Fusible Applique the Easy Way

blue gingham applique chameleon on a blue background - text says Fusible Applique the Easy Way

Fusible applique is my favorite applique method. It’s fast and easy and it really lets me play with my designs.

I’ve been using this method for some time now, and I’ve refined the method I use. The most recent big change was adding SVG files to my patterns for use with electric cutting machines like Cricut and Silhouette – and that meant a change in how I design some of my template pieces.

Time for a new tutorial! This video shows all the steps for how I do fusible applique. It’s on the long side, and I mention several other tutorials, so scroll past the video for a list of topics at each timestamp, and all the links I mention in the video.

Introduction – Fusible Applique Made Easy

Quilt As You Go (2:29)

I give a quick nutshell view of my method. Visit this post for much more detailed info – Quilt As You Go: Everything You Need to Know. I also mentioned the following tutorials.

Printing or Tracing the Pattern onto Fusible Adhesive (5:33)

I use Heat & Bond Lite for all my quilts. I sell the printable sheets and the larger sheets in my shop, and you can get it by the yard at most big box fabric stores.

Rough Cutting and Clean Cutting the Applique Pieces (7:15)

I show what I mean by rough cut and clean cut in my patterns, and explain why rough cutting, then fusing, then clean cutting gives you the best results.

Transferring the Placement Markings (9:28)

I show all my favorite tools for marking placement lines when I applique

Layering and Positioning the Fusible Applique Pieces (14:43)

I show how I layer all the pieces together – with extra info about how to mark your fusible adhesive to help you get a directional pattern to run in different directions to help create contrast between overlapping pieces. (Look at the legs on the chameleon block at the top of this post to see what I’m talking about here.)

Outlining the Pieces (20:47)

You have to outline the pieces after fusing to get a permanent hold. I use a simple straight stitch. A lot of people ask if that’s durable enough with withstand washing and drying. It is! I show a quilt here after many trips through the washer and dryer.

Whew! That is a LOT of info!

I do love fusible applique – and I hope this helps you love it too. πŸ™‚

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

Free Goldfinch Wallpaper for Computers, Tablets and Phones

collage goldfinch on a blue patterned background with June 2021 calendar - free wallpaper for computers, tablets and phones

Happy June! Here’s your new monthly wallpaper for computers and phones and other devices!

I’m still really excited about the new Backyard Birds quilt pattern, so I thought I’d share the drawing that started it all.

In 2020 I finished the 100 Day Project for the first time. I broke the project up into ten mini-projects – each with its own theme. One of the last themes I did was Birds, and as I was drawing my second bird (this goldfinch) I started to wonder about the possibility of creating a set of templates that could be used to create almost any songbird. I played with the idea for ten days and decided it WAS possible! This year I finally made that happen, testing out a new pattern by creating over 100 different birds from one set of mix & match templates. That was my 100 Day Project for 2021!

Download your wallpaper for computers, phones, or tablets below. You can get it both with and without the June calendar, in case you want to keep that pretty goldfinch on your screens during other months of the year. πŸ™‚

Want to scroll through previous wallpaper options? You can find them all here.

Happy June!

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

SHARE THIS

Quilt Sizes and Supplies Needed

Quilt sizes and supplies needed - I did all the math - photo showing a calculator and math notes on an aqua cutting mat

All of my quilt patterns include supply lists and details cutting instructions for three quilt sizes – crib, nap and twin.

You can always make a quilt larger or smaller by adding or removing blocks. I make the math super easy for that by having all my quilt blocks finish at 10 inches square.

But there’s no reason for every individual to have to calculate all the math for all the different quilt sizes. I can do that once and then share it for everyone!

I do have a couple of caveats, though. . .

This math (and cutting information) only works if you’re making quilts with all square blocks and no sashing or borders. If your pattern includes half blocks or double blocks, the results will be a tiny bit different. The amount of fabric needed will probably be the same, but the cutting instructions will change a bit. If you’re adding sashing to your quilt, you want this post instead – How to Add Sashing to a QAYG Quilt.

All the fabric calculations assume you’re using fabric that’s 40 inches wide. If you’re using a different width (cuddle fleece, minky, special wide fabric for quilt backs) that will change the amount needed.

So let’s jump in to the most popular quilt sizes I get requests for.

Itty Bitty Baby Size

My patterns include instructions for crib size, but it’s a pretty generous crib size and sometimes people want one that’s a lot smaller – better for tucking around an infant in a car seat. For that the Itty Bitty Baby size works well.

