Welcome back to Quilts by Jen.

Today I’m highlighting the use of fusible web to create appliqué pieces. There are many different types of fusible webs on the market and for this tutorial I will be using a paper backed one.

This tutorial came about because of a pattern I am in the process of writing called Merry & Bright. It has three different constructions methods in it and 2 of them required a little more detail with pictures. Paper piecing is one of the other two methods that I have also created a tutorial for.

Once the pattern is finalized I will add it to my shop as a download purchase.

Fusible web appliqué is actually very easy and straight forward. Follow these steps for success every time.

Gather supplies

Fusible web – EZ Steam, Steam-a-Seam 2 lite, Soft Fuse, HeatnBond, WonderUnder

3 types of fusible web
Three types of paper backed fusible web

Teflon Pressing Sheet or Parchment Paper

box of parchment paper sitting on top of a Teflon pressing sheet
Save your iron from any unwanted glue with these two products


Lines drawn in shapes on graph paper
Templates for applique


Scissors or Rotary Cutter that are used to cut paper

Fabric – can use yardage or scraps depending on the size of the appliqué shapes and pieces

Trace Templates

For this project the templates do not need to be reversed seeing how they are geometric shapes. Usually the templates are reversed to ensure that the project turns out looking like the cover image. My Bargello Sunflower is an example of a project where the templates would be reversed.

Depending how dark the template lines are they may be difficult to see through the fusible web. The template can be traced over with a Sharpie, taped to a window or can be placed on a light box to allow for better viewing of the templates through the fusible web.

red arrow on white paper
Arrow shows template line under fusible web – light behind it would be beneficial to make it more visible

Trace the pieces needed on the paper side of the fusible web. Leave enough space between shapes to cut them out with some white around the edge. If using Steam-a-seam trace on the side with the grid. I like to use a hard leaded pencil for tracing as it doesn’t smudge. Smudging can result in lead being transferred inadvertently over to the fabric.

pencil lines and shapes on white paper
Template shapes drawn on fusible web

Prepare Pieces

Once the pieces are traced cut them out leaving an ⅛ to ¼ inch of white around the line. Do Not Cut on the line at this time. The reason a bit of white space is left is so that the glue will be right to the edge of the piece once fused to the fabric – this will help prevent any fraying of the edges.

Geometric shapes on green cutting board
Shapes cut out with a border of white left

Place pieces on the wrong side of the fabric. I find it best to work on the ironing board for this step. If the shapes are curling they may need to be pinned to the fusible web and ironing board. Glass headed pins work best for this job as they can be ironed and won’t melt. If using Steam-a-Seam make sure to remove the paper from the wrong side of the piece before fusing to the fabric.

4 white triangles on the wrong side of red fabric
Triangle pieces ready for fusing
triangles pinned to fabric
Templates pinned to fabric with glass headed pins

Cover with the Teflon pressing sheet or parchment paper. The reason for this is to prevent any of the glue getting on the iron and making a mess. If you do get glue on the iron a fabric softener sheet will take it off.

Iron placed on appliqué sheet over fabric and fusible web
Fusing shapes to fabric

Hold the iron in place over a shape for several seconds. Make sure to read the directions for the fusible web being used. Nothing will burn. Don’t slide the iron over the pieces as they may move out of position or get wrinkled. Be careful as the Teflon sheets and parchment paper get very hot.

Let the pieces cool before cutting them out on the line this time. Use either scissors or a rotary cutter. For straight edge pieces like this a ruler rotary cutter work really well.

ruler, fabric and rotary cutter
Cut shapes out on the line
red, green, teal and yellow fabrics in multiple shapes
Shapes cut out

Fuse Pieces to Project

Remove the paper from the back of the pieces.

white paper backing pulled back from striped fabric
Remove paper

Align the tree and trunk in the middle of background. Align the diamond with the centre of the tree. Place triangles on either side of the diamond. Pieces should fit on the grey area. They can be trimmed if need be.

background covered with different shapes
Pieces placed on project
green diamond on cutting mat
Trim piece if need be

Make sure to slip the trunk under the tree slightly.

striped fabric over top of green tree trunk fabric
Tree trunk placed under tree

Cover with the pressing sheet and place the iron on top of the shapes. Hold in place for several seconds. Repeat until pieces are fused in place. Do not slide iron back and forth.

Iron sitting on Teflon pressing sheet
Fuse shapes to background

Stitching Around the Edges

Now that the pieces have been fused to the project the next step is to stitch the raw edge to the background. Because this is a small piece the stitching can also be used as the quilting.

multiple fabrics and shapes on grey background
Pieces fused in place

Use your favourite stitch to secure the appliqué edge to the quilt. My favourite stitch is the free motion zigzag stitch. There are many stitches that can be used. Check out the different appliqué stitches found on most machines.

Choose a thread that either blends in or stand outs. Use any type of thread – cotton, rayon, polyester, variegated.

Follow these steps for fusible web appliqué and you will have success with all your appliqué projects.

Until next time…

Happy Quilting