Applique Preparation

Design and Layout

I recommend doing some sketches of your design before progressing. This will aid you greatly by helping you know what your applique shapes need to be and where they go. Once you iron your applique pieces down, you can only rarely remove them without damaging them and the ground fabric. The design doesn’t have to be complete or exact. I like to leave lots of room for fun. You can also use colored pencils for your designs although I do not. I like the colors to guide me as a I work.

Applique Motifs

This is not a required step but it is the one I use. When I pin applique motifs to my ground fabric they tend to move and this can mess up my design layout. It’s especially noticeable when I have lines that need to match up. So I use an iron on adhesive such as Heat N’ Bond or Wonder Under. I prefer Heat N’ Bond because it really bonds and because the adhesive doesn’t separate from the paper backing in storage. However Heat N’ Bond can be stiff, even the light version, so if your fabrics are delicate, use something lighter like Wonder Under.
Both of these products are iron adhesives that have a paper backing. You draw your motif design onto the paper. Cut out around the design. Place it adhesive side down onto your motif fabric and iron on per the instructions of your adhesive. Cut out around your drawn design. You will have pieces like this that will not unravel.

This is the adhesive side now.
Place the adhesive side down on your ground fabric, arrange all the pieces making sure that the conform to your layout. Iron on.
This shows the side view of the ironed on motifs. If you do it correctly, they should stick well. Only test when cool.

Draw Your Design Layout on Ground Fabric

Before I begin stitching, I take my water soluable marker and draw out the stitch line layout as a guide.

5 thoughts on “Applique Preparation

  1. Really enjoyed finding your blog. Am attempting the tarot bag with some patterned fabric and corduroy lining. The colours work well together, but I’m not sure that the thickness of the fabrics will be anything but unwieldy – still the tarot cards should be cosy.

    • Hi Julia,


      I hear you about cozy but man, that corduroy must be difficult to work with. I recommend, if it’s not too late, that you buy a thin wale as that will be more easily manipulated. Also, snip your seams well as this will help reduce bulk. My decks have been pretty happy in a wool bag lined with silk, but yours, well, are yours! šŸ™‚

  2. My gran taught me to knit as a nipper and I have relearned the art via YuTube and as a tarot reader plan to knit some bags for myself and maybe in future to see, I would love to do applique to my knitting as well, so thankyou for sharing this; it is very kind and generous of you, bb xx

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