Dimensions 30 inches x 30 inches (3 blocks x 3 blocks)

Total blocks needed 9

Background blocks 1 yard total

Background blocks cutting instructions Cut 3 strips the width of the fabric (selvedge to selvedge) each 11 inches wide. From those strips cut 9 blocks, each 11 inches square. (I sell color-coordinated bundles already cut into 12 inch strips here.)

Binding 3/8 yard

Binding cutting instructions Cut four strips 2 1/4 inches wide, the full width of the fabric.

Backing 1 yard, no cutting needed

Appliques 1/2 yard, any combination of scraps and fat quarters

Fusible adhesive 1 pack of 10 printable sheets (or one 17 x 45 inch sheet) is enough for most patterns (This is the brand I use.)

Crib Size Quilts

This size is included in all my patterns – but I’m including it here as well for those who want to assemble their own design using individual block patterns.

Dimensions 50 inches x 50 inches (5 blocks x 5 blocks)

Total blocks needed 25

Background blocks 3 yards total (buy in 1/3 yard increments for minimal waste)

Background blocks cutting instructions Cut 9 strips the width of the fabric (selvedge to selvedge) each 11 inches wide. From those strips cut 25 blocks, each 11 inches square. (I sell color-coordinated bundles already cut into 12 inch strips here.)

Binding 1/2 yard

Binding cutting instructions Cut 6 strips 2 1/4 inches wide, the full width of the fabric.

Backing 2 1/2 yards

Backing cutting instructions Cut one piece 56 inches long. Cut the remaining piece in half the long way so you have two rectangles, each roughly 20 inches wide x 34 inches long. (The exact width will depend on the actual width of your fabric.)

Backing assembly diagram (not to scale) – join the two smaller pieces along the short edge, then join that piece to the longer piece. The pieced section will be longer than it needs to be – this sketch is just a guide.

Appliques 1 1/2 yards, any combination of scraps and fat quarters

Fusible adhesive 3 packs of 10 printable sheets (or three 17 x 45 inch sheets) is enough for most patterns (This is the brand I use.)

Nap Size Quilts

This is the size I use on the couch. It’s included in all my patterns – but I’m including it here as well for those who want to assemble their own design using individual block patterns.

Dimensions 50 inches wide x 60 inches tall (5 blocks x 6 blocks)

Total blocks needed 30

Background blocks 3 1/3 yards total (buy in 1/3 yard increments for minimal waste)

Background blocks cutting instructions Cut 10 strips the width of the fabric (selvedge to selvedge) each 11 inches wide. From those strips cut 30 blocks, each 11 inches square. (I sell color-coordinated bundles already cut into 12 inch strips here.)

Binding 1/2 yard

Binding cutting instructions Cut 6 strips 2 1/4 inches wide, the full width of the fabric.

Backing 4 yards

Backing cutting instructions Cut two pieces, each two yards long.

Backing assembly diagram (not to scale) – Join the two pieces together along the long edge. (Cut off the selvedge first.)

quilt back layout - nap or twin size

Appliques 2 yards, any combination of scraps and fat quarters

Fusible adhesive 3 packs of 10 printable sheets (or three 17 x 45 inch sheets) is enough for most patterns (This is the brand I use.)

Twin Size Quilts

This size is included in all my patterns – but I’m including it here as well for those who want to assemble their own design using individual block patterns.

Dimensions 70 inches wide x 90 inches tall (7 blocks x 9 blocks)

Total blocks needed 63

Background blocks 7 yards total (buy in 1/3 yard increments for minimal waste)

Background blocks cutting instructions Cut 21 strips the width of the fabric (selvedge to selvedge) each 11 inches wide. From those strips cut 63 blocks, each 11 inches square. (I sell color-coordinated bundles already cut into 12 inch strips here.)

Binding 5/8 yard

Binding cutting instructions Cut 8 strips 2 1/4 inches wide, the full width of the fabric.

Backing 5 1/4 yards

Backing cutting instructions Cut two pieces, each 94 1/2 inches long.

Backing assembly diagram (not to scale) – Join the two pieces together along the long edge. (Cut off the selvedge first.)

quilt back layout - nap or twin size

Appliques 4 yards, any combination of scraps and fat quarters

Fusible adhesive 7 packs of 10 printable sheets (or seven 17 x 45 inch sheets) is enough for most patterns (This is the brand I use.)

Queen Size Quilts

Dimensions 80 inches wide x 100 inches tall (8 blocks x 10 blocks)

Total blocks needed 80

Background blocks 9 yards total (buy in 1/3 yard increments for minimal waste)

Background blocks cutting instructions Cut 27 strips the width of the fabric (selvedge to selvedge) each 11 inches wide. From those strips cut 80 blocks, each 11 inches square. (I sell color-coordinated bundles already cut into 12 inch strips here.)

