Turned Edge Appliqué

Kitty's Window Garden_sm_WM

Turned edge appliqué refers to having a rolled or turned under edge on the applique shapes.  This clean edge finish is the traditional method of appliqué.  Shapes tend to be simpler than raw edge fusible appliqué.  There are a few methods to accomplish the turned edges that can be cut with our machines. For all of the methods discussed below, the fabric is cut ¼” larger all around, clipping all curves.  Fabric is then folded over the shape template and ironed to the shape. The completed unit is then attached to the background fabric by stitching.

  1. Heat resistant template plastic is cut into shapes. Fabric is cut ¼” larger all around, clipping all curves. Starch is applied to the fabric edges before folding back and ironing into shape. The template is then removed before stitching the appliqué to the background fabric.
  2. Freezer Paper templates cut in reverse are ironed to the wrong side of fabric. The fabric is cut ¼” larger all around, clipping all curves. Water soluble glue or starch is applied to the fabric seam allowance and folded over the freezer paper template and ironed into place. The freezer paper template is then removed before stitching the appliqué to the background fabric.
  3. Wash Away/Tear Away stabilizer, like the type used in embroidery can be used as templates for appliqué shapes. Once again after templates are cut in reverse and ironed to the wrong side of fabric, the fabric is cut ¼” larger all around, clipping all curves. Water soluble glue is applied to the fabric seam allowance and folded over the stabilizer template and ironed into place. The main advantage to this method is the template does not have to be removed as it will dissolve when the item is washed.

Another cool feature of our cutting machines is the ability to use a pen and write on the templates to help identify the shape after cutting.

I have cut all three methods for illustration. The photos below are method #3, Wash Away/Tear Away Stabilizer.

Templates_sm Glue Back_sm Iron to Fabric_sm Clip Curves_sm Fold Over_sm Finished Unit_sm



KNK Zing/Zing Air/Maxx Air Fabric Blade

KNK Zing/Zing Air/Maxx Air Standard Material Detail Blade

KNK Zing/Zing Air 12″ x 12″ Extra Sticky Mat Set (Green Grid) 

Pen Tool

Freezer Paper – I use C. Jenkins Freezer Paper sheets. Cut sheets come in two sizes; 8½” x 11” and 12” x 15”. The paper is heavier than standard freezer paper from the grocery store.

Template Plastic – Made by several companies, EZ Quilting No-Melt Mylar Template Plastic is available at most fabric stores and online. I used this because I had it on hand, but many quilters swear by Templar Heat-Resistant Template Plastic.

Wash Away / Tear Away Stabilizer – My favorite is Ricky Tims Stable Stuff Poly. It comes in either cut sheets or by the yard. But any wash away/tear away embroidery stabilizer will work for this method.

Sharpie Marker for writing on the freezer paper and template plastic.

Water Soluble Marking Pen for writing on the stabilizer.

Fabric for appliqué

Liquid Starch

Elmer’s Washable Glue Stick


Maxx Air Settings

Maxx Setting

MTC Layout Templates_sm

  1. Create your appliqué design by drawing in a program like Corel or Make the Cut! or scanning a purchased pattern and converting the image to a SVG file by your favorite method.
  2. Add text to the shapes to identify the shapes after cutting. Create a cut layer and a writing layer.
  3. Using the Extra Sticky Mat, adhere the media to the mat, set origin point to WYSIWYG.
  4. Insert appropriate pen into the Pen Tool. Hide the cut layer and change the cut settings to write the appliqué unit names. Hide writing layer.
  5. Cut the media using the appropriate blade and settings for the media.
  6. Cut templates and carefully remove from mat. The stabilizer is more delicate than the other templates, so take extra care in removing from mat.
  7. Using the template methods as described above, cut the fabric and fold over the edges to the back, gluing and ironing as in the instructions for each media.
  8. Stitch the appliqué shape to the background fabric, either by hand or machine.

Enjoy this free MTC project file and SVG to practice these turned edge appliqué techniques! Turned Edge Applique

Round Flower Sample


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About Candace West

Candace West is a multiple national award winning quilt artist and educator, whose art has been displayed at all major quilt show venues such as the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX, and the American Quilting Society show in Paducah, KY and many others nationwide. Her award winning quilts and garments have appeared in several major magazines. A love of teaching and sharing the techniques that can make anyone’s quilts show worthy, is her mission.

6 thoughts on “Turned Edge Appliqué

  1. Since you show templates here does that mean it is ok if I copy your design for myself? To make a wall hanging?

  2. Very nice Candace. It is wonderful when you can combine two crafts and end up with something this beautiful.

  3. This is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing the 3 methods for applique. I have quilted in the past, but never attempted this type of applique.

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