5 essential steps for fusible applique success

Yesterday on QUILTsocial I showed you how to turn a drawing into an applique pattern. I can’t wait to start using these great Wild and Free fabrics from Northcott to make my horse!! I think my Equestrian Beauty Wallhanging is going to look great!

Wild and Free fabrics


If you’d like to make your own Wild and Free horse wall hanging, you’ll need the following fabrics:

  • ½ yd             21856-34 – brown with cowboy hats and boots (outer border)
  • fat quarter   21857-32 – beige with horseshoes (applique and prairie points)
  • fat eighth     21857-36 – brown with horseshoes (applique)
  • fat eighth     21858-34 – brown with ropes (applique)
  • fat eighth     21859-36 – brown with stars (applique)
  • fat eighth     21860-34 – light brown embossed leather-look (applique)
  • ⅓ yd             21861-36 – dark brown leather-look (applique and inner border)
  • 19″ x 24″      9020-30 – beige (background)
  • ⅓ yd             binding
  • 39″               backing
  • 35″ x 40″      batting

Step 1 Prepare the diagram

Yesterday I gave you the diagram to print out and enlarge by 250%. The pattern will extend over four pages so trim the edges of the papers and then carefully tape the pages together to make the full diagram.

The enlarged applique diagram

To make placement of the applique shapes easier, trace over the major lines of the design with a black marker. The lines now show up in reverse on the back of the paper.

Tracing over design with a black marker

Step 2 Trace onto fusible web

Flip the diagram so that it’s right side up again and trace each individual section of the applique design onto the paper side of your fusible web making sure to leave space in between each shape to allow for them to be cut apart.

TIP Number each shape as you trace them.

Trace sections onto paper side of fusible web.

Small fusible applique shapes that will be ironed to the same Wild and Free fabrics from Northcott can be traced beside each other and NOT cut apart before ironing. These shapes are the nostrils and the inside of each ear.

Small fusible applique shapes

Step 3 Cut apart the fusible web shapes

Loosely cut around each of the fusible applique shapes.

TIP As you cut apart the fusible web applique shapes keep them in a basket or box so you don’t lose any of them.

Keep all sections in a basket

Step 4 Iron shapes to the fabrics

Select the fabrics for the applique shapes by laying them on top of each other to get a sense of what they will look like in the finished applique. Here I’m auditioning the fabrics that I’m using for the horse’s face.

Selecting fabrics for the applique shapes

Following the manufacturer’s directions, iron each shape to the BACK of the different Wild and Free fabrics. I chose to iron the sections of the horse’s mane to the darkest fabrics and to use the medium valued fabrics for his face and neck.

Iron to the wrong side of the fabric

Step 5 Cut out the fabric shapes

Next, cut each of these shapes ALONG the drawn line. DO NOT pull the paper off yet. Use the numbers written on the paper to pick the correct pieces tomorrow when we iron the applique shape together. Just cut the shapes out and put them back in your basket.

Cut along the drawn lines

So your homework for tonight is to cut out all of the sections of the horse head applique. Lay the pieces out on your cutting table in the rough shape of the head to make sure that the Wild and Free fabrics that you chose for each section looks OK and if not, retrace that section and iron it to another fabric. Tomorrow we’ll iron them all together and we’ll get to see how awesome it looks! See you then!

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: How to create your own fusible applique pattern from a drawing

Go to part 4: 10 easy steps to assemble a horse applique using Wild and Free fabrics

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barbara woods November 28, 2018 - 4:39 pm
wow! beautiful
Amina zafar November 10, 2017 - 2:06 pm
Hugh Laing November 9, 2017 - 8:08 pm
easy to follow these instructions
Christine Baker November 13, 2017 - 1:20 pm
Thanks Hugh!
Linda Webster November 8, 2017 - 7:51 pm
Thanks so much for the tutorial.
Christine Baker November 13, 2017 - 1:22 pm
You're welcome Linda! Thanks for checking it out!
Anna brown November 8, 2017 - 2:02 pm
Ty very helpfull in my applique Journey... happyness04431@yahoo.com
Christine Baker November 13, 2017 - 1:25 pm
You're very welcome Anna - have fun!
Linda E in AZ November 8, 2017 - 11:01 am
I'm wondering why you don't cut out each shape (of the fusible) before fusing them down to the fabric - seems like you are wasting more fabric outside the actual shape you need. Thanks
Christine Baker November 13, 2017 - 1:28 pm
Hi Linda - Thanks for the great question! The fusible applique shapes are cut a little bit bigger than the line because you want to make sure that the adhesive is all the way to the edge of the fabric. You can cut them closer to the line if you want, but just make sure that you have to trim them a little bit when you are cutting the fabric shapes. This will make sure that the shapes stick really well to your background fabric. Christine
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