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How to prepare applique pieces for quilting

by Robin Bogaert

Today, I’ll discuss how to prepare the strips for the background of the Spring Blossoms for Mom quilt I discussed yesterday as well as the applique fabric for the tulips with HeatnBond Lite iron-on adhesive. It’s so easy to applique with HeatnBond Lite iron-on adhesive and this technique will open your mind to thousands of applique possibilities.

Cutting the background

  1. Press all background fabric (gray as shown below).
  2. Lay out the background fabric in an order that pleases, keep in mind all 5 fabrics will be sewn into a strip set.
  3. Number each fabric 1-5.
  4. Cut 7 strips 2½” x Width of Fabric (WOF) of #1 fabric.
  5. Cut 7 strips each 2¼” x WOF of #2 and #3 fabrics.
  6. Cut 7 strips each 2″ x WOF of #4 and #5 fabrics.
  7. There should be a total of 35 strips WOF cut out – set these all aside.
  8. Prewash the fabric creations flannel backing and set it aside.

The picture below shows the strips cut for the Spring Blossoms for Mom background:

Strips of background fabric cut and laid out ready to be sewn

Note: I did change the order of my numbering as I changed my mind on layout.

TIP 1 Once satisfied with the layout, keep the strips in order so you can sew them from 1-5.

TIP 2  If you place the darkest fabric in the #3 position (center) you’ll get a woven effect for your background.  You can choose the woven effect or make your background scrappy. It’s your artwork and your choice.

Woven effect with darkest fabric in center of strip piecing once sewn together. Fabric in center looks like it is going over and under because of the density of the color.

Cutting the tulip appliques

  • Press all stem and tulip fabrics.
  • Download the tulip applique pattern here.
  • Using a pencil, trace the stem applique and the tulip petals 8 times onto the matt side (non-glue side) of the HeatnBond Lite iron-on adhesive as shown. You can see through HeatnBond Lite allowing for easy tracing.

HeatnBond Lite iron-on adhesive and the downloaded Tulip design

Pencil tracing of the stems and tulip design onto matt side of HeatnBond Lite iron-on adhesive

KAI 7000 series stainless steel tailoring shears

Stem and Tulip sections cut out of HeatnBond Lite iron-on adhesive.

CAUTION: It’s a best practice to protect your iron and ironing surface with parchment paper or a silicone pressing sheet. This way there’s no glue residue on your iron or ironing surface.

Pressing, glue side down to wrong side of fabric. Paper side is facing the iron.

  • Cut out all of the stem and tulip applique pieces roughly once again as shown.

Tulip and stem applique pieces pressed onto HeatnBond Lite iron-on adhesive and cut out.

  • Cut out stem and tulip pieces accurately using small scissors and leaving on the paper backing as shown. It’s spring in my studio!

Tulips and stems cut out with paper backing remaining on the back. So nice to see these after winter!

The background fabric, backing fabric (flannel) and tulip appliques are now prepared. I welcome you to join me tomorrow as I explain how to sew the easiest quilt blocks you’ll ever make and adhere the appliques to the quilt top. Trust me, you’ll love how quickly this pretty little quilt comes together.

In the meantime, Happy Tuesday!

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: Spring Blossoms for Mom lap quilt
Go back to part 3: Gütermann cotton and invisible nylon threads for piecing and applique


1 comment

Carol DeLater March 10, 2020 - 8:50 am

This is a timely tutorial for me as I am trying to decide which applique method I would like the best. Thanks for sharing this process.


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