Super-quick raw edge applique

I’ve been enjoying myself with some applique today, and because I haven’t got anything finished to show you, I thought I’d do a quick tute on one of the ways I do raw edge applique – using Bondaweb.

I thought I’d try and describe Bondaweb (I think it’s called Wonder Under in the USA), in case you haven’t seen it. At first glance it looks like a sheet of baking parchment or tracing paper, but on closer inspection you find that one side of the paper is rough – this is the adhesive side. It basically works like this – you put the rough side of the paper against the wrong side of your chosen fabric and iron the smooth side of the paper. This melts the glue to the fabric, but don’t panic, once the glue has cooled you can peel off the paper and – ta-da! – you have fabric with an adhesive coating.

I can hear brains ticking over with ideas already, and I don’t blame you, it’s *such* a useful product. Personally, although I wouldn’t use Bondaweb if I was making an heirloom quilt (fat chance!) or something, I think it’s brilliant for raw edge applique because it makes it really easy to cut out your motif, it stabilizes the edges of your fabric, and you don’t have to worry about keeping your applique in place as you sew it into place.

So here’s how…

Draw your motif to create a template. If you’re going to make loads of the same motif, it makes sense to make it out of card. It also makes sense to keep your template somewhere safe – who knows when you might need it again? I have a whole collection of templates I keep to use again (yes, I know, this is why I have a clutter problem).

Raw edge applique - step 1

Now draw round your template on to the smooth side of the Bondaweb. If it’s a motif that needs to come out the right way round, like here with my letter ‘Z’, you need to trace it BACKWARDS (I can’t tell you how many times I have forgotten to do this).

Raw edge applique - step 2

Cut out the Bondaweb pieces, quite roughly – I leave a margin of around 1/8″-1/4″ so as not to waste too much fabric:
Raw edge applique - step 3

Place the rough side of the Bondaweb shape against the wrong side of your chosen fabric and iron into place using firm even strokes. Leave to cool. Don’t peel off the paper yet!

Raw edge applique - step 4

Now cut out the shapes very accurately, using the line you drew on the smooth side of the Bondaweb as your cutting line.

Raw edge applique - step 5

Position your motifs on your chosen base fabric, peel off the backing paper and use a damp cloth to iron the motif into place, pressing each section for about 10 seconds. Leave flat to cool completely before finishing your applique by stitching round the edge, either by hand or machine.

Raw edge applique - step 6

I’ve just realised that this blog post is now moving into ‘real time’, as I am about to dash downstairs to watch the TV and handstitch my applique. I’ll be back tomorrow with the end result! Hope you find this little guide useful and it helps you to avoid lots of sticky mistakes.

11 Comments

Filed under craft, fabric, patchwork, sewing, tutorial

11 responses to “Super-quick raw edge applique

  1. sheilag

    Just been struggling to use bondaweb on some felt motifs for secret santa bags and realised have put bondaweb on wrong side of fabric thanks for the explanation above will now go and have another go

  2. Jackie

    Hi, i cant get my bondaweb to stick to my fabric, what am I doing wrong? I peeled off paper and iron on but didnt stick. Can you help?

    • Hmmm, Jackie, I’m trying to figure out what you might be doing wrong… I’m wondering if you haven’t got your iron quite hot enough, or if you are using particularly thick fabric. A damp cloth and remembering to press for long enough (10 seconds) might help you out. Here’s a link to a video on the Vilene website which shows you the process: http://vlieseline.de/English/Produktvideo.htm?pId=29&vId=16077 Hope this helps. :-)

      • Anonymous

        Hi thanks for your reply, I am using a fleecy fabric, for my sons blanket, so maybe it’s too thick and fluffy for appliqué.

      • It can be tricky with thicker fabrics – I’ve struggled with felt in the past. I took a risk and upped the heat a bit, used a thicker pressing cloth and pressed for a bit longer. But you might not want to risk too much heat with fleece… Hope you can make it work!

  3. I too use loads of this fusible web and it is really good for holding motifs in position, great for free machine applique, satin stitch applique or hand embroidery for the edges. The possibilities are endless!

  4. Jane Whalley

    Love my bondaweb Ali, and use loads of it. I do find though that you have to be careful storing it as sometimes, if it isn’t store correctly, the backing has a tendency to come away from the front sheet. Liberty squares and bondaweb – what a great combo!!! x

  5. Just had a brilliant idea for how to use the Liberty fabric I just bought from you! This is really helpful and looking forward to part 2.

  6. I keep meaning to get out my bondaweb, now I have some ideas! Kx

    • Emily

      I need shares in bondaweb, I use so much of it, it is invaluable! That makes me think….do you know if you can buy it by the roll cheaper?

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