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My Most Frustrating Appliqué Moment

by Lynn

Iron after gunk removal!

Iron after gunk removal!

This was my first experience using appliqué in a quilt design.

Even though I’d been quilting for a couple of years, I was shy about using this technique.

A couple of months ago I decided to try it out.

I had everything ready. All my fabric was picked out, washed, dried, and pressed. This was my first time using any fusible and the directions that came with it were confusing. To save money, I bought it from the “by the yard” section at Joann’s. The brand name was Pellon’s fusible interfacing. I still have some of it left.

This stuff specifically said to cut out your shapes first. The directions to the design even told me to cut my fabric shapes before applying the interfacing. Then cut the same design using the interfacing. After that I was to glue the two pieces together.

Well the first fabric and fusible pieces I did were a joke. The directions assumed I would make an intuitive leap of which side of the fusible to draw the lines on. Both pieces didn’t go together because they were the exact same shape and direction. It was kind of a triangle shape with a curve in it.

After I got those two pieces cut and was trying to figure out how to put them together, I got extremely frustrated. They didn’t mesh and work out as easily as this design said they would.

I took a break for an hour trying to clear my head. When I went back to my sewing room, it clicked. I finally figured out the problem. I needed to cut the interfacing using the other side of my plastic template. This would create the opposite shape I needed to get the fusible to be put on the back of
the design.

I felt like saying, “DUH! I’m such an idiot.”

Why don’t they give clear instructions?

Now that I worked that out, I cut all the pieces the way I believed they should be.

I placed my fusible pieces under the cut fabric pieces and was ready to press. I had my iron set to medium high and started pressing the sections together. The first pairing did fine. The second pairing not so much.

When I lifted the iron from the second pairing part of it stuck to the iron. I pulled it off and tired doing the next pairing with the fusible faced away from the iron. This time the adhesive stuck to my cloth ironing board cover.


I just wanted to finish the job at this point and ironed all the rest of the pieces. My cover was trash now and I couldn't get the darn stuff off of the iron either.

I gathered it all up and threw it in the closet to work with it a different time. That’s if I ever got the courage up to do it again.

My iron stayed on a shelf in the closet until I read an article here on There was a section about appliqué and a tip on how to remove the sticky stuff from the iron. I used the rubbing alcohol technique and wow it worked good. Thank you!

Soon I believe I’ll try appliqué again, but this time I’ll use some of the tips from the site. I might even try the freezer paper idea because it sounds a lot less messy.

Thanks again,


P.S. The picture is of my iron after I cleaned it. I should have taken a before picture, but I didn't even think about it until afterward.

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