How to Applique

Have you ever wanted to learn How to Applique? It’s easier than you think.

Learn How to AppliqueIn a few weeks I will be teaching a couple of classes on how to applique.  So, in the days and weeks prior I will occasionally be posting some of the projects. 

For this project I drew inspiration from a book that my kids (and now grandsons) love.  See if you can guess…

For this project you will need to gather some scraps.  I didn’t actually use any of these fabrics in my project, but you get the idea.


Since I will be making lots of these projects for my classes, I purchased a drop cloth to use as my backdrop.  I also washed the drop cloth and bleached it to give it a better color. Otherwise, it is rather dingy.
Since drop cloth tends to unravel, I serged all of the edges.  You can also run a zigzag stitch around all of the raw edges and have the same effect. For this project you want something simple, so canvas or twill would work, as well.

I’ve made a design template that you can access here.
Alligator and Bird

Go to the link above and print the pdf file.  Next, cut out the template for the hill.  Fuse the back of your fabric with Heat & Bond or WonderUnder.  Peel off the backing then fuse to your fabric with an iron.
Stitch down with either a straight stitch (which I used), or a zigzag or any decorative stitch you prefer.  I also used a heavier thread so mine would be more visible.
Next, cut out the alligator and apply fusible webbing to the back of fabric.  Place the alligator where you want it, then add a little bit of rickrack for his back. Iron down the alligator, making sure that you catch the rickrack.
With a water soluble marker, make a smile on your alligator’s face.  This will help with the stitching.
Starting at the inside corner of his mouth, begin stitching around your alligator.  Be creative and have fun with this.
Next, apply fusible webbing to the back of your bird fabric.  Place the bird 1” above the alligator, to leave room for it’s skinny little legs.
With a water soluble marker, mark the bird’s legs and wing.
Now, beginning with the right leg, stitch around your bird.  Be sure to stitch the wing, too.
Cut out as many clouds as you desire and add fusible webbing to the back. Lay onto your scene, then iron in place.
Stitch around your clouds.
Now, add a button for each eye.  I like to tape mine in place and then sew them on the machine.  Feel free to hand sew them, as well.
Now you’re done.  You can make this into a pillow or frame it for a wall hanging.  It would also make a great taggie.
Tah dah!  It’s supposed to be Lyle the Crocodile.  I know he’s a crocodile, I was just trying to see if you could guess!

How to AppliqueFor more appliqué ideas follow my Adventures in Applique Pinterest Board

Follow Leslie Rutland {}’s board Adventures in Applique on Pinterest.


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  1. says

    I guessed Lyle the Crocodile right away! :) Love that you used the ric rac for his back and I LOVE your button taping tip … I’ve never thought to do that before. I’m pinning that tip so I don’t forget. Thanks for sharing at Project Inspire{d}!

  2. says

    Hey Girl! It’s Deonna from the Child at Heart blog. I was just stopping by to say hello! I’m pinning this to my sewing for beginners board because I could benefit from reading this as well as my other followers. Thank you! Have a joyful week!

  3. says

    Simple tutorial to follow, thanks! I haven’t done a lot of applique, so I might need to try again sometime. :) Thanks for sharing at the Weekend Wind-Down party, be sure to link back to us so you can be featured! =)

  4. says

    I love this tutorial, and you’ve inspired me to do do some applique, yay! Off to see more of your blog, by the looks of the picture links, it gets better and better!


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