Machine Embroidered Appliqué from Sarah Vedeler Designs uses precut appliqué shapes that have been prepared with fusible webbing on them so that they can be fused into place on the background fabric, guided into position by an appliqué placement line built into each design.
The big question is… what kind of fusible webbing to use?
I have two favorite brands of fusible webbing. Which one I use depends on how I’m going to be cutting the appliqué shape.
Before the advent of electronic cutting machines, when the options for cutting your appliqué shapes were to either trace a template and cut with a pair of scissors or use an AccuQuilt GO! die, my absolute favorite fusible webbing was Shades SoftFuse.
SoftFuse is, well, really soft! It’s a really light weight fusible webbing, but it does it’s job really well and has a great fusible bond. It’s invisible in your finished projects, even when using really light colored fabrics for your appliqué shapes.
Why isn’t it the best choice for use with electronic cutting machines?
When I’m cutting my appliqué shapes using my Silhouette Cameo, I prefer to leave the backing paper on the fusible webbing. It’s the backing paper that is in direct contact with the cutting mat.
Shades SoftFuse comes on a backing paper that is like parchment paper. When the SoftFuse has been applied to the back of the appliqué fabric, the backing paper has a tendency to fall right off. Not useful if you need to have the backing paper on in order to successfully cut your appliqué shapes! When using an AccuQuilt GO! cutter and dies it’s not a problem if the backing paper falls off during cutting – less work when you come to use the appliqué shape. (Make sure you do leave the backing paper on when cutting with an AccuQuilt GO! otherwise you’ll end up with a bunch of shapes stuck together!)
If Shades SoftFuse doesn’t work well with an electronic cutting machine, what should you use instead?
My favorite alternative to SoftFuse is Heat N Bond Lite. This comes firmly attached to the backing paper and so works well with an electronic cutting machine. It’s a little heavier than SoftFuse, but it will still give you great results in your finished projects.
When you’re using fusible webbing on your appliqué shapes, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to apply it correctly. You typically need to use a low/medium heat to apply the fusible webbing to the background fabric and a high heat to fuse the appliqué shape in place. I think I’m correct in saying that there are two different types of glue used in the webbing, one that melts at lower temperatures and one that melts at higher temperatures.
There are a couple of pitfalls to watch out for:
- If the fusible webbing isn’t fully fused to the back of your appliqué fabric when you try to cut it with an electronic cutting machine, chances are your shapes won’t cut all the way through. In the worst case scenario, the blade will catch on the fabric and pull it off the mat.
- If you don’t get a good bond when you fuse an appliqué shape into position, the shape will more than likely move when you’re not watching while stitching – and that can create all sorts of messes.
If you’re cutting tiny appliqué shapes, sometimes you need to add more than fusible webbing to your appliqué shapes. A while ago I did an experiment to find out what you need to do. Click here to read about the results.
From 12:01am on July 15, 2017 until 11:59pm on July 17, 2017 enjoy 25% off Jewels in Chocolate.
Enter the promo code “A2Z-V” at the checkout
Jewels in Chocolate $45.00
(Delivered as a digital download. Optional CD available at the checkout)
What I love about this collection… Jewels in Chocolate holds a special place in my heart because it is the quilt that got Sarah Vedeler Designs started. I don’t know if you’ve ever had one of those moments when it feels like the bottom has dropped out of your world, but I had one in January 2009. As a newly single Mom of a just turned 7 year old and a nearly 3 year old, I needed to decide how I was going to earn a living. My Dad was convinced that I should get a “proper job” i.e. go back into corporate America as a project manager/software engineer. I was convinced that was the very last thing I wanted to do. When push came to shove, my priorities were to find something I could do that allowed me to be home with my daughters while they were growing – and do something that nurtured my soul. I had been teaching free motion quilting and some embroidered appliqué for the local BERNINA dealer and loved to do that. I also loved designing quilts. So that’s what I decided to do to earn a living!
On January 5, 2009, I decided I needed to design the first Sarah Vedeler Designs quilt. I also decided that this quilt needed to be entered into the Arizona Quilter’s Guild annual show which is held in March. Only trouble is, the deadline for entries was January 15, 2009. Fortunately for me, the photo attached to the entry form could be of a quilt top, it didn’t have to be a finished quilt. Jewels in Chocolate was born!
Spring of 2009 found me at Quilt Market where I met DellaQ, who used to sell gorgeous silk taffeta fabric. I ended up going home with some which turned into Jewels in Silk.
Jewels in Silk was the first quilt I creating using AURIfil Cotton Mako thread! It also provided my first introduction to the AccuQuilt GO! cutter. I was teaching a class and one of the students had one of these new cutting devices – including a die which cut out 5″ diameter circles, perfect for the Jewels in Chocolate and Silk quilts!
I had an interesting conversation with Kaffe Fassett at Quilt Market a few years ago, and came home inspired to try some embroidered appliqué on his fabric. Jewels in Chocolate was the design collection I chose to use – and I love the results. What do you think?