2 tips to make prepping a paper pattern much easier!

Welcome back. Did you have a chance to gather your supplies? I’ve got more great tips for you as I start the prepping process to make the pot holders. I’m using this pattern by ellie mae designs called Barnyard Buddies – three very cute pot holders that will make a whimsical addition to your kitchen or your backyard BBQ.

Barnyard Buddies pattern by ellie mae designs

If you’ve never worked with this type of pattern before (a pattern that comes in an envelope), you’ll find a folded instruction sheet including cutting layouts (if necessary).

Pattern instructions on a folded sheet

The actual pattern pieces are included on a piece of tissue paper.

Pattern pieces are printed on tissue paper

Prepping the pattern


In the case of this pattern, you can see that there’s quite a bit of empty space on that tissue paper. To make the process easier, I cut out the three patterns individually, leaving ample room around the edges.

Patterns have been cut apart leaving room around the outer edges of the pattern

That’s going to make these patterns a whole lot easier to handle, but they have creases in them and that’s not always the best for marking.


Press the patterns with a DRY iron to remove all the creases from the paper. Now, there’s no danger that you’ll mess up the lines when it comes to tracing the images.

Pattern pieces are pressed and ready for tracing

Tracing the shapes onto fusible webbing

In an ideal world when working with a fusible applique pattern, you would always get a placement diagram and a separate section from which you can trace the shapes (hopefully the shapes have been reversed). In this case, the shapes are very easy to identify so there’s no need for the separate section for tracing. We can trace right off the placement diagram.

We need to lay the fusible webbing (paper side up) onto the pattern so we can trace the shapes. Sometimes, this makes it hard to see the lines to trace.

You can place a solid WHITE piece of paper underneath the pattern. That will help to bring up the contrast of the lines and make it much easier to trace along the lines.

Place a piece of white paper underneath the pattern to provide more contrast when tracing the shapes

Alternatively, you can use a light box if you have one. Both methods work well to highlight the lines.

Using a light tablet to provide greater contrast for the lines when tracing

When working with fusible applique, the shapes need to be traced in the reverse from the placement diagram. Why? Because the fusible webbing is applied to the wrong side of the fabric. If you were to trace from the right side of the placement diagram, your final images would appear as a mirror image from that of the placement diagram. This isn’t a big deal when the shapes are so small and who cares if the pigs tail is on the right or the left, but it can be confusing if there are a lot of pieces or you want the animal to face a specific direction.

You can see below that I’ve traced my shapes from the WRONG side of the placement guide and the tail on the fusible webbing is a mirror image of the tail on the placement guide. You’ll see what I mean when I get it together.

The chicken is symmetrical so it doesn’t matter whether you trace from the front or the back. The cow and the pig are not symmetrical so it does make a difference.

If this is confusing, trust me. If you only have a placement diagram to trace from, then trace from the wrong side! If you have a shape guide to trace from, then make sure the shapes have been reversed. If not, then you must also trace those shapes from the wrong side.

The traced tail is a mirror image of the tail on the placement guide

1 more TIP

I snug my traced pieces up as tight as I can so I’m not wasting the fusible webbing. Make sure to leave ¼” between the shapes.

Group pieces that will be cut from the same fabric together so there’s less cutting at the initial stage.

Applying the fusible webbing to the fabric

Make sure that you have all your fabrics selected and ready to go.

Rough cut around the shapes – do NOT cut on the traced line at this point.

If you have grouped shapes together that will be fused to the same fabric, there’s no need to cut them apart. Keep them in a group and fuse them to the fabric as a group.

In the photo below, you can see that the two chicken wings are grouped together, as are the eyes.

Chicken parts are traced onto the fusible web and the fabrics are chosen

Now it’s time to do the actual fusing. Follow the instructions that came with the fusible webbing. For the most part, these products work in a very similar fashion – you take the glue side of the fusible webbing and place it on the wrong side of your fabric, making sure you have enough room to cut out all the shapes. Don’t overlap the shapes. Make sure the fusible webbing is well adhered to the wrong side of your fabric, but be careful to not overheat it. Reading the instructions is a good thing. You don’t want to waste fabric and you don’t want to have to retrace because you overheated the fusible webbing.

The shapes for the chicken have been fused to the wrong side of the fabric

The shapes for the pig have been fused to the wrong side of the fabrics

The shapes for the cow have been fused to the wrong side of the fabrics

Just like that, our shapes are fused to the fabrics and ready for the next step.

Join me tomorrow as I cut those shapes out and fuse them to the backgrounds, I will have great tips for doing both. If you’re making these pot holders along with me, we’ll be using these pot holders before you know it. I might even have to bake something just to try them out.

Have a super day!


This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: Quilting farmyard fun pot holders for the kitchen

Go to part 3: 4 TIPS for cutting and fusing applique shapes

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Christi November 29, 2018 - 12:24 am
The whole series is quite good. Thank-you.
Elaine Theriault November 29, 2018 - 8:56 am
Christi -- you're most welcome. Thanks so much for following along with QUILTsocial! Elaine
Helene August 8, 2018 - 5:15 am
Thank you for the tips on fusible webbing. I think I might have to get a light box.
Elaine Theriault August 10, 2018 - 6:26 am
Helene - you're welcome. I LOVE my lightbox and it sure makes things much easier for tracing. Elaine
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