Friday, 13 May 2011

How To Applique a Rocking Horse

One of my friends recently had an adorable baby girl. As a Christmas present I promised her a baby quilt (Yes I know I’m running late with it!)

when asked what was wanted she said….

“anything really….oh I would like it to have some pink in it….and a teddy bear…oh and a rocking horse please!”

A tall order for anyone new to applique so I thought I’d show you a little how-to of how I went about the hardest one…so here goes HOW TO APPLIQUE A ROCKING HORSE!

Step 1: The Template

The very first step is to find your applique design. I searched the internet, books and packaging for a rocking horse image I felt would be right. for an applique you are looking for simple shapes that can layered to give the desired effect – are arty and can draw freehand straight from your imagination then go ahead!

Once you’ve found your inspiration draw your design onto a bit of card

I drew my rocking horse inside an outline of the 6.5inch square template I used for my blocks (to make sure it fitted in!). Rough lines don’t matter at this point as the next job is to get another piece of paper and trace each separate shape onto different parts of it. This gives you your pattern pieces. so the whole horse body will be one shape, followed by a separate shape for the base and the saddle…etc..

Once the individual shapes have been traced and cut you can practice layering them to get the right effect. I numbered each shape in order of sewing to help me keep track whilst at the sewing machine. The template is now ready. Place each shape on the desired fabric and cut. You can see the final layering of the fabrics below.


See how it compares to the paper templates


layer your fabric pieces in order onto the fabric base. In my case this was a square

Happy with the effect? Ready for the next step??

Step 2: Bondage!
If you are confident with pins then go ahead – pin the pieces and skip this step. When it comes to small pieces I am very much an advocate of fusible web . Place a small piece under each shape in turn and iron according to the instructions. I did this in layers to avoid mistakes.


Once all the pieces have been fused and ironed into place your applique should look something like this

Step 3: SEW SEW SEW!

I can’t lie this bit takes practice but keep at it!  I used a zigzag stitch to outline all the pieces and secure them to the fabric. The fusible web will hold all the pieces in place. I used a stabiliser behind to add some extra stability. Here is the front view after sewing.

and now the back……

Handy Hint: Play with the stitch width and frequency to obtain the desired effect…and then when approaching finer edges decrease the stitch width to get a tapered line.

Step 4: Tidy Time!

This is tedious….no escaping that fact! All those messy threads need to be removed. For an extra tidy finish I like to thread them through to the back before cutting. The stabiliser on the back can also be removed.


The applique is now ready for finishing and incorporating into your patchwork masterpiece! I’ll show you how mine turned out at the grand quilt reveal which will hopefully follow soon!

Happy Stitching!

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