Tip of the week: Securing Wool Applique

Wool applique is a perennial favorite for many quilters. And it seems to be having a moment– again. It’s been around since the Civil War and it’s obvious why. It’s applique made quick and easy without having to turn under the edges since wool doesn’t fray. You can stitch the shapes down to the background with nearly invisible stitches, or you can add decorative stitching using the beautiful threads on the market right now.

The one part of wool applique that’s not quite so fun is holding the pieces in place while you stitch. At best, fabric glue and fusible web will leave your piece stiff–exactly the opposite of what you want from wool. At worst, it won’t stick at all. Pinning distorts your shapes and can leave you with a puffy mess. You could always baste the pieces down but why stitch twice. There’s a much quicker way.

Staples! Believe it or not, a staple will secure your wool pieces to the background without them shifting while you stitch and the because of the nature of wool, the holes will not be visible once the staples are removed. This quick and easy technique will work whether you’re appliqueing to a wool background or a cotton one. But warning, don’t leave them in so long they start to rust.