How to Applique?

By hand?...Or by machine?

This post contains affiliate links for which I receive compensation.

NEXT:  'How to Applique'

Why Not Compromise!

Love the look of hand applique, but don't always have the time?

Learn to applique with this invisible machine applique technique.

With a secret ingredient, the proper thread and a bit of practice, you'll finish applique projects like a pro and still have the time for those heirloom quilts you choose to hand applique!


Will you tell your friends?...

...and will they be able to tell the difference?

Can You Tell the Difference?

Two different applique blocks follow.

Both are appliqued by me. Julie Baird.

Both have turned edges.

One is hand appliqued over a freezer paper template. The other is invisible machine applique. Click on each picture to see a close up of the stitching.

The first block is from the quilt pattern, "Medallion Sampler", designed by Lori Smith and stitched by Julie Baird.

This block is approximately 18" square. Is this hand or machine applique? Click the picture for a close-up of the stitching.

Well? Can you tell how it is stitched?

Let's move on.

This next block is from the quilt pattern, "Lily Rosenberry", designed by Sue Garman and stitched, again, by Julie Baird.

This block is approximately 15" square. Is this hand or machine applique?  Click the picture for a close-up of the stitching.

The Moment of Truth

Could you tell the difference?

Want to know for sure?

The answer is that the Eagle Block is hand appliqued over a freezer paper template.

The Lily Rosenberry block is the invisible machine applique.

Now, I know what you're thinking...

But I love to do needle turn applique...

Why should I learn how to applique by machine?

I love to do handwork, too. There's nothing so peaceful as to sit in my big comfy chair...needle, thread and a new project in hand. Stitching away, piece by piece.

I think of that time as mini-vacations. Don't you?

But before I'd commit to learn how to applique by machine, it really needed to "fool the eye". This invisible machine applique technique   does that.

Could you tell the difference in the pictures?

Do you have the time to make
all the quilts in your head?

I know I don't.

After you learn how to create templates out of the "secret ingredient" and the stitching method, you can finish your quilts faster.

Think about some of those quilts you'd love to add a bit of applique to...

...but they're really not meant to be an heirloom.

What about a baby quilt that you know will be really used. You wouldn't want to put hand applique on that...but the quilt pattern was so adorable that you bought it.

Best yet...

You'll have more time to hand applique
those really important quilts...

...the ones that truly mean a lot to you, your family and generations yet to be.

Invisible machine applique lets you do more applique, more quickly and on quilts that you'd have never taken the time on before.

And, most importantly...

It's looks like handwork.

Are you ready to learn how to applique by machine? Let's move on to "Invisible Machine Applique Supplies".

NEXT: Applique Supplies for
Invisible Machine Applique

If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, please let me know by clicking this button - thank you!

Share Your Comments, Tips and Ideas

The Quilter's Planner

A Quilter + A Plan = More finished quilts

Country Holiday Christmas Barn 23" Panel

by Timeless Treasures

Click here for more Christmas panels...

Grow your applique skills...

Click the images below to learn more about each...

"The Ultimate Applique Guide Book"
by Annie Smith

"Applique for Modern Beginners"
by Eva Birch, Nancy Gano and Jodi Robinson

Applique patterns and books to tempt you...

"Tiny Town" Applique Quilt Pattern
by Bunny Hill Designs

"Bed of Roses"
by Sue Garmen

"I Love Dirt"
by Nellie's Needle

Favorite Applique Tools

Regardless of the method of applique I use, these are some of my go-to tools.

Famore Serated Scissors
For that little extra 'grab' as you cut your patches...

"Perfect Ovals"
by Karen Kay Buckley

Perfect Circles
by Karen Kay Buckley

"Perfect Leaves"
by Karen Kay Buckley

Subscribe to our StashTalk Newsletter