March 19, 2013

Hello everyone! Back safe and sound from SoCal. I’m excited… this post has been cooking for over a year now! I met Australian quilter and stitcher extraordinaire Helen Stubbings at Market a couple of times, and we finally got it together for her to do a guest post on her method of appliqué! You are going to love this! Take it away Helen!

Glue stick Applique
By Helen Stubbings of Hugs ‘n Kisses

This easy or some would say ‘cheats’ method of needleturn applique takes the scare factor out of needleturn. Most of the work is in the preparation, leaving the actual stitching as the easy bit.

The method uses two products – Hugs ‘n Kisses Applique Paper and a glue pen – I use the Sewline Water-Soluble Glue Pen.

Place a sheet of applique paper with the shiny (glue) side down on top of your template or design printed sheet. It is semitransparent so you can easily see the design through the paper. Trace each design or template shape onto the paper – I like to use a Sewline Ceramic pencil which glides on nicely. Note: if your applique design is directional you need to reverse it for this method.

Cut out each shape carefully on the traced lines. This is the important part – be as careful as possible as this determines your final shape.

Fuse each shape to the wrong side of your chosen fabrics. You need to leave a large ¼” between shapes for seam allowances.

If you wish, you can fussy-cut your fabrics by positioning the shapes to suit.

Cut out each shape leaving an approximate 1/8” seam allowance.

Using the glue pen, run a line of glue along the edge of the paper template –- it only needs to be light and right on the edge.

Using your thumb and forefinger, gently press over the seam allowance onto the glue. You want to fold the fabric on the edge of the paper –- but you don’t want to fold the paper as well, it doesn’t take too long to get the feel of the edge of the paper and where to fold to.

If the end of your applique piece is going to be under another piece in the final design you do not need to glue and fold these edges over.

You do not need to clip into outer curves. Our seam allowance is small and often on the bias so clipping is not necessary. Just gently fold/pleat around curves a small step at a time so you do not get points. If you are having trouble eliminating points try trimming back the seam allowance a little further.

If you have tails like on this leaf, just leave those and they will be dealt with later.

Your prepared shape!

You will need to clip on inner curves – but not as much as you may be used to. Just clip where you absolutely need to to enable the seam allowances to fold in nicely. Inner points need to be clipped to the edge of the paper.

Continue glueing until all shapes are prepared.

Position your background fabric over the design sheet. Use a light box if you cannot easily see through the fabric.

Position and layer all applique pieces following the design you can see underneath. Use the glue pen or for larger projects Roxanne’s Glue baste it to secure all pieces at once. Just layer them up until the complete block is ready for stitching.

Now you can stitch all pieces down as you would for your normal applique method. I use Hugs ‘n Kisses applique needles and Superior Bottom Line threads but you can use your thread of choice. When stitching down those tails that are showing, stitch to the point and do a double stitch to hold, tuck under the tail with the tip of your needle and continue in the new direction.

No need to remove the papers – when it is washed they will just dissolve and soften into safe fibres in your quilt project.

All of our Hugs ‘n Kisses applique patterns include the full design sheet along with reversed where necessary templates and applique shapes for tracing. We are considering including pre-printed Applique Paper in our patterns in the future –- so you can just cut out, glue and stitch!

Happy appliquéing!


16 Responses to “Hugs ‘n Kisses Glue Stick Appliqué”

  1. Debbie St.Germain on March 19th, 2013 6:57 pm

    I have used this method with glue but not the paper. I like the idea of water washable paper so you can keep the crisp edges while you sew.


  2. Barbara Jansz on March 20th, 2013 9:51 am

    Thank you! This looks like a great way to applique. I haven’t done hand applique in years, but now I’m motivated again.

  3. Sheila Craft on March 20th, 2013 10:08 am

    I’ve never heard of that paper but, I’d sure like to give it a try! Anyone know where I can buy it??

  4. admin on March 20th, 2013 10:09 am

    Sheila, the name of the paper in the post is linked up to the web page where you can get it. :)


  5. Millie Carter on March 20th, 2013 12:29 pm

    I’ve used a product called Transfer Eze for embroidery such as red work which then at the end you soak the material in cold water & the design dissolves. It has a backing sheet which you must remove in order to glue it to you material so it is not terribly transparent. Will have to ask at my quilt shop if they can get Applique Paper. Thanks for the suggestion & lesson on how to.

  6. Linda on March 20th, 2013 2:30 pm

    I believe Helen is calling this technique by the wrong name. It is not needleturn, it is “prepared applique”.

    True… I think she means “needleturn.” :). K.

  7. Kathy Delaney on March 21st, 2013 7:09 am

    I think Helen’s technique would be perfect for invisible machine applique, too! I, too, like the idea that the paper just melts into harmless fiber.

  8. Kathy Delaney on March 21st, 2013 7:11 am

    Am I correct in believing this paper will also go through a printer? If so, I’m IN!

  9. admin on March 21st, 2013 7:20 am

    Hi Kathy! The package says “Ink-jet Printable,” so go for it! Let us know how it goes. K.

  10. Helen on March 21st, 2013 2:50 pm

    hi Girls, yes the paper can go through an inkjet printer- print or copy your applique templates or English Paper piecing shapes, cut out and away you go. I call the technique gluestick applique – a cheats version of needleturn but with the same end result as opposed to fused or raw edge applique. You cannot use like Transfer Eze on the front of your work as it does not completely dissappear – it does leave soft fibres on the fabric particuarly if you have over fused. – not a problem on the back, but dont use it on the front – stick to transfer eze for this purpose. hope you enjoy it girls!

  11. Jan Hood on July 26th, 2013 12:49 pm

    So, you print on the piece that stays in behind the fabric. If that is correct, then the ink from the ink jet printer is on the piece and then the ink can run when it gets wet???

  12. admin on July 26th, 2013 12:56 pm

    Hi Jan! I believe the ink will wash out!


  13. Jan Hood on July 26th, 2013 1:33 pm

    That’s too bad that it has to be washed to remove the ink because I don’t wash my appliqued quilts. It sure would be nice if it had paper on one side that could be removed after the piece was cut out. Now that would be fantastic!

  14. admin on July 26th, 2013 1:56 pm

    Am I thinking that sounds like freezer paper??


  15. Helen Lebrett on October 20th, 2013 6:34 pm

    Does anyone know if this paper is acid free? If so, it sounds like the perfect product! Thanks, Helen in Healdsburg

  16. Nancy Krainz on April 1st, 2019 5:49 am

    When I cut my pieces after adhering the paper to the fabric, I cut a generous 1/8th inch outside the line and then remove the paper. THEN, I turn and glue the edges, iron and I’m ready to applique. No need to worry about the paper. In fact…I reuse the paper.