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Raw Edge Applique with Fusible Web

Download the PDF version


  • Fabric - amount of fabric needed is included in each pattern
  • Matching, contrasting or invisible thread
  • Fusible web (I prefer Steam-a-Seam 2)
  • Scissors
  • Clothes Iron or mini iron
  • Muslin or pressing sheet for ironing
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Sewing machine (or needle and thread if by hand)


1.       Prewash fabric, dry, iron and set aside

2.       Prepare freezer paper pattern for cutting

  • Number your pieces and number the plain paper pattern to match. This is optional, only necessary if there are many pieces of similar size, shape or color.

3.       Cut freezer paper pattern

  •  Using scissors cut straight down the middle of the pattern lines.  Important do not make corrections in your cut. Do not trim paper from individual pieces. If you remove extra paper it will create gaps in your applique design. If you don’t follow the line precisely it is okay, the matching piece will still fit snuggly against that piece, and it will be the new line. So don’t worry.
  • Cut all border pieces straight to make sure your pattern has nice straight edges. A straight edge or paper cutter is recommended for outside edges.

4.       Adhere pattern pieces to fabric

Take your chosen fabric and lay it wrong side up on the ironing surface.

Cut an appropriately sized piece of fusible web and lay it sticky side down on the wrong side of your fabric.

Place your freezer paper pattern pieces shiny side down and arrange them on the paper side of the fusible web. Pay attention to the pattern or direction of your fabric so that your pieces will appear as you like when they are cut out.

Iron the fusible web and fabric together using the dry cotton setting on your iron for at least 3 seconds. It may take longer than you think to get good adherence. (You will see the fabric start to show through the paper when you get it fused)

Peel off the paper backing from the ironed fusible on the fabric.

Lay your freezer paper pattern pieces shiny side down on the paper backing of the fusible web. Pay attention to the pattern or direction of your fabric so that your pieces will appear as you like when they are cut out.

5.       Cut your fabric pieces

Cut along the edge of your freezer paper; do not cut any smaller than the freezer paper. If you cut too small it will create gaps between your pieces where you will see the background.

If you can’t cut very precise always error on the larger size, not smaller. If you cut too large you can always overlap the pieces and cause no problems.

If your piece is the outside edge you can trim it so it takes the shape you want to see.

6.       Assemble your applique

Choose your first piece and remove the freezer paper and fusible web backing.

Lay your first piece on the paper pattern (typically an edge or corner piece). Tape this piece in place to help keep your starting reference.

Remove the freezer paper and backing of the next piece and place it touching against the taped piece to assemble the applique. If you cut your piece larger you can overlap to get the desired look. Repeat until your applique is assembled. You will use scotch tape to tape the pieces to each other. You don’t have to use a section of tape for each piece you can hold multiple pieces together with one section of tape. You want to be secure enough that you can transfer the applique to the background as the assembled applique.

Use the plain paper pattern as a reference to keep your edges straight and keep everything in proper alignment.

Use the pointed tool to make fine adjustment of your pieces or to help hold them in place while adding the tape.

7.      Assemble your applique

  • Tape your uncut pattern to a window.
  • Cut your black background fabric an inch or two larger than the overall size. And tape in front of the paper pattern on the window. 
  • Choose your first cut piece and remove the freezer paper from the fusible web backing. (It doesn’t really matter where you start but I work big to small or all of one color first.)
  • Once you peel the freezer paper away place the piece to the corresponding place. You want to place your piece in the middle of the corresponding space on the paper pattern.
  • Repeat the process for each piece placing it in the center of the corresponding location on the paper pattern trying to keep all your spaces even. You can see through the black fabric to the paper pattern below to help keep your edges straight and keep everything in proper position.
  • Once all your pieces are placed, take it off of the window and place it on your table. This is when you can pick up and reposition any piece you don’t feel is quite in the right place.


8.       Adhere the applique to the background

  • After checking the alignment of your applique pieces to each other and adjust any pieces if necessary.
  • Press down firmly on all of the pieces so that they won’t move during ironing.
  • Lay muslin or non-stick ironing sheet over the entire applique.
  • Iron the entire applique using a hot dry cotton setting. (It may take up to 30 seconds per section). Don’t move your iron over the pieces they may fold or move until you iron them in place. Pat to iron.
  • Remove the muslin or ironing sheet
  • You will know if you have ironed enough if you bend the fabric and none of the pieces peel away from the background. If they do, repeat ironing.

9.       Stitch the applique

          Stitch along all edges of each piece.

          You can use a straight stitch or hand stitch if this piece will not be handled or washed. Use a zigzag or satin stitch if this will be a piece for use or washed.

          You can use matching thread, even contrasting thread (if you want your lines to show) or invisible thread (be careful ironing later)

10.   Add embroidery lines now or in quilting.

11.   Trim background or border

  • Using a straight edge square up your background. 

12.   Use the finished panel as desired. You can now add borders, incorporate into a quilt, make into a pillow…have fun!