Applique Questions Answered….

Yep…I am still playing with my new GO! dies….


I am appliqueing the reindeer onto this pieces.  These little guys are much quicker to applique than the snowflakes.   These are from Sleigh and Snowflakes die.  (Stop back next week…I am working on a little project that I am planning a video for that uses one of the snowflakes….it’s a cutie…)

I’ve gotten lots of question on how to use the dies, how I’m appliqueing, what’s a button hole stitch and the like so I thought I would show you want I’m doing….

First cut a piece of fabric that is slightly larger than the die shape you want to cut. If you are using AccuQuilt dies please note that they have a great downloadable chart that tells you the size you would need to cut.   You can find that chart here.  Cut a piece of light weight Heat and Bond or Steam a Seam 2 the same size.  I have recently changed to using Steam a Seam 2 as it allows you to re-position the pieces.   For the purpose of this post, I am using Steam a Seam 2.


Remove the loose piece of paper from the Steam a Seam 2.  Turn your fabric right side down and place the Steam a Seam paper side up onto the fabric.  Rub in place with your hands.

At your GO! cutter position the piece over the die, put the mat on and cut.


It is important to note that when working with a die that is not symmetrical, take care in being observant in how you place the fabric on the die.  If fabric is placed right side down, the reindeer will “run” to the right.  If fabric is placed right side up, the reindeer with “run” to the left.

Back at your iron, remove the paper from the reindeer.


Position where your choose.  Press light with your hands.  The Steam a Seam will hold in place.  Once you are sure that is where the piece is to permanently be, iron it in place.


Next cut a piece of Tear Away the same size as you applique.


Tear Away is a great product that helps stabilize the background fabric.  It is found in the interfacing section of fabric stores…it’s cheap and well worth the time.  If you do not use a stabilizing product, the fabric around the stitching will pucker and not lay smoothly.

I spray my Tear Away with a quilt basting spray and press it with my hands to the back of the fabric covering the appliques.


Now at my machine I set my sewing machine to my button hole stitch.  Not all machine have this stitch.  If the machine doesn’t you can use a satin stitch which is the same as a close together zigzag stitch.  My machine has a needle down capablity so that every time the machine stops, the needle is positioned in the fabric.  If your machine has that, use it.

For the purpose of this blog post, I am using a tan thread so you can see it.  Typically when doing a buttonhole stitch, I match the color of the thread to the fabric or I stitch the whole project in black thread.


Here’s a few tips for success.  At the corners, make sure the needle is in the down position and off the applique.  Lift the presser foot, turn the fabric and re-position.

After the appliqueing is complete take the piece from the machine.  Carefully rip the tear away from the back.


Don’t get to nervous about getting every speck of tear away off.  There can be some in the seams.  I have found that my seam ripper is a valuable tool when doing this….just be careful to only rip the tear away off and not rip into your fabric….(ask me how I know about this….better yet don’t ask).

If you are a visual person and want to see more, check out this youtube video I did showing you how to do the applique…

Hopefully those tips will help your next applique project be successful….I am off to do more appliqueing.

7 thoughts on “Applique Questions Answered….”

  1. Denise from NY

    Nice, Jo. Very lovely button hole stitching too. Thanks for the tutorial. Would love to see the finished product when you are done.

  2. Two friends of mine were cutting squares with the GO for a workshop and found out that if they didn’t cut the strips on the length, the squares would be too short. I guess the length ‘gives’ a little in the cutting process.

    Your project is looking great!!! Keep it up!

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