Binding 5/8 yard

Binding cutting instructions Cut 9 strips 2 1/4 inches wide, the full width of the fabric.

Backing 7 1/2 yards

Backing cutting instructions Cut three pieces, each 2 1/2 yards long.

Backing assembly diagram (not to scale) – Join the three pieces together along the long edges. (Cut off the selvedge first.)

Appliques 5 yards, any combination of scraps and fat quarters

Fusible adhesive 8 packs of 10 printable sheets (or eight 17 x 45 inch sheets) is enough for most patterns (This is the brand I use.)

King Size Quilts

Dimensions 100 inches wide x 100 inches tall (10 blocks x 10 blocks)

Total blocks needed 100

Background blocks 11 1/3 yards total (buy in 1/3 yard increments for minimal waste)

Background blocks cutting instructions Cut 34 strips the width of the fabric (selvedge to selvedge) each 11 inches wide. From those strips cut 100 blocks, each 11 inches square. (I sell color-coordinated bundles already cut into 12 inch strips here.)

Binding 3/4 yard

Binding cutting instructions Cut 11 strips 2 1/4 inches wide, the full width of the fabric.

Backing 9 yards

Backing cutting instructions Cut three pieces, each 3 yards long.

Backing assembly diagram (not to scale) – Join the three pieces together along the long edges. (Cut off the selvedge first.)

Appliques 6 1/4 yards, any combination of scraps and fat quarters

Fusible adhesive 10 packs of 10 printable sheets (or ten 17 x 45 inch sheets) is enough for most patterns (This is the brand I use.)

So there you go! All the information you need for six different quilt sizes – how much fabric and how to cut it up.

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

Papa and Baby – Emperor Penguin Applique Pattern

In time for Father’s Day next month – a Papa and Baby Emperor Penguin applique pattern!

Yep, the 15th of the month means it’s pattern release day in the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club!

We have a vote last month in the club to see what the next block of the month pattern will be – and this month the penguin pair were the winners – just barely edging out the dragonfly.

If you’re in the club already, head over to the clubhouse to download the pattern. This link will take you straight to the penguin page.

If you’re not in the club yet – here’s the link to join.

Members get an exclusive new pattern every month!

Here’s a quick peek at my penguin pair coming together.

I made the penguins with the Warm Neutral Batiks fabric bundle – plus a scrap of white-on-white print I had. The background block is from the Rainbow Sherbet fabric bundle.

I can’t wait to see all the penguins you make! (Penguins are antarctic, rather than arctic – but they’d be a fun addition to all the cold-loving critters in the Arctic Chill quilt pattern.)

Happy stitching!

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

Free Mama and Baby Polar Bear Wallpaper for Computers and Phones

Mama and Baby Polar Bear image with May 2021 calendar - free wallpaper for phones and other devices

Happy May! Here’s your new monthly wallpaper for computers and phones and other devices!

Mother’s Day is this month, so I chose a Mama and Baby polar bear for this month’s computer wallpaper. Aren’t they a sweet pair? Alan’s next book features polar bears so we’ve been watching a bunch of polar bear videos. I can’t get enough of those baby bears! They’re so adorable.

Want to make your own polar bear pair? This is one block in the Arctic Chill quilt pattern.

Download your wallpaper for computers, phones, or tablets below. You can get it both with and without the May calendar, in case you want to keep that sweet pair on your screens during other months of the year. πŸ™‚

Mama and Baby Polar Bear image with May 2021 calendar - free image for phones and other devices

Want to scroll through previous wallpaper options? You can find them all here.

Happy May!

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

Choosing Fabric for Your Backyard Birds Quilt

I’ve got a post here with general information about choosing fabric for any of my quilts, but choosing fabric for the new Backyard Birds quilt pattern is a whole different beast – worthy of its own post.

I’ve been making sample blocks for this quilt pattern for months now. This one was a doozy!

I’ve been getting a lot of questions from people who are starting to shop for fabric for their Backyard Birds quilts – wanting to know if there’s a list they can shop with.

Yes! Sort of. πŸ™‚

Fabric Shopping List for the Backyard Birds Quilt Pattern

Click here to download the fabric shopping list for the Backyard Birds quilt.

Please understand that this is by no means a definitive list! It really depends on what birds YOU want to make. I’m making sample blocks (and including instructions for) 100 birds, but there are THOUSANDS of bird species out there – and when you consider the fact that male and females of the same species often look very different. . . well, that’s a lot of variation.

