W is for Webbing

W is for WebbingWebbing – really should have “fusible” in front of it as that’s the kind of webbing used in machine embroidered appliqué!

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.

Daily Deal

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

Add to CartJewels 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!

Jewels in Chocolate

Stitched on a BERNINA artista 200

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

Stitched on a BERNINA artista 200 featuring AURIfil Cotton Mako 40 weight thread

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?

Jewel with Kaffe Fassett fabric



  1. I hope on day I will have a cutting machine. The designs are amazing and the stitching is is die for. Beautiful and thank you

  2. You should have been awarded 1st place for the Jewels in Chocolate quilt. Sometimes the judges make mistakes & this was an example.

  3. I love these e-mails. I have learned so much. Thank you

  4. i’d not only love a cutting machine, but also a bernina embroidery machine. This series has been awesome.

  5. Wow amazing differences in the webbing. I only have access to heat and bond light and heavy. Now a cutting machine would be wonderful. I’m learning so very much. Look forward to my mail every morning. Thank you ,Sarah !

  6. Thanks for all the info, I am learning so much

  7. To answer your question, I think the Kaffe circle is stunning! I have a GO! and have made many quilts using their/your dies. I absolutely love all of your embroidery designs. I bought a couple of your CDs a few months back, but realize I need help with the technical aspect of finding it on my computer. I’m sure this is simple for many people, but for me it is a mystery that I will unravel once I have more time, and a hands on tutor. Thank you for all of your A to Z tutorials! I have learned so much!

  8. Hi Sarah…
    I love this seminar…I have already learned so much. I just need to get a cutting machine and learn how to use it now!!


  9. Love all of Sarah’s designs, wish I could adapt her methods in my designs the applique pieces are so beautiful and easy to achieve in her designs. At 76 I’m not able to get out and go places so have to rely on ideas online. I have a Cricut cutting machine that was a gift because my daughter found cutting on fabric too time consuming for her time. (Actually the problem was because I’d not learned the proper procedure for bonding fabric prior to cutting) My vision getting to point that it is difficult to cut printed applique pieces – lines become double. I’ve purchased many of the designs and starting a thread collection of Aurifil thread colors. Must admit that I’ve used that brand of thread for most of my sewing projects, but my dealer only carried the thread in white, black, beige, and gray. I ordered thread from this series of information, but fear that I forgot to use the promocode and haven’t received any of the orders.

    • Hi Clyda,
      Donna here from Follow That Thread. There was no need for a coupon code for the thread kits. I see yours are at the special price. I am waiting for the first shipment from Aurifil, but do have the other item you ordered and can send that out early next week. Thank you for your orders. This really has been a great learning experience about embroidery and applique. Sarah has so much knowledge, and it’s wonderful how she shares that with all of us.

  10. All your work is phenomenal. love reading the back story of all your design collections!

  11. This has been a wonderful series full of valuable info! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and examples of your beautiful designs.

  12. Another beautiful set of designs. I recently purchased a cameo cutting machine, but I have yet to hook it up and figure out how to use it. For some reason it intimidates me a bit.

  13. I LOVE the Kaffe Fasset fabric with your designs, Sarah!!

  14. I have loved receiving your daily A – Z hints. What a great way to put those hints and ideas out there. I have stored them in a folder on my computer for future reference. Will miss the daily e-mail. Thankyou Sarah.

  15. No more emails from you Sarah? Oh please no, start now with 1-2-3 etc. You are an excellent teacher, so glad you teach embroidery. I have learned so much with your fabulous videos, I’m not kidding when I tell you that my head is 2 inches bigger. Thank you, million thanks. Waiting for your new adventures. Keep well.

  16. Love your designs on Kaffe fabric. I have several of his fabrics. I have made travel bags with some of them. Thank you for all the great information.

  17. Love these tips! Have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one!

  18. What an education just by the letters of the alphabet! I find myself going back to prior letters to re-read the information!
    Thanks so much!!

  19. Had not heard of Softfuse. Going to give it a go. Thank you, again, for all the valuable information in the A-Z series. Just brilliant idea to do!

  20. Barbara Wolcott

    Love your suggestions, great resource material. Like many others, I now dream of owning a cutting machine.

  21. Sarah, my first encounter with your work was the Jewels in Chocolate. My Bernina dealer at time had an machine embroidery class and we all made one of the Jewels in Chocolate designs. I fell in love with the design and could not wait to buy it. Ever since I have been a huge fan and I think I have all if not most of your designs. I got to go to Chicago when you were there and got to make a Sterling House block. You were wonderful and I truly love all of your designs. I am also enjoying all of the information that you are passing on to us. Thank you so much.

  22. I just found my Jewels in Chocolate C.D. I have had it a long time but haven’t used it. As soon as my computer is working I can start downloading designs again.

  23. I have yet to try cutting on my Silhouette. Your tips are making me more confident in trying it.

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