Raw Edge Applique without Fusible Web

Kimberlee Tanner

Two Techniques to do Raw Edge Applique without Fusible Web

Missy LOVES Applique. It is one of her favorite techniques when it comes to quilting. There are so many different possibilities you can create with applique. Really, if you can dream it, you can applique it out of fabric. Missy primarily does raw edge applique and fusible web is regularly used.  However, sometimes a project just doesn’t work very with fusible web, especially if they are large pieces or there are multiple layers in the applique. We have discovered a couple different ways you can easily baste your pieces without fusible web in preparation for applique and are excited to share them with you!


Fusible Thread

The first method we like to use is fusbile thread. Our favorite brand is Charlotte’s Web by Superior threads. The best part of this thread is that after you have fused the piece to your background, the top thread will just lift right off. You will not need to worry about having to unpick it.

When using fusible thread, make sure you read the directions on the back of the package for any differences in brands. You will load your bobbin with the fusible thread and use regular thread in the top. It doesn’t matter what color you use as it will be coming out before you applique it. We also recommend sewing the fusible thread in before you cut out your applique piece. This will make it easier to turn under the needle, especially if you have tight corners. To sew the basting stitch in place, extend your stitch length. A longer thread length will make the top thread come off easier. After sewing around the entire shape, cut your piece out and iron in place. It will then stay put while you applique around your piece. Make sure it is where you want it before ironing the applique piece in place as it won’t easily come off after it’s ironed on and you would need to resew the piece to iron again.

Washable Gluestick

We love to use a washable gluestick on larger applique pieces. When positioning them, you often need to pick them up and reposition as you go to make sure everything lays out smoothly. A washable glue stick is the perfect solution for this. After you lay it down, you can pick up portions and smooth them out as needed. We use a Elmer’s washable school glue stick and have had no issues. Any residue or stiffness will wash right out the first time you wash your quilt. With this method, you will need to cut the piece out first, and then use the glue to baste it in place.

Both of these methods will eliminate extra stiffness from fusible web and work really well if you are dealing with multiple layers. We prefer to use the fusible web on anything that needs more durability, small pieces, and quilts made for kids (as they tend to get washed more often).

If you struggle with applique, or are just getting started, try out these different methods and find something that works well for you! If you want more information on how to use fusible web, you can watch our tutorial on our Gone Fishin’ Quilt for a complete walk through. With time and practice, you can master raw edge applique and open up a wonderful world of possibilities!

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