Easy Reverse Applique: Quilt Tutorial with Rob Appell of Man Sewing


Hey everybody, it’s Rob from Man Sewing.
And today I’m super jazzed to present a Quilt-in-a-Flash for you. That’s right,
we’re going to learn about reverse applique. And what you’re looking at right here is
my very first attempt. And it was so fun and easy, I thought, I’ve got to show you how
to do this at home, right? All you’re going to need supplies-wise as far as the fabric
is concerned is two pieces. The black that you see, and then I’ve chosen a batik. You
could of course use a print. I prefer batiks for this kind of work because batiks have
a tighter thread count or a tighter weave therefore they don’t unravel as much when
you’re dealing with a raw edge. And we are going to have a raw edge in there. And we’re
just going to build this, stack it, and prep it all as a quilt before we start anything. So watch this. Let me slide this just slightly
out of our way for a second. And you’re going to be starting with a background piece
of fabric. And like all quilts, your background fabric is larger than the quilt top. Now,
my quilt top is actually based off of this piece right here. And this piece is what you
saw showing through the reverse applique. And that is a 27 by 22 inch cut. So you can
see my background is just larger. And of course you can just make these any size. That’s
why I’m not giving you too much detail. But before we start, we need to put some batting
in there. And like all good quilts, our batting will also be larger than our quilt top. As
we’re getting started. So I’m just taking a moment to get some of my ripple and ruffle
out of there. Now comes the background fabric. Again, remember this is the fabric that shows
through as the design. But it goes down first. And some batiks are stronger dyed on one side
than the other so just make sure you love the way it looks, ok? Now from that point
on, we’re going to drop down the reverse applique to be. And when I say the reverse applique to be
this is what I mean. I have already taken a moment and put fusible web, this is the
Heat N Bond Featherlight. I’ve put fusible web on the back of all of this. I’m not
going to iron it until one of the very last steps. But the fusible, like being a batik,
is also there to help it not unravel after we’re done with our project. So before we
do any of this sandwiching, let me get this paper off. Ok, and as you can see, I’ve
already taken the paper off of this. And if you have little spots maybe where the glue
doesn’t, it kind of comes off on the paper, it’s no big deal. This is just our backup
plan. Like I said, I’m not even sure if the other reverse applique artists do this
or not. I am going to center this. This background fabric, I don’t even know if I told you
this or not, it’s two inches less for me than my motif fabric is going to be. So if
that was 27 by 22, the black is now 25 by 20. So I am eyeballing a one inch reveal all
the way around. And before I go any further, I am going to now go to the sewing machine
and stitch a quarter inch seam allowance all the way around that. So let me do that real
quick for us. And that’s just going to be a stay stitch that helps hold it all in place.
I’m going to go all the way around in one motion so I’m not starting on a corner on
purpose. I’m making sure that all three layers are organized correctly. And away we
go. Ok, now that we have finished all that stay
stitching with that quarter inch around, it is time for my favorite part and that is the
design concept, right? Now I feel pretty comfortable when I’m drawing just to come through with
some very basic shapes, like these triangles or these swirls. And we’re going to start
kind of in the middle. Because we’re going to draw a few shapes and then we’re going
to sew around them. And then we’re going to let the design keep growing. For me, like
I said, this is the very first time I’ve tried something like this. And it was a little
difficult for me to see the design coming together because I needed the positive and
negative space of the cutaway. So let’s just take a few at a time, right? So let’s start with kind of our swirl and
our triangle effect. And I’m going to have to draw it so it’s easier for me to see.
I’m using a very cool little chalk pencil. This is a nine millimeter chalk pencil, right?
And so I’m just going to take and make this arc. And this will become a stitching line.
And if that’s my stitching line, it’s not a single line but it actually needs to
come back around and follow through. The space in between there, so this space right in here,
is the area that is going to be cut out, right? So you can also put a few X’s because you’re
thinking to yourself, that is going to disappear and that’s where the cool background fabric
is going to pop through. You’ll notice I brought it into a little arc here because
