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, 

I’ve put together this ‘Quick Tip for Large Appliques’ sheet,  based on common questions I get.   If you have any tips to add, please e-mail me –



As with any Applique, the closer you can trim your fabrics, ensures a professional finish.

Everyone has their preference, BUT whatever type of scissors you use, they need to be SHARP!


Can use a different stabiliser for these designs?

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

There are two reasons we use Water Soluble Stabiliser (fabric type, NOT solvy)

 You can remove ALL traces of stabiliser on the edges when finished

  1. The Fabric WSS is strong enough to take the cutting out/zig zag and satin stitches without ripping.


  • 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.

**Members of the Kreative Kiwi group have suggested one layer of Water Soluble Stabiliser plus one layer of thin Tearaway – when you use warm water along the sides to remove the WSS, it gets ‘sticky’ and helps stop the fluffies from Tear-away.

Or..  Hoop 1 layer of WSS, then once you have stitched the first guideline (which is the full size of the item), float a smaller 2nd piece over the actual guideline.


Why do you use Pellon in these Designs?

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 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)


I mainly use Cotton Fabrics for these designs.  If you were to use very thin cotton, or Satin, then I recommend you add an iron on interfacing (or similar) – see below

**I generally add 1 inch ‘allowance’ to my fabric sizes ie 5x7 design – cut fabric 6x8 – my reasoning for this, is, it is easier to cut away the excess fabric/batting/backing, when you have a bit of fabric to hold on to.


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

Thin iron on interfacing used on Backing Fabric (for Place-mats)


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.


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



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.


The majority of Large Appliques have a ‘backing fabric’ – this can be decorative in the case of a reversble Placemat, or simply functional – a way of covering the stabiliser/batting or keeping the back neat for a wall-hanging.

A method is needed to ensure that the backing fabric stays in place, and doesn’t shift or bunch up.

Depending on the design, I either:

Add Backing Fabric

Float Backing Fabric


Remove hoop from Machine

(when prompted to in the instructions)

 Tape Backing Fabric in place

Return hoop to machine


Float Backing Fabric underneath the  hoop,

Hoop remains on machine, is not removed

ONLY WHEN I CAN SEE BACKING FABRIC  thru Stabiliser, and it is not bunched


Some people swear by sticky spray to keep the backing fabric in place – feel free to use whichever method is familiar to you.



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

Normally the designs are being used as Placemats or added to a Quilt or Tote Bag, so leaving the Stabilser ‘inside’ the design has not mattered.  We’ve had one instance, when ironing the finished product, that an extremely hot iron caused the stabiliser inside to shrink!! – but all was not lost – in that case, we did wash the item, and was able to iron it (at a cooler temperature) back into shape.

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

Click here to view our Large Appliques 


This video shows the techniques used with our Large Appliques

The Large Piggy is a Member Only Freebie 

Tags: how to  applique  

Posted: Thursday 25 May 2017


  • I always float a layer of cut away on top of WSS and cut it away with the excess fabric. I find it supports the stitches if I need to wash whatever I have made frequently.
    Posted: 2018-07-28 09:06 by Kay    
  • I am so unsure how to attach leaves not sure which placement do I use lst line or second and how to make the leaves bind on the top is that what you are talking about by wet in then when I iron it I can bind it up>
    Posted: 2018-06-22 15:47 by glenda cone    
  • Thank you for all of your help on everything! Love being part of this group.
    Posted: 2018-05-01 02:48 by Lyn    

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