It's a quick and easy method—no sewing necessary.

May 07, 2020
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ironing on a motif in applique
Credit: Janne Peters

There are two advantages to the iron-on appliqué method: The adhesives in the fusible web prevent fabrics from fraying (so edges do not need to be turned under or machine-sewn), and you can apply designs quickly. However, this method is best for projects that will not be washed often—such as ginger-flower curtains (as shown here) or tote bags—and clothes that aren't machine-dried.

Cut out a motif.

Cut a piece of fabric that is larger than the appliqué piece or pieces that you plan to cut out. Then, cut a piece of fusible web slightly smaller all around than the fabric piece. Using an iron on the wool setting, press the web onto the back of the fabric; the rough side of the web should be facing the wrong side of the fabric. Allow the paper backing to cool completely. With the right side of the template facing the paper backing, use a pencil to trace your template shape. Cut out the shape, and peel off the paper backing.

Position and press the motif.

Position the appliqué piece or pieces, fabric side up, on your background fabric, and pin. If you are working with sheer fabric, place a pressing sheet on your ironing board (this will keep the fabric from sticking to the board). Press with steam for about 10 seconds, or according to the fusible web manufacturer's instructions. Make sure to press down on the motif; do not move the iron back and forth, as this will cause the fabric to shift, permanently creasing or wrinkling it.

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