I can then pick up. All of this chalk is going to wash away when we’re done. And I either
use like a little sponge or little baby wipes are great. Just make sure they don’t have
any bleaches or anything in them like that, right? So now I’m just kind of creating
that arch. And if I want to do the other end of the arch so I have a place to put my triangles,
I’m going to do it again. And this time, let’s make it one motion. You probably notice,
I’m actually drawing these a little bit wider than mine finished and that’s going
to help me get my scissors in there. There’s a few spots I created originally that were
just a little tight for my scissors. I’ll be doing lots more of these, I promise. I
just love this. Maybe, maybe not showing one every week though. We’ll make a library,
we’ll make a museum of them, you know. And then the next thing I’m going to start playing
with a little bit in here too, are those triangles. And the triangle idea came from, I had seen
this really terrific flying geese quilt that was all pieced. And it was white fabric with
red triangles. So if that’s your quilt, I want to know about it. Man that is an incredible
quilt out there. I’m drawing these triangles to kind of represent that cool thing about
the flying geese that I like so much. And I was saying, we’re going to now stitch
on just these lines. I am pretty confident with my free motion work. So I’m going to
free motion these. But if you’re not confident in your free motion work, you could always
just do these with your standard presser foot. You’ll just be rotating your quilt more
under the needle. But I do want to show you real quick how you
can do it with your standard presser foot before I switch out those feet. I’m going
to start on one of those middle triangles because I want to respect it like a quilt.
And if you have your needle down function, this would be a great time to use it because
you’re going to be doing some pivoting. And I’m going to take it nice and slow.
And remember the stitch lines are just markers for you. So if you don’t stay right on them,
it’s no problem because we are going to erase them once all the stitching is done.
So we’re just going to slowly pivot, get organized, make sure all the ripples back
out because you notice I did not pin baste this quilt. I’m actually kind of hoping
for a little bit of pucker in and out of the field which will make the quilting really
cool when it’s done, ok? Yes, I have a wad over here but I don’t have a wad under the
needle. Ok, so that’s how you do it with your standard stitch. Now I’m going to go
ahead and switch over to free motion foot and I’m going to do the rest real quick
here. I’m all set up for free motion, right? And
I’m going to go ahead, I’ve got needle down position. I want you to watch this time
though. I’m actually not going to be spinning the quilt as I’m working under the machine.
I’m going to keep it in one motion and I’m going to do my triangle more like that, right?
So free motion, you don’t rotate the quilt once the needle is moving. And standard stitching,
you follow by rotating the quilt. Here we go. And again, my chalk lines are simply markers.
So if I were to fall off the line, no big deal. Put my needle up and because I’ve
stitched in, I’m going to trim my threads. And I’m going to move onto the next and
I’ll just go ahead and finish all the sewing and then I’m going to show you exactly how
to cut these. It’s really cool. Ok, hey welcome back. I’ve got all of our
free motion or I should just say all of our stitching done because some of you are doing
with your standard stitch. And as you saw that works just fine. Quick point, go ahead
and take a moment and trim all your threads between each round of stitching especially
off the back. Because you don’t want those getting caught up on your machine when you’re
quilting. Now this part, you want to be really careful with because I’m going to use my
seam ripper. And I take that seam ripper and I’m going to wiggle it. And I’m going
right in the middle of that big triangle that I’ve already stitched around. And I’m
going to kind of wiggle it in. And I’m actually kind of trying to peek down in that hole to
see if I see any of the blue or the background fabric coming up. Because I don’t want to
cut anything other than just the black. So I get in there and I take a little teeny sliver.
And I will tell you once I accidentally cut into the fabric. Once I cut out the whole
square though, all I did is I went back in with a little dab of glue and no one will
ever be able to tell. Now I’m going to use kind of these fun little curved scissors and
I pull back on the fabric and I also cut my way right along the edge of that thread line
or my stitching line. And again, you can do this a little bit or you can try to get it
all out at once. But look, there’s that fabric popping through. Isn’t that cool?
