My Appliqué Technique

I have always loved to appliqué, but I have never been 100% happy with the techniques that I've tried for machine appliqué. Until now!

I want to share my method with you because it is so simple, fast and has a wonderful finish. If you're not crazy about machine appliqué, this method might change the way you feel about it.

My home-made appliqué starch recipe

In a 2-cup measuring cup, mix 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with
2 teaspoons of cold water.

Add 1 cup of boiling water and stir. Then fill to the 2-cup line with cold water and stir.

Trace an appliqué shape onto the dull side of a piece of freezer paper. Cut out the shape about ½” outside of the drawn line. Place the shape, shiny side down, onto the dull side of another piece of freezer paper. With a dry hot iron press the two pieces of freezer paper together. Peel the double-thick freezer paper off your ironing board, and cut out along the drawn line.

Shiny side down, place the freezer paper shape onto the wrong side of a piece of fabric. Press the freezer paper templates in place with a dry hot iron.

Cut away the fabric around the shape leaving a 1/4" seam allowance.

Apply the starch to the ¼” seam allowance with a small paint brush.

Using a mini iron and an awl, press the seam allowance towards the freezer paper.

Once the shape has cooled, remove the freezer paper template and if needed finger press the seam allowance back into place.

Using a cotton 2-ply fine embroidery thread that matches your appliqué shape and a 60/8 needle in your sewing machine, sew the shape to your background very close to the edge with a straight stitch. Start sewing with a very short stitch to anchor the shape and gradually increase the stitch length as you go around. As you get close to where you started sewing, decrease to a shorter stitch and remove from your sewing machine and cut the threads.


  1. This seems to be a most effective technique, especially the double freezer page shape. A mini iron is certainly easier to manage. Thank you for sharing your tried and trusted method.

    Cheers...Ann :)

  2. Thanks for sharing - I've just begun to use the starch method for hand applique and will try your hints for machine stitching, too! The starch recipe looks great, too.

  3. My sister in law and I have been wanting to try machine applique and really didn't want to use fusible interface/web. Thanks so much for this tutorial, I think even I might be able to do this it gives me and excuse to buy an new quilting tool. I don't have one of the mini irons yet. I've been looking at them for a long time though. Thanks again, Nancy

  4. thank you so much for this tutorial, I love the idea of making my own handmade starch, looks like it makes it simpler to do.

  5. Love the idea, because I hate to do the applique stitches since mine all look so terrible. I am assuming that you slit the back and pull the paper out?

    Or do you leave it in????

  6. Thanks... this looks easy enough for me to try! I've been wanting to applique for a while, but it has seemed a very daunting task! TFS!

  7. it llooks easier that way .gona try it. thanks

  8. I just got a mini iron for Christmas...will have to try your method!

  9. Obrigada, Margot, por compartilhar os seus tutorias, tenho certeza que irei aprender muito com eles.

  10. juleedugan3/05/2012

    Do you reuse the 7 large hexagon templates and 7 small templates over and over againto make the 9 large and 4 small blocks?


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