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arrow_circle_down How To: Stitch Large Applique Designs with Confidence

How To:  Stitch Large Applique Designs with Confidence

 Large Applique Designs


Put simply, they are multi-hooping applique designs, where you create and join the designs in-the-hoop - they enable you to make finished applique designs that are much bigger than your actual hoop.

The 'beauty' of the designs, is that although you are 'multi-hooping' (hooping more than once), the designs all fit together like a Jig-saw, so there is no nasty re-hooping/aligning

Our Large Applique Designs are made 'free-standing' as either completed Placemats or Large designs that you can then add to any item you are making.

The designs can be as simple as 2 hoopings like our Piggy - a 5x7 hoop makes a 7.5 by 8.5 inch finished Pig

 Hoop One Large Free Pig  Hoop Two Large Free Pig

or, have multiple segments, all joined in the hoop, which makes a finished placemat 12.5 by 13 inches - from a 5x7 hoop - Winners Circle Placemat

 Winners Circle Placemat Segments  Multi Fabric In the hoop Winners Circle Placemat

 We've been designing, stitching and selling these style of designs for quite a few years now, and along the way, we've learnt a few hints and tips, and our wonderful Kreative Kiwi Group have freely shared their ideas.  We've compiled this information, so you can benefit from our knowledge, and confidentally stitch these Large Applique Designs.

 Excited to get started, or learn by watching?   

Click here to Download our Free In the hoop Pig Design

Watch Kay walk you thru Step-by-step How to Stitch a Large Applique Design

Want to know a bit more?  Read our tips


  •  Sharp Scissors
  • Water Soluble Stabiliser  FABRIC TYPE (see below)
  • Batting/Wadding/Pellon


  • As with any Applique, the closer you can trim your fabric, the better the finish
  • Everyone has their preference, BUT whatever type of scissors you use, they need to be SHARP!

Click here to read about the type of scissors used for Applique


We recommend using two layers of fabric type Water Soluble Stabiliser

Why?  - Two reasons

  • We stitch the designs on Water Soluble Stabiliser, so at the end, you can remove all traces of Stabiliser from the edges of the design.  (Just like Free Standing Lace)
  • TWO layers of FABRIC TYPE WSS is strong enough to take the cutting out/zig zag and satin stitches without ripping  

Not sure what we mean about Stabilisers, or where you can purchase the correct type? 

 Click here to read further information on Stabilisers

 Stabiliser  Can you use other Stabiliser?

The answer is Yes, you can, BUT I cannot ensure you will get a great stitchout

  • If you use Cut away Stabiliser, you will see the Stabiliser on the edges – not recommended
  • If you use Tear-away Stabiliser, you need to use 2 or 3 layers, so it doesn’t rip at the edges while you are stitching.   You may have more ‘fluffies; on the edges, but you can use a Sharpie Pen to color them in.


    Why do you use Pellon in these Designs?

    8X8 Mandala2 Placemat Quilting

    I Love Pellon – I use it in ALL of my Large Appliques because It gives the designs ‘body’, it enhances the Quilting stitches, and I believe it ensures a really ‘neat’ Satin Stitch edge.   The sample above is our 8x8 Mandala2 Placemat - you can see the Quilted look that the Pellon makes.

    The pellon I use (we seem to have different names in NZ) is a thin (maybe ¼ inch) polyester or, a slightly thicker iron on pellon (I rarely iron it on)

    Can you use other Batting/Wadding/insul-brite for Place-mats?

    Yes – I would opt for the thin versions, just to help your machine.

    Can I make Large Appliques without pellon/batting?

    Yes you can – once again – you may find the Satin Stitch edging is not quite as crisp,  I would test it first on fabric of similar weight (you’ll only have to test one section, to see if you like it)

    Large Applique stitched without batting

    The 3D Flower on the right is our 4x4 hoop size - Helen and Sharon from our Kreative Kiwi Group stitched the design on organza without Batting 


    Depending on the item you are making, you can pretty much use any fabric.  We tend to use cottons, but I've seen Placemats made with Vinyl or Satin, or Large Animals made with minky or fur.

    If you do choose to use a fabric other than cotton, I would recommend to do a test sample first - with vinyl or fur, you probably won't need any Batting - with Satin, I would recommend pressing an iron on interfacing on the back, to help stop the Satin fraying.

    Large Appliques made with fur vinyl satin

    Announcement Teddy made with Fur/Satin and Large Owl made in Vinyl


    This is dependant on the use of the finished product. 

    If you are not going to be able to see the back of the finished product ie stitching the design to a Quilt/Bag etc, then you can use any ‘cotton’ fabric.

    For reversable Placemats/Coasters, I have been using a very thin iron-on  Interfacing on the backing fabric – just makes the fabric easier to cut on the back of the hoop, and no threads peeking out of the satin stitch.

     Iron on Interfacing

    For Placemats/Coasters/animals that aren’t reversable,  I use Cutaway Stabiliser as the backing fabric – again, easy cutting on the back of the hoop, and no ‘fluffies’

    **Again, another tip from the group:

    I have a little trick that I want to share. When I use a cotton fabric for appliqué that has a tendency to fray, I lightly spray it with spray starch before applying the Heat an Bond, Steam a Seam, or whatever bonding stabilizer you are using. This gives a little crispness to the fabric, keeps it from unravelling and makes it easier to trim.



