Use the discount code SMILE to get your first month of the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club for free!


How to Use a Light Box to Layer Applique

In my never-ending quest to to make applique as easy as possible, I recently bought a light box.


My mind is blown!

No more tracing those placement markings to the right side of the fabric. (***ahem*** I may have mentioned here how much I hate to trace.)

This makes layering applique SO EASY and SO ACCURATE!

How did I not get one of these sooner?

Somehow I had it in my head that this was going to be a Very Expensive Purchase.

The one I bought is 15.5 inches x 11.8 inches and cost $26.99. I’m going to use it a kajillion times just in the next year, so that is well worth it to me.

The silicone mat was $14.33.

Those are both affiliate links to Amazon. If you buy something using them, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you – but if you have a local store that sells these things, please support them!

Want to see how awesome it is in action? You’re going to love this!


I’m going to say it again – wow!

This makes the process so easy! Especially for folks who are using cutting machines and have had a bit more of a laborious process to transfer those placement markings in the past.

I know some of you have been using a light box forever and can’t believe I didn’t know already how awesome they are.

I’m usually really slow to use new gadgets. I just don’t want a studio full of tools I’ll rarely use.

I’ve used a light box exactly once before – in a Craftsy class I taught several years ago. It was really huge and cumbersome and not something I had space for in my studio. I had no idea how slim and lightweight and inexpensive they are now!

Moving forward, all of my patterns will have numbers on the reference images and corresponding numbers on the template pieces.

I’m in the process of a year-long project to update all my quilt patterns. That update will include adding SVG files for use with cutting machines, and these numbered templates.

I’ll continue to include the placement markings for those who don’t want to get a light box. You can find a tutorial showing how to do that method here.

For those of you about to get a new light box – enjoy!!!


  1. Donna SAYS...

    That is great!!
    Thank you

  2. Liz SAYS...

    Well I’m just in love with that snail! Thanks for sharing this technique.

  3. Dee Skinner SAYS...

    OH MY GOSH!! I’m in love with that! Like you, I always thought a light would be expensive and too big and bulky! I just don’t have that kind of space to spare! But watching this, I’m sold, sold, SOLD on this method–it’s almost like an IPad! I’m going to order that light and silicone mat right NOW! I sometimes work at night and it’s limited what I can do because I can’t trace at night in the window. Once, in a moment of real NEED, I actually used the drop light over my kitchen counter (that was fun…NOT), just to trace a small piece that I really needed to be done that night. It was quite tricky. This post makes me happy! Thanks so much