When it comes to appliqué, my most favourite method by far is Freezer Paper Appliqué. Using this technique, it is easy to achieve beautiful turned edges and finish your appliqué on a domestic sewing machine.
So here is what you need for a Freezer Paper Appliqué with turned edges:
- Freezer Paper – It can be found in the grocery stores (near plastic wrap, aluminum foil, wax paper, etc.), or you can buy it on Amazon.
- Spray Starch – Any spray starch will work; I like to use Quilter’s Starch Savvy by June Tailor.
- Small Container for starch.
- Pencil for tracing.
- Paint Brush for applying starch; I use Scruffy Paint Brush with a flat top by Donna Dewberry.
- Fabric Adhesive / Basting Glue – Liquid Stitch works great for me, but you can find many other adhesive alternatives.
- Paper Scissors for cutting templates from Freezer Paper.
- Fabric Scissors for cutting appliqué pieces from fabric.
- Iron for pressing.
- Fabrics & Pattern.
- Thread & Needle – There are many thread options for appliqué; I use Aurifil Thread size 50 with Embroidery Needle 75/11.
- Sewing Machine with Utility Stitches or Decorative Stitches.
Trace the pattern pieces onto the dull side of the Freezer Paper, so that the shiny side is facing down when you draw. Freezer Paper is translucent, so it’s easy to see the lines of a pattern through it. Cut out the templates as accurately as possible, making sure that the edges are smooth and the corners are sharp. With the shiny side facing down, position your Freezer Paper templates on wrong side of the fabric and press them in place with a hot iron (do not use steam). Remember, the the shiny side of the Freezer Paper is lightly adhesive, it will stick to the fabric temporarily after hot pressing; you do not want to stick it to the hot iron.
Cut out fabric pieces with approximately 1⁄4″ seam allowance around template, you do not need to be precise here. Clip the concave edges and corners of the fabric towards the template (just not too close!); this will release the tension while turning the edges. The convex edges and corners do not need notches.
Spray the starch a few times into a small container; you can use a plastic lid for example. Apply starch on the seam allowances with a paint brush (a few inches at a time). Wrap the starched edges around the template and press with hot dry iron as you go. Be careful not to bend the template while turning the edges, as it will distort the shape of your appliqué. Now, gently remove the template and press your appliqué piece on wrong side. No need to throw out the templates…you can use them over and over again!
Position your appliqué on the background fabric; apply small amount of Fabric Adhesive / Basting Glue around the edges on wrong side of the appliqué and press to keep it in place. Allow the glue to dry before stitching. Please make sure to check the instructions of the adhesive and test it prior to using.
Choose the thread that matches your appliqué; I love Aurifil Thread size 50! Stitch around the appliqué using Blind Hem Stitch, ZigZag Stitch, Blanket Stitch, Satin Stitch or other decorative stitches. You might need to make a few samples to find the best settings on your machine.