Raw Edge Applique Tutorial

I just finished another raw edge applique project that I just love.  For the local MQG chapter we were challenged to use the Allison Glass Ex Libris butterfly motif in charcoal or white.  I decided to use the charcoal colorway.  Each circle in the panel is approximately 10″ in diameter.


I’ve been wanting to make a silhouette of a deer for a quite a while now and I thought this would be a good project for this fabric.  I had to do some piecing, but not much.  So other than the quilting, it was a quick project.  I just love how it turned out.



Thought I would share with you how I made this and the Anchored with Love pillow since the technique is the same.

You will need the following items:

  • Double-sided fusible web, paper backed on each side (I used Lite Steam-a-Seam2)
  • Quilt top
  • Fabric scraps
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Pattern of applique piece
  • Pencil or pen

Trace pattern onto paper on one side of fusible web.



Cut out image leaving approximately 1/4″ all the way around.


Peel off the paper from the other side of the fusible web that does not have the traced image.

Please your fabric scraps on the exposed fusible web where wanted.  Lite Steam-A-Seam2 is sticky, so it holds your fabric scraps while you work on placement, and it can repositioned as needed.  Just make sure the fabric covers all traced lines.  Once you are satisfied with where all fabric scraps are placed, press with hot iron to make permanent.  (Note that the other side of the fusible web is still backed with paper to keep it from sticking to anything else.)


Turn the applique image over and cut along the traced image to clean up the edges.



I have trimmed on all traced lines and have just the one antler left


close up


close up of head shows several fabric pieces

Peel paper off applique image and position where wanted onto quilt top and press with hot iron.


Once ironed onto fabric, the fusible web should be permanent (per the instructional sheet that comes with the fusible web product).  However, it’s always a good idea to put some sort of quilting over it just to make sure.

When I made the anchor pillow, I decided not to quilt it.  So, instead I zigzag’d along all edges of the fabric pieces.   This was probably a good decision for this project because I accidentally forgot to leave 1/4″ all the way around the fusible web before I placed the fabric scraps, so the edges are a bit more frayed than they would be otherwise.


Or you can do an all over quilt design making sure to ‘catch’ the applique as part of the quilting like I did here.


Or simply stitch 1/8″-1/4″ from edge of each applique piece.

Ta da, you’re done.  It really is super easy.  I hope you’ll give it a try and make something you love.

Deer measures approximately 9 1/4″ by 18 1/2″.  Finished project measures 17″ x 21 1/2″.  My plan is to hang this in my new mountain home.

Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and  Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict




Mountain Colors

My mother requested that I make some baby bibs with ‘mountain colors’.  My interpretation of mountain colors are colors such as brown, green, rust, and beige.  You may recall that our house is on the market and therefore most all my fabric in storage.  But, even if I had access to my stash, I wouldn’t have any of these colors.  I think if I had to sew with brown on a regular basis, it would depress me.  It’s just not something I buy.  And not having a job at the moment means that I don’t have extra money to spend.  So, I racked my brain trying to figure out where I could get some fabric in ‘mountain colors’ on the cheap.  And it occurred to me that men’s cotton shirts would work.  So… off I went in search of used men’s shirts.

I’m not sure if this is true for all of the NC mountains, but Macon County has a ton of thrift stores.  They are everywhere! (or at least they seem to be)  My google search found about 2 dozen thrift stores in a county of just 30K people.  And they don’t disappoint.  Many wonderful things can be found at the thrift stores in the area, but on this day I was looking only for men’s shirts.  And I found them!  One of the local stores was having a sale of just $1 for each item of clothing.  So I bought some shirts (and one pair of khaki slacks) in mountain colors, took them home and washed them, and started cutting them up.


I downloaded a bib pattern from JRoxDesigns and purchased a few ‘mountain’ animal embroidery files from Planet Applique.  I couldn’t find a deer design that I liked, so I digitized my own designs for the deer.  I also added the flower to the hedgehog design.   And over the next 2 weeks or so, I made 5 bibs in ‘mountain colors’.


For the large and extra large shirt sizes, I can get 4 bib cutouts from each shirt — one on each sleeve and two from the back.  And then extra fabric was used to applique several of the animals.  So the same shirt used for the fox bib was used to applique the hedgehog spines.  The khaki slacks were cut up and used as a back for each of the 2 deer bibs, and was also used for the hedgehog body.  The rust colored shirt was used for the body of the fox, and so on.  Each bib was also lined with a thick interfacing for support.

I am not impressed with the shirt used for the male deer.  That shirt was from Banana Republic, and although it was really nice fabric (I think it may have had some spandex in it although it said it was 100% cotton), it stretched and wrinkled way too much when embroidered.  And what you see is my second take.  The first was even worse.

The hedgehog smelling the flower is my favorite.  They are so cute together!  The deer isn’t too shabby either, if I do say so myself.


There is still plenty of fabric left over for more projects.  I saw a tutorial for a cute apron made of the front of a man’s shirt.  And I have the shirt fronts left on almost all the shirts, so maybe I’ll try that next. Or, I probably have enough left over to make a quilt, if I decide to go that route.

Have you repurposed clothing for something other than it’s intended use?  I’d love to hear about it.  I love new ideas.

Linking up with Link a Finish Friday at Richard and Tanya, and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.