Top Tips for Machine Embroidery Applique Designs.

If you are a person who has never tried machine embroidery applique designs, it may seem like a difficult and time-consuming task. To be fair it is more advanced than embroidery, and it will take more time to do all the cutting and re-sewing, but it isn’t so difficult that it should put you off. There are a number of tips available out there for first timers and the inexperienced looking for a bit of a helping hand, and this blog can hopefully be a good starting point for you.

Take the applique design easy

When you start an applique design, you’re going to have to understand that it isn’t going to be a ten-minute job. Machine embroidery applique can be quite fiddley, with a lot of cutting out and re-sewing. This means if you don’t leave enough time for the project and end up rushing, you may make mistakes or even worse, get too frustrated with the project to continue. Take your time, if you have had enough for one day that’s fine but don’t let yourself become annoyed. Remember for those of you who are doing machine embroidery applique designs as a hobby, hobbies should be enjoyable not a chore.

Test the applique design

I can not stress this enough in nearly every blog I write, make sure you test stitching with any new equipment, material, thread or design style. It’s the easiest way to find out if you are using the right stuff for the job. It will also help you ascertain whether or not an machine embroidery applique design is really feasible. It’s a great way to calibrate and finetune your technique and finally it will give you some idea of whether or not you enjoy the way the final applique will look.

Applique Fine Line

When you are cutting the applique design out while it is still attached to the hoop it is important to cut it close to the stitches so the final stitches cover the edges of the design. Hold the excess fabric out tight, with the fabric nice and tight it makes cutting close to the stitches a lot easier.  However it is also imperative to not to cut the stitches themselves to ensure the applique stays on the design. We recommend using double curved embroidery scissors you can get some online here:


Don’t be afraid to use multiple layers of applique. Some of the most intricate and interesting designs out there are created by sewing multiple layers of applique. If you are a beginner it is easy to put things off as too hard, but once you have tried a few different designs you can definitely get a bit experimental and get out of your comfort zone. Just remember the other tips in the blog, and keep in mind that all Sweet Pea designs come with a detailed instructional guide to keep you on track.

Little Chick Applique (link to this design click here)

STEP 1 Stitch the placement line for the chick


Place Fabric E for the chicks body, right side up, covering the placement line completely


STEP 2 Stitch the fabric down


Remove the hoop and trim the fabric as close to the stitching as you can without cutting the stitching.


STEP 3 Stitch the placement line for the belly/ wing.


Cut a small piece of fabric for the chicks belly/ wing and place right side up, covering the placement line completely.


STEP 4 Stitch the fabric down


Remove the hoop and trim the fabric as close to the stitching as you can without cutting the stitching.


STEP 5 Embroider the legs


 STEP 6 Embroider the satin stitch around the body of the chick and wing/ belly


Now just give it your best shot and soon you’ll be an expert at machine embroidery applique designs.

Here are some more of our favourite machine embroidery applique designs at Sweet Pea.

Let it Snow Table Runner – Applique the snowmen with ease.

Let it Snow Table Runner 5x7 6x10 8x12 in the hoop.jpg

Sweet As Sugar Dresden Cushion and Quilt Block


One comment

  1. Awesome information. Thank you sew much. I believe that people do not realize how much time and effort go into any design.

Leave a Reply