    EVERY Large Applique Design File has a PDF with Step-by-step Photos  - When you unzip the files,  please look for the PDF and have a quick read.

    PDF Instruction File


    When we create the Large Appliques, we create them like a Jig-saw.   There may be 4 pieces to a design, and they may not all be the same size - there may be one 'larger' piece - We package our designs to the largest piece - ie If the file is named 6x10, there may be 3 pieces that could be stitched in a smaller hoop 6x6 or 6x8 BUT ONE SEGMENT will need the entire 6x10 hoop.    


    I suggest you transfer ONLY the hoop size files you need to your machine

    ie Making a Piggy in the 5x7 Hoop

    Transfer only PIG5X7-01 and PIG5X7-02


    You must Stitch the designs in the correct order – this ensures your design is joined correctly

    Similarly, Do Not Color Sort our Large Applique designs – We use different Colors in the designs to tell your machine to STOP at a certain points – once again, to ensure the design is joined in the correct order

    If your machine shows a different number of colors, or stitches in a different order than our Instructions,  PLEASE RE-DOWNLOAD your files, and transfer to your machine WITHOUT opening in Embroidery Software.      Similarly if your machine has an option to Smart Color Sort, then PLEASE TURN THAT SETTING OFF - These designs MUST STITCH out in the original order we created them.

    OK - You've got the Materials, you have the Files - What Now?

     The following information will ensure you get a perfect stitch out  


    Many of our Large Appliques are quite stitch intensive, so it's important not only to use the correct Stabiliser, but to also minimise any stabiliser movement within the hoop.  In many of my earlier designs, you will see that I have 'tape' around my hoops - There is a reason for this.

    Watch Kay's video showing how you can add tape to your hoop, to minimise any chance of your stabiliser moving while you are stitching your design.

    How to hoop stabilizer for in the hoop designs and for floating

    Hooping With Pins For Good Stabilizer Tension & For Free Standing Lace



    As you are stitching your Large Appliques, ensuring you trim both your batting and fabric as close as possible, will ensure your satin stitch edges look smooth, with no fluffy edges.

    Similarly, as you join the designs in the hoop, Kim has shared her fool-proof method to get perfect joins.

    Join Large Appliques with ease - 5

    Click here to read - How to achieve Perfect Joins - everytime

    You've finished the Embroidery - What Now?


    Once you've completed your Large Applique, you cut away the excess Water Soluble Stabiliser, but there will still be a small amount of Stabiliser left around the edge.

    Generally I do not completely wash out all the Stabiliser – I use a Cotton Bud/Q Tip and warm water to dissolve the Stabiliser on the edges.

    Remove all traces of Stabiliser

    If you use a steam iron, or too much water on the edges, because there is still Water Soluble Stabiliser left inside the design, it will shrink up!

    All is not lost - Put the item in the washing machine which will remove ALL the Stabiliser, then you'll be abe to press it back to its right shape

    What can you do with the finished Large Appliques

    The question is what can't you do with our Large Appliques

    Click here to read 13 Ways to use our Large Applique Animals


    Hooded Towels using Large Applique Animal Designs

    There are many benefits to stitching your completed applique to a project, rather than appliqueing as you go - the first one being, if you have an issue with the stitch-out (we all have them), you won't have messed up your entire project, and secondly, you have a very neat back - you only have the outline stitching showing, rather than the back of your applique design.   I love this finish on Minky blankets or towels

    Click here to watch how we stitch Large Appliques to an item



    All the construction – outlines and joining are created within the design to allow the designs to match up – if you re-size one part of the design without the ‘matching’ part, they will not fit together. 

    You could put all the pieces together, and do a total re-size – that will allow all the pieces to match up.  But..  re-sizing satin stitch creates its own problems – you may end up with either smaller satin stitch that will not cover your joins, or wide satin stitch that your machine won’t stitch.

    Unless you are really good with your editing software, I do not recommend re-sizing these designs – I certainly could not guarantee a quality stitch-out


    Now that Embroidery Machines are coming out with those fantastic large hoops, why don't you make these designs one-hooping?

    Time!!   I have over 100 Large hoop designs, and it would take me years to re-create them all again.   Plus the whole idea of these Large Appliques are to create large designs for smaller hoops.

    If you are confident with embroidery software, you can combine the designs in your own embroidery software

    Click here to read - How to combine our Large Appliques

    If you've got to here - Good on you!!  I hope we have explained how you can confidentally stitch our Large Applique Designs.    Like any technique, the first one might take a while, and it might not be perfect, but you certainly learn from it.

    Want to see what our amazing Kreative Kiwi Group have made using this style of design?

    Click here to view our Inspiration Page

    We have such a wide variety of Large Applique designs - from cute animals to Large Place-mats

    Click here to view our Large Applique Designs 

    We have a number of How To Videos showing how to create our Large Applique Designs


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