Applique is taking smaller pieces of fabric and stitching them (by hand or machine) to a background. There are many different ways to prepare your fabric piece, so I really recommend checking the class schedule of your local quilt shop.

The following are the supplies I use and instructions for my favorite applique method, "glue stick turned edge".

Glue stick
An office supply qlue stick will work; it can say "permanent" as long as it also says "washes out of fabric".
Glue surface
A disposable kitchen cutting mat works GREAT and they are inexpensive. I've found them at Target or Walmart. You can also use a piece of template plastic - 8 1/2 x 11 or larger.
White basting glue (like Roxanne's or Appli-Glue)
Small sponge and container
Just a small sponge like you get at the grocery store and a container (or even a zip lock bag) to store it in.
I use a "Tapered Tailor's Awl" made by Clover, but any small awl or stiletto with a sharp point will work
A medium pair for cutting freezer paper and a medium to small pair for cutting fabric (my favorite fabric scissors are 5" Gingher knife edge craft scissors).
Freezer paper
Like you get in the grocery store.
Tweezers (optional)
Just to hold small pieces of fabric while you put on the basting glue.
Mechanical pencil
Any will do. I like using a mechanical as opposed to a regular pencil so I don't have to sharpen it.

Getting started
Original pattern
Be sure to read your pattern instructions before beginning your project.

Please remember...
Give yourself time to learn. New techniques have learning curves, just like everything else that's new. Don't be too hard on yourself if things aren't perfect the first time or even the second. With a little practice and patience you'll do just fine. :)

Step 1
Trace pattern pieces onto the DULL SIDE of your freezer paper. LABEL your pieces either with the numbers/letters provided on the pattern. Use a DASHED LINE (instead of a solid line) when tracing a piece that goes under another piece (i.e. the top of the body goes under the head).

Step 2
Cut out your pieces ON THE SOLID LINE. When you come to a dashed line cut slightly above it so you can still see it.

Step 3
Iron your cut out freezer paper pieces to your fabric. Freezer paper pieces should be SHINY SIDE DOWN while your fabric should be RIGHT SIDE UP. Leave about a 1/2” between all of your pieces. Make sure the freezer paper pieces are secure!

Step 4
Cut out your fabric pieces leaving a scant 1/4" seam allowance around the freezer paper shape.

Clip all inside curves. Don't clip too far in, or for that matter past the freezer paper.

You can clip the tips off of points but be sure to leave a little bit of fabric above the freezer paper piece.

Once I cut all my pieces out I usually press them with the iron one more time before gluing. This re-secures any parts of the freezer paper, especially tips or small pieces, that might have come loose when cutting them out.

Step 5
Apply glue (from glue stick) to the scant 1/4" seam allowance on the WRONG SIDE of fabric. Glue from INSIDE TOWARDS OUTSIDE edge. You can glue in sections or for small pieces glue all the way around at once.

Use your sponge to wipe off your glue stick when it gets "thready". I also cap my glue stick after each piece. A clean, moist glue stick works the best.

Step 6
Working from wrong side of fabric (where you just glued), turn the fabric edge back on itself so that it sticks to the glue. What you’re "feeling" for is the tension between the fabric and the edge of the freezer paper. Continue doing this until your shape is completely turned.

Step 7
Once the edges are turned you can pull off the freezer paper OR leave it on until ALL your pieces are done. After you pull the freezer paper off give your piece(s) a quick tap with the iron. A flat piece is a good piece. :)

Step 8
Once all of your pieces are prepared place your glue sheet (either a sheet protector or disposable cutting mat or whatever else you may be using) ON TOP OF the pattern. Start laying the finished pieces on top of the glue sheet following the outline of the pattern.

Step 9
Place little dots of basting glue (I use Appli-glue) along the EDGE of a piece that goes under another. In the example to the left, I placed dots along the top edge of the body. Position the head over the body. Use this same process until you have a completely prepared unit.

Sometimes I use tweezers to hold small pieces. Not that the pieces are microscopic, but it's just easier to place them AND they keep the glue off your fingers.

Once you are done take the unit and place it on your background fabric and use the basting glue to secure it in place.

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