Ok, and I’m going to come around here. And I’m kind of, like I said, pulling up on
the fabric. Now let’s say you accidentally cut some of your thread, you could always
free motion or standard stitch back around here again. And this is the other reason why
we did not iron yet. Because if you would have ironed, you wouldn’t be able to pull
this up, right? It would have been fused. So I’m going to cut every single one of
these out by getting that seam ripper in there, kind of wiggling it. You could also pinch
if you felt like you needed to. You’ll be able to feel if you’ve got just that single
layer.You can slice through, come back in with those scissors like I said. Try to make
as long of cut as you can. You don’t want it to look too jagged along the edge. When
you’re up against the stitches, you want to make a nice, smooth cut as possible. So
I’m just going to work on this for a little bit. Why don’t you all grab me another cup
of coffee, right? And when you come back I’ll have all these pieces cut out and we’ll
do second round of drawing. I bet that sounds like a good idea right now. Oh, thank you so much for the coffee. It’s
just the way I like it. I do really appreciate that. It’s a little hot for me at the moment.
I’m going to set it aside. But we’re going to come back to that. But while we’re waiting
for that to cool down, let’s start talking about the next part of our design, right?
So you can see, I’ve already cut out all of the areas that I’ve already stitched
and drawn. So we’re just going to start now building, let me pull this up, the other
parts. And again, use basic shapes. Shapes you’re comfortable with. And I’m going
to set that aside. And let’s draw another one right here. Get it all the way you like
and then let’s talk about some free motion machine quilting as the finish. So let’s bring this back in. And this is
great. And it is a fantastic place for you to all practice because you cannot see my
stitching. That is right. I have used black on black to create the loft and the pucker
I wanted in the quilt. But I didn’t want to distract from the reverse applique itself.
So if you’re not “perfect” and I’m certainly not at free motion quilting. Another
great place to practice because you’re not going to be able to see the actual stitches.
So a little black on black to fill in the parts of the quilt that are not the reverse
applique section. Once that is done, I simply, you know what I’m going to show you a little
bit better. I simply use my two and a half inch wide for my binding. And then I pressed
that so that it’s a one and a quarter. And I sew it one from the back as I go around.
And then I roll the finished edge to the front. So what you’re looking at right here is
this is the background of the fabric that the reverse applique shows through. And the
rest of this here is the binding coming around from the back. So I’m using the same fabric
for the reverse applique as I am for the binding so that it finishes, makes it look wonderful
and tidy. And these, ladies and gentlemen, are so fun and easy to do as I said. They
make a fantastic gift. And it’s a great place for you just to play. And the reason
why I say that is I love the creative process. But sometimes when I’m working through a
big project, I need something like this to just kind of free my mind. So I hope this
has been a great tutorial for you. And I hope it gives you some great tips. And enjoy your
very first reverse applique because I certainly enjoyed mine here at Man Sewing.

100 thoughts on “Easy Reverse Applique: Quilt Tutorial with Rob Appell of Man Sewing

  • Você é muito didático, adorei sua simpatia e simplicidade para explicar. Muito Obrigada, e quando puder venha ao Brazil mostrar sua tecnica. Tchau!

  • When you are all done with drawing and sewing, do you finally press the top to background fabric that is remaining? Hope I asked this question right. I will watch this again I am sure.

  • I have made a few different ones following your technique and some I straight stitched and others I did a almost satin stitch zig-zag. Using the Heat & Bond gives you a 'cleaner' and easier to cut in the tips or small areas, then when I did it without H&B. What I really love about this (not being very artistic) is that no 2 are the same and you are only limited by your imagination! It makes a great runner and place mats! I have even sewed scraps together to make colourful strips and used that under the top black.

  • on the video which is tremendous and fun – you did not say when you ironed the fusing down – help! and where is the supply list? oh thanks a million

  • This is my favorite tutorial of yours because it is a technique that I have never heard of, and I'm really excited to try it. I would love to be entered into your giveaway for the cordless iron. 🙂

  • