How to Design a Free Standing Applique Quilt

Make a quilt using free standing applique, a no-sew technique which involves gluing pieces together.


Materials and Tools:

freezer paper
fabric glue stick
monofilament thread
sewing machine


1. Trace your desired pattern onto the matte side of the freezer paper. Cut apart freezer paper on the drawn lines.

2. Press each pattern piece to the right side of chosen fabric with a hot iron. With the paper pattern in place, cut out fabric approximately 1/4 inch past the paper pattern to account for a seam allowance.

3. If you wish to preview the fabric, remove the freezer paper and pin fabric to the corresponding area of the master pattern. Press freezer paper pattern back into place before proceeding to the next step.

4. Begin with two adjacent pieces, keeping the freezer paper in place. The first piece does not require any turned edges. To prepare the next piece, turn the piece over to the wrong side and apply the glue stick about 1/4 inch along the edge to be joined. Holding the piece between your fingers, gently fold the edge of the fabric to the wrong side using the paper pattern as a guide. When desired edge is turned, press lightly with an iron. Now join it to the first piece by applying a glue stick to the seam allowance on the right side of the piece. Align the pieces and press into place with fingers or an iron.

5. When all pieces in a section are joined, take the sections and join them in the same manner. Be sure to turn all outside edges before removing the freezer paper pattern.

6. The completed free standing applique is now ready to be placed on your chosen background fabric. Position the piece as desired, then lift edges slightly and glue to the background. Machine applique the finished piece to the background with a small zigzag stitch using monofilament or matching thread.

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