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Quilt block in applique and reverse applique

In its broadest sense, an applique or appliqué is a smaller ornament or device applied to another surface. In purpose of decoration. The word appliqué is a french word that, in this context, means "that has been applied".

In the context of sewing, applique refers a needlework technique in which pieces of fabric, embroidery, or other materials are sewn onto another piece of fabric to create designs, patterns or pictures.[1] It is particularly suitable for work which is to be seen from a distance, such as in banner-making. A famous example of applique is the Hastings Embroidery.

Appliqued cloth is an important art form in Benin, West Africa, particularly in the area around Abomey, where it has been a tradition since the 18th century and the kingdom of Danhomè.

Applique is used extensively in quilting. "Dresden Plate" and "Sunbonnet Sue" are two examples of traditional American quilt blocks that are constructed with both patchwork and applique. Baltimore album quilts, Broderie perse, Hawaiian quilts, Amish quilts and the ralli quilts of India and Pakistan also Applied pieces usually have their edges folded under, and are then attached by any of the following:

a significap]] e part of the artistic effect. The Buttonhole stitch is a good example.

  • Central fixing only, with the edges of the applied piece intended to rise up from the background cloth. Typically used when attaching 3-dimensional flowers.

Applique process and electronic sewing machines

Modern consumer embroidery machines quickly stitch applique designs by following a program. The programs have a minimum complexity of two thread colors, meaning the machine stops during stitching to allow the user to switch threads. First, the fabric that will the be the background and the applique fabric are afixed into the machine's embroidery hoop. The program is then run and the machine makes a loose basting stitch over both layers of fabric. Then, the machine stops for a thread change, or other pre-programmed break. The user then cuts away the excess applique fabric from around the basting stitch. Then, the machine continues following the program and automatically sews the satin stitches and any decorative stitching over the applique.


  1. ^ Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework. The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. (March 1992). ISBN 0-89577-059-8, p. 192-206

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