Machine Appliqué Tutorial

I will show you here the machine appliqué process that I would use to sew this teddy design.

Christmas Tote BagGeneral Tips and Advice

I use fusible web (bondaweb) and a small zig-zag stitch on the sewing machine. The stitch length on my machine (Bernina)is around 1.5 and the stitch width also around 1.5. Your machine may be different. You need to experiment first and decide the size you are happy with and then make a note of it so that your stitches remain the same size throughout. I always stitch at the beginning and end of each run of stitching with the width settings a little above zero in order to secure the stitching. (It is not exactly on zero as this would create a big not of threads).

I use a thread colour the same colour as the fabric that I am appliquéing but usually a shade darker in order for it to give a defined outline to the shape.

I use one colour thread on the bottom throughout as I do not want to have to change it each time. Therefore, it is necessary to lower the top thread tension right down until the lower thread does not show through. On my machine I go as low as 1 or 2.

A size 70 needle is best so that the needle holes are not too pronounced.

If you have the option on your sewing machine to stop sewing with the needle in the down position choose this option. This means that as you manoeuvre around the shape you will not stray from the last needle position.

I lightly spray starch all my fabrics before I use. This gives a firmer fabric that is less likely to fray.

This is the Christmas Teddy design that I am appliquéing. Here is the Luv Me Ted Appliqué design for you to download. You will see that I have numbered each piece for you. This will be the order of appliquéing.

Luv Me Ted Appliqué design

The first thing you need to do is reverse the design ready for tracing. I have reversed the pattern for you on the pattern sheet.

Luv Me Ted

Trace each piece of the design individually on to paper side of fusible web. Where one piece of the design goes beneath another you will need to extend the tracing line so that the fabric will be cut a little larger to go beneath the fabric that will be sewn on top. It is a good idea to work this out first and mark these extension lines on your pattern sheet. I usually do this with a red dotted line.

Once each piece has been traced on to the fusible web, cut out each bondaweb shape roughly just outside drawn line. Then iron each piece in place on to the fabric that you have chosen for each shape. Cut each piece out of fabric exactly on drawn line.

You are now ready to start sewing.

Placing your design sheet (unreversed) centred beneath your background fabric, position and iron each piece numbered 1 in place.

Appliqué in place on the sewing machine with your zig zag stitch.

Machine Applique Step 1

Continue to iron in place and appliqué the pieces numbered 2 and then 3.

Machine appliqué step 2

Continue in this manner through pieces number 4 through 5, 6 & 7.

Machine Appliqué Step 3

Machine appliqué step 4

Machine appliqué step 5

Machine Appliqué Step 6

The appliqué is now finished. You just need to embroider the words, features and stitch lines.

You can now make use this design to make a cushion or bag as above.

Christmas Cushion Pattern


If you have enjoyed the tutorial and design you might like to sew my Christmas Sampler Quilt which contains this design with other festive designs.

Christmas Sampler Quilt











  1. Very good tutorial and delightful pattern! Thanks so much! ~karen