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Applique Hanging Circle Pillows-Applique Tutorial

I am so excited about the beginning sewing summit being LIVE! If you are here looking for the applique pattern pieces to go with the hanging pillow, you have come to the right place. Be sure to click here to sign up for my newsletter and to get the pattern.

(Don't worry, I promise I don't email too often)

Aren't they just adorable?

I am informed that the orange one looks like a pumpkin McBurglar, but I don't care, I still think it's adorable.

The zip file you get includes instructions to add the applique (and kitty ears) to the circle pillows, but they are pretty basic, so I'm going to do a photo tutorial here. I also have a YouTube video showing how to do the applique, you can find that by clicking HERE. This tutorial is JUST for the applique instruction, if you would like the tutorial for adding the cat ears, click HERE. Be sure to bookmark this page if you prefer photo tutorials so you can come back to it!

To start the applique, follow the cutting directions for the circle pillow. Then take your front circle piece to add the applique. You will want to add the applique before you do any other sewing on it.

You should know that there are lots of ways to do applique. I'm using a raw edge applique for two reasons. First, I think it is easier than other types of applique (although, to be very honest, I found applique to be one of those things that seems really intimidating but then you do it and it's super easy, regardless of what technique you use, and you wonder why you didn't do it sooner). The second reason is that I made my kitty with a minky fabric, and raw edge is perfect for minky fabric, so I decided to just do the super hero (or McBurglar, depending on your view) with a raw edge applique too.

For raw edge applique, you'll want to start with a fusible web interfacing. I like Lite Steam a Seam 2. Trace your applique pieces onto one side, typically the grid side, of the interfacing. The fusible web should have two paper sides, and you will peel one away to stick it to your fabric. The trick is to make sure the fusible web stays with the side you drew on.

I like to cut up the tracing if necessary, so they fit better on my scraps of fabric. Also! You will stick this to the WRONG SIDE of your fabric, so keep in mind that whatever you trace will be a mirror image. That doesn't matter so much for this project, but if you take this technique to another project where it does matter, just make sure you are tracing the mirror image. I like to hold it up to a window or use a light table (they are pretty cheap on Amazon), just to make sure I'm getting the mirror image, unless the pattern specifies that it is the mirror image.

Then you are going to cut out all the little pieces. If you are having trouble keeping the paper to your fabric while you cut, you can press it for a few seconds. I use a dry iron and a pressing sheet (parchment paper) when I'm pressing on the minky.

After your applique pieces are cut out, peel off the second paper and stick it to your circle! Your fusible web directions will probably tell you to press it for 15-20 seconds, be sure to follow them. If you are using Lite Steam a Seam 2, you don't technically need to sew it in place, but I like to sew it, both to be sure that the applique isn't going anywhere (especially on minky, because the adhesive does not hold that well to the fluff) and because then I can use a fun decorative stitch!

I used a zig zag for the superhero. I prefer to use a blanket stitch when I'm appliqueing something like quilting cotton, but I know not all sewing machines have a bunch of decorative stitching and a zig zag stitch can look really nice when it's all done. You can also use a straight stitch, but just be aware you'll get more fraying that way. A lot of people prefer that look, so if you also like it, a straight stitch is perfect. I do prefer to use a zig zag stitch for minky, because the stitch will be buried in all that delicious fluff, and it helps hold the minky down. Be sure to take it slow and do one piece at a time. As you can see from this picture, I use matching (or at least coordinating) thread as much as possible, but if you want an extra pop of color, you could use something contrasting. It can add a really fun design element!

He looks really different from the wrong side of the fabric, doesn't he?

As you can see, basically anywhere there was a raw edge, I stitched it down. Take it slow going around those curves, leave the needle in the down position, and backstitch at the end.

Once you are finished adding the applique, then you just finish your pillow as instructed in the sewing summit class!

As always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to either leave them in the comments or email me at

I can't wait to see what you create!


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