I’ve designed the templates to be mix and matchable – so you can use them to go way beyond the 100 samples I made. That means you’ll probably also go way beyond the fabrics I used. BUT! I can give you some guidelines to create a really useful stash to start with. Just be aware that you may need to go searching for just the right fabric for some of the birds in your quilt.

Before I go into specific colors and patterns, I want to include just a couple of the “rules” I used for my sample blocks. I often decide on rules for a quilt before I choose fabrics. It helps me keep a cohesive look to a jumble of different blocks. For my bird samples, the only solid I used was solid black for the eyes. ALL the other fabrics are prints or batiks. I did this because even the smoothest-looking birds have some variation/texture in their feathers. So I used batiks for the very smooth, uniform-looking birds (less common) and other prints for the rest (more common).

I recommend choosing one color palette for your background blocks, but I’ll have more info about that (and lots of sample photos) at the end of this post.

Solid-ish Neutrals

Not surprisingly, you’re going to need a lot of neutral fabrics. A LOT of backyard birds are colored to blend in with their backgrounds. I used the Warm Neutrals bundle as a starting point, but I definitely needed to go beyond that. That bundle gives you five shades of grey (ranging from almost white to black), five shades of brown (again ranging from very light to very dark), a rusty brown and a golden color. You’ll definitely want more variety in the browns and greys – I often liked to use different prints of the same shade to get some contrast between different parts, like you see in this yellowthroat.

The wings, tail, and back of the bird are the same brown – but I used different prints to help create definition.

Applique of a yellowthroat - demonstrating how to choose fabric for a realistic bird

When you shop for browns, make sure you’re also getting some reddish browns (cinnamon) and some greyish browns (taupe).

You’ll also want at least one white-on-white print, and one very dark grey-on-black.

All of these that I’m talking about here are the tone-on-tone prints that read as solids.

Printed Neutrals

Now we’re talking stripes and spots. You actually don’t need many of these fabrics – but what you need is pretty specific. Here’s a list of the most common prints I used.

  • streaky brown – cream or tan with darker brown streaks or stripes
  • cream or tan with darker brown spots
  • brown with cream speckles
  • a darker brown and a lighter brown dappled print (all-over florals can work here)
  • brown stripes – medium brown with darker brown or black stripes
  • grey with black stripes

Of course, this is not comprehensive – but it’s a good start.

Black and White

You’re going to want some black and white prints.

  • wide black and white stripe – very useful for birds with black and white heads
  • white with black spots
  • white with black speckles
  • narrower black and white stripes (mainly for woodpeckers)
  • black and white check (also mainly for woodpeckers)

Colors

You’ll definitely want some yellows. I was surprised by how many birds have yellow! Get a couple of bright egg-yolk yellow, and also some more dull mustardy shades.

Blue. Lots of birds have some very bright blue. Get a couple of prints in the same rich shade for the definition I talked about in the neutrals section.

Red. Most red birds tend to be orangey red rather than blue-ish reds, so keep that in mind as you shop.

Pink. We have a lot of pink and pinkish-purple birds here on the east coast. You’ll find a pink with grey undertones (or even grey streaks) pretty useful, and also a bright mulberry shade for several finches.

Greens. Surprisingly, there aren’t a lot of green birds here in the US. You’d think that would be good camouflage. You might want to decide on your birds before you shop for greens, because you could need anything from emerald to olive.

Orange and dark purple. Again – these don’t come up as often, so maybe shop as needed.

Background Blocks

The fabrics you choose for your background blocks can affect the whole mood of your quilt.

For my quilt I chose realistic colors for all the birds, and I played around with several different background palettes using my fabric bundles. I recommend choosing either solids or batiks for your background blocks – but don’t mix them. Besides thinking about the overall look you like, think about the quilting here. Quilting will really show on solids, and will be almost invisible on batiks.

Here are the background palettes I’ve already experimented with.

Backyard Birds made with the Batik Rainbow fabric bundle

The Batik Rainbow bundle will give you very vivid background blocks with nearly invisible quilting. The background fabrics are as vivid as some of the most colorful backyard birds!

Backyard Birds made with the Warm Neutral Batiks fabric bundle

The Warm Neutral Batiks bundle will give you a more subtle, forest-floor background. The colorful backyard birds really pop against these neutral fabrics, but when you’re putting a brown bird on a brown block (or a grey bird on a grey block) you’ll need to be sure to get good light/dark contrast.

Backyard Birds made with the Solid Rainbow fabric bundle

The Solid Rainbow bundle is my most basic rainbow. Bright and cheerful.

Backyard Birds made with the Box of Crayons fabric bundle

I call the Box of Crayons bundle my grown-up rainbow. The colors are still intense, but a little more muted. The yellow is mustard rather than sunshine. This bundle also includes a brown and a grey.

applique birds made with the Rainbow Sherbet bundle of Kona cotton solids

The Rainbow Sherbet bundle is a favorite for baby quilts, but I also love it for the birds. They really pop against those pale pastels.

appliqued birds made with the Muted Rainbow fabric bundle

I think my favorite is the Muted Rainbow bundle. The colors are still bright, but they have a chalkier look. This bundle also includes a brown and a grey.

applique birds on soft grey backgrounds

I also love this batch using the Soft Greys fabric bundle.

Green Batiks can give you a very realistic background foliage kind of look.

Blue Batiks will work also really well – but I haven’t had a chance to make a full set of twelve yet.

Whew! That’s a lot of information! I hope it helps you shop for fabrics for your Backyard Birds quilt. Get the pattern here!

Happy stitching!

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

Mama and Baby Kangaroo Applique Pattern

In time for Mother’s Day next month – a Mama and Baby Kangaroo applique pattern!

Yep, the 15th of the month means it’s pattern release day in the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club!

Folks have been asking for this kangaroo block ever since I drew it last year as part of my 100 Day Project!

If you’re in the club already, head over to the clubhouse to download the pattern. This link will take you straight to the kangaroo page.

If you’re not in the club yet – here’s the link to join.

Members get an exclusive new pattern every month!

Here’s a quick peek at my kangaroo pair coming together.

I made the kangaroos with the Warm Neutral Batiks fabric bundle. The background block is from the Soft Greys fabric bundle.

I can’t wait to see all the kangaroos you make!

Happy stitching!

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

SHARE THIS

Free Giraffe Background Image for Phones and Other Devices

Green giraffe on a purple background - free background image for phones and other devices

Happy April! Here’s your new monthly background image for phones and other devices!

We had a super warm March – and last night a cold front blew in. My bird bath was frozen this morning! I guess Mother Nature is sending us an April Fools joke. 😁

I chose a giraffe this month for no reason except that I think she’s super cute. And I was in the mood for fanciful colors, so she’s a green giraffe.

Want to make your own in any color you like? You can get the Ginny Giraffe applique pattern here.

Download your background image for phones, tablets or computers below. You can get it both with and without the April calendar, in case you want to keep that sweet giraffe on your screens during other months of the year. πŸ™‚

Want to scroll through previous wallpaper options? You can find them all here.

Happy April!

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

SHARE THIS

New Bunny Applique Pattern

four bunnies in bright colors made using the Bunny Hop bunny applique pattern from Shiny Happy World

Woo hoo! A bunny applique pattern!

Yep, the 15th of the month means it’s pattern release day in the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club!

The new pattern this month is a bunny.

But not just any bunny.

See those four bunnies? They were all made with the same pattern pieces!

The pattern includes one head, one body, one muzzle, and two ears – but it has four different eye/eyebrow sets and four different mouths. By twisting and turning the applique pieces and swapping out the eyebrows and mouth – you can create a kajillion different bunnies.

That’s right – your applique blocks can multiply like rabbits. πŸ™‚

(I had to get that in there.)

If you’re in the club already, head over to the clubhouse to download the pattern. This link will take you straight to the Bunny Hop page.

If you’re not in the club yet – here’s the link to join.

Members get an exclusive new pattern every month!

Here’s a quick peek at my bunnies coming together.

I made all my bunnies with the Dots and Gingham Play fabric bundles.

The background blocks all come from the Batik Rainbow fabric bundle.

I can’t wait to see all the bunnies you make!

Happy stitching!

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚

SHARE THIS

Free Lion Wallpaper for March 2021

March 2021 free lion on green background desktop wallpaper

Happy March!

Is March coming in like a lion for you? For me it’s coming in like a bedraggled kitten, with tons of rain. But temperatures are dropping and I’m hoping for a little more snow before spring actually arrives.

You can get that lion applique pattern here.

Download your wallpaper below. There are options both with and without the March calendar, in case you want to keep that groovy lion on your screens during other months of the year. πŸ™‚

March 2021 free lion on green background phone wallpaper

Happy March!

Try one of our newest quilt patterns! Get the Liz Llama pattern here. Or join the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club to get a new block every month. πŸ™‚