What Are Applique Embroidery Designs?

Applique machine embroidery designs are both fun and look great! Now, if you’re not quite sure what applique machine embroidery designs are, in the simplest of terms: Appliqué are embroidery designs that have smaller pieces of fabric attached & sewn within them.

applique images
applique images

Our Collection of Gorgeous Applique Embroidery Designs:

Looking for high-quality machine embroidery designs? Check out our collection of close to 3,000 applique embroidery designs.

What Are the Benefits of Sewing Applique Embroidery Designs?

In short: Appliqué designs are easily customised & take less time to sew out!

Applique designs are rather popular as they allow the embroiderer a great deal of customization within a given project by allowing them to personally select the fabric type and pattern. This is a bonus as, from my own experience, younger children love applique due to the unique feel of different fabric types.

In terms of embroidery digitizing, creating applique is a great way to reduce the stitch count in a design while still producing beautiful visual effects. Using an applique technique in your embroidery digitizing software allows you to replace large fill areas with a simple sheet of fabric instead. This means less run time on your machine without sacrificing the look of a design!

How to Stitch an Applique Embroidery Design

This tutorial will teach you the technique of how and when to place and cut the material needed in applique embroidery patterns:

Step 1. Pick your applique embroidery design and desired fabric. Hoop your stabilizer and fabric.

We are going to demonstrate this technique with “So Little So Loved Applique” design. If you need help hooping, check out our full embroidery hooping guide.

hooped fabric applique

Step 2. Start sewing the design as you normally would on your embroidery machine. After the machine sews the outline/marking stitch, be sure to stop the machine.

outline stitch applique

Step 3. Place the material over the outline stitch. Make sure the square is big enough to completely cover the stitch. As an option, you can use light spray adhesive to hold the material down,use various stabilizers available specifically for applique placement, or even just use painters tape.

Please note that some applique designs might come with SVG files that can be used on various cutting machines to pre-cut applique shapes automatically. This makes fabric placement fast, easy and perfect!

fabric on applique

Step 4. Place the hoop back in the machine & start the tack-down stitch. The tack-down stitch will now sew on top of the applique, securing it to the garment.

tackdown stitch applique

Step 5. The next step is to completely cut around the tack-down stitch. We recommend using applique scissors. Applique scissors prevent you from cutting through the garment by accident.

Our personal favorites for cutting applique are a 6” double edge curve. Learn more about embroidery scissors, with so many shapes, sizes and types, there is so much know! 

cutting applique with scissors

Step 6. After you are finished cutting the design out, place your hoop back on the machine & continue stitching. The design will continue to sew, and you are done with the applique portion of the design.

applique stitch out

Step 7. Once your machine has finished stitching you have completed your applique embroidery design!

Learn the Secrets, Tips & Tricks Behind 14 Popular Embroidery Techniques

If you’re like most embroiderers, you love to get creative and make projects but know there is still so much more you can do with your machine. Perhaps you don’t know what all is possible, or you’re nervous about trying new techniques, such as using applique in your designs

Either way, you’re not alone. We’ve heard this a ton. Thankfully, our new and improved Fun Effects Embroidery Course will take you by the hand and show you how to easily expand your embroidery world and have fun doing it! 

Fun Effects Course Gift Giving
Fun Effects mobile

If you’re ready to learn some new eye-catching embroidery techniques that’ll make your future projects stand out & impress, this course is for you! This course includes follow-along video tutorials, printable PDFs, and beautiful embroidery designs to follow along with so you can sew each technique yourself. The best part? You can do it at your own pace & time!

Conclusion: Applique Embroidery Designs Are A Great Way to Easily Customize Your Projects & Save Stitches  

Hopefully, this easy-to-follow tutorial has helped you better understand a bit more about applique embroidery designs and how to sew them.

Try creating an applique design yourself from one of our high-quality applique embroidery designs to personalize and create some fun within your embroidery. Or, download 5 designs free from us (including 1 applique design) within our Free Embroidery Legacy Design Kit.

If you enjoyed this article or have questions about stitching out applique embroidery, please feel free to comment below!

P.S. Don’t forget to learn the secrets, tips & tricks behind the most popular embroidery techniques (including applique) and have fun doing it with our new & improved Fun Effects Embroidery Course.