applique

Close up of frog applique demonstrating how to stop seeing through fabric applique. Text reads: How to Minimize Show-through on White Eyes.

I get a lot of questions about how to stop seeing through fabric applique – especially on my frog and monster patterns that have big googly eyes.

When you use fusible adhesive and layer a light color (like white) over a boldly patterned fabric, the print below can show through.

In this video I show you how to minimize that show-through. It’s really easy!

I rarely use light-colored solids, so this isn’t often an issue for me – but it does come up when I want to make big googly eyes. 🙂

I actually don’t mind seeing through the fabric applique a little bit (it can be kind of cool to be able to see how something is made) so sometimes I’ll use a lighter-weight interfacing like you see me use in the video.

If you want more complete coverage, I recommend this Heat & Bond Medium Weight fusible interfacing. It’s one step thicker than the one I use in the video – still nice and flexible, but with better hiding properties. 🙂

Want to make your eyes extra-googly? Use this faux-trapunto technique. Zero show through and extra cuteness. 🙂

Calling them "faux trapunto eyes with needle sculpted pupils" makes them sound really hard to make - and they're not - so I just call them googly eyes. :-)

Now that you know how to stop seeing through your fabric applique, want to practice?

You can get that pond frog pattern here, a tree frog here, and there are fun googly-eyed monster patterns here, here, and here.

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.

Here are links to special posts about eyes.

Here are links to some extra fun things you can do with your applique.

Other Applique Methods

Finished with this topic?

Return to the Let’s Make a Quilt main Table of Contents.

Move on to the lessons about outline stitching.

Happy stitching!


  1. Cathie SAYS...

    OUCH what did you do to your thumb 🙁

  2. Maaike SAYS...

    Thank you for sharing this sewing tip Wendy – very handy to know.