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Crazy Quilting block

Technique Tuesday - Standard Applique

Kathryn Bost


Standard Appliqué is a technique in which one or more pieces of fabric are attached to a hooping. The word comes from the French meaning "applied or laid on another material."

There are a lot of reasons to use standard appliqué in a design, but the two main reasons are:

1. Using fabric instead of thread in a design saves timeand thread!

2. It's an opportunity to add extra design elements with your fabric choices.

How to do standard applique

Standard Applique is a wonderful way of utilizing fabrics for added dimension and color within your embroidery design. Applique is the application process for adding a secondary fabric over your base material, incorporating it into a main or accenting element in the design.

The images above from our Ginger Jars collection show a perfect example of the 3 main steps to standard applique: a placement stitch to indicate where your fabric will go, and a tacking stitch to secure the added material to the design. Once trimmed out, the appliqué’s edges are then finished off with decorative stitching. 

Ginger Jar detail photo

Fun with applique

The standard applique technique does not limit your use to only cotton fabrics—you can try other materials such as organza, vinyl, minky, leather, and so much more! 

At Anita, we also showcase a number of different types of applique: Hidden, Blanket, and Ghost.

Hidden Applique: When applique fabric is attached and then heavily embroidered over. This helps create a base color that gives the illusion of more stitches without the all the mileage.

Blanket Stitch Applique: Most often the applique in this technique is left with raw edges and then has a blanket stitch over the seams. This achieves a rustic and homestead aesthetic to the piece.

Ghost Stitch Applique: When applique has two outlines, an inner satin stitch that matches the fabric color closely and an outer satin stitch outline that works as a regular outline. This technique adds depth and gives the applique fabric a highly seamless look.

Check out this 2-part video of us stitching out a quilt block with standard appliqué!

Looking for a standard applique project?

Check out some of these standard applique technique collections below!