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How to create your own fusible applique pattern from a drawing


Yesterday on QUILTsocial I showed you 4 ideal ways to use Northcott’s new fabric lineWild and Free. This lovely fabric line features a beautiful panel and lots of great coordinating fabrics. For this week’s project I decided to use these fabrics to make an appliqued horse wallhanging, called Equestrian Beauty Wallhanging.

The first thing I need to do is find a picture of a horse head that I can adapt into a fusible applique pattern.

An assortment of fabrics from the WIld and Free fabric line from Northcott.
Wild and Free fabrics


Coloring book pages

If you google “horse head coloring book page” you’ll find a multitude of websites that offer free coloring book images that you can download and print for free. This screenshot is from and as you can see there are MANY different images available!

Of course, you can always go “old-school” and use a real kids coloring book for inspiration!

Coloring pages available to print
Coloring pages available to print


Stained glass and intarsia images

Two more great places to look for inspiration for applique designs are sites that have free stained glass patterns such as or free intarsia (woodworking) patterns such as

These images are usually fairly simple and can be easily adapted to an applique design.

After much searching, I found an image that I liked and I adapted it a bit to make a nice line drawing.

Horse head drawing
Horse head drawing


In order for the fusible applique to stay together, there needs to be some overlap between adjacent sections of fabric. Looking at your picture, you need to decide which sections of the drawing are towards the back and which ones are at the front. Once you’ve figured this out, you extend the shape of the farthest back pieces so that they will extend under the piece beside it (which is closer to the front). Use a dotted line to indicate where the one fabric overlaps the next.

Adding overlap lines
Adding overlap lines


Go over your entire drawing to make sure that each section is either at the front of the image OR extends under the edge of the section beside it.

The completed pattern
The completed pattern


If you have a complicated diagram with lots of parts the easiest way to keep everything straight it to number each section. This way, as you trace the sections onto your fusible web you number the traced images with the corresponding number. These numbers will come in VERY hand on Thursday when we iron all of the parts together.

Numbering the sections
Numbering the sections


Here is my numbered applique diagram. If you’d like to make your own wallhanging, print the page off and enlarge it by 250%. The diagram will print onto 4 sheets of paper, which you can tape together to get the entire image.



Wild and Free pattern, click on the picture to download PDF
Wild and Free pattern, click on the picture to download PDF


Tomorrow I’ll show you how to trace all of the applique shapes and get everything cut out and ready to assemble. The Wild and Free fabrics from Northcott are going to look amazing with this design!


This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: 4 ideal ways to use the new Northcott Wild and Free fabric line

Go to part 3: 5 essential steps for fusible applique success

I have been designing and publishing quilt patterns for the last 16 years under the business name Fairfield Road Designs. My patterns range from fusible applique and piecing to felted wool applique and punchneedle. You can see all of patterns on my website


  1. Brenda

    Thanks for the pattern and lesson on making your own applique patterns.

  2. Mary Jaglowitz

    My friend loves horses and works with them as a therapist. I would like to try this pattern.

  3. Christine

    Love these Ideas

  4. Janice

    Thanks, very useful information!

    • You’re very welcome! Glad you found it helpful 🙂

  5. Julie Bolduc

    I love this idea

  6. Elaine M.

    OMG! This type of animal applique is exactly what I’ve been wanting to learn how to do. This is perfect. Thank you.

  7. Calvin F.

    This is neat, I like how customizeable it can be

    • For sure Calvin! Have fun making your own applique 🙂

  8. Helen G

    this horse is amazing. Love it! I have horsey people in my family who would love anything made with this fabric! Thanks for the chance to win! Helen

    • Thanks Helen! I really love how the wallhanging turned out. Good luck with the draw 🙂

  9. Rachel Gagnon

    this technique is very impressive. It will take me a few years to even think about doing it. I am a beginner in the quilting domain . Very nice and beautiful.

    • Thank you for your comment Rachel and welcome to the creative world of quilting. Start with a small drawing, a simpler shape, your favorite shape, and take it from there. Best – Carla

  10. Wanda Myers

    Your horse is going to be beautiful!

    • Thanks Wanda! I had so much fun with this project!

  11. Delaine

    Wow – this article is awesome! There is a vast amount of applique patterns on the internet that I hadn’t even thought about. Thank you.

    • Thanks Delaine 🙂 I’m glad you found the info useful.

  12. Renata S

    Neat technique

  13. Nancy D

    So glad I found this tutorial! I want to make a wall hanging for someone who loves Giraffe’s and can’t find what I want. Thank you for the idea of doing my own drawing.

    • Awesome Nancy! I bet you can find exactly what you need to make an awesome giraffe quilt!

  14. Lori Michel

    Loving these articles……

  15. Sandy Allen

    My grandmother used to use coloring book pages for applique and the liquid paint quilt blocks. Thanks for reminding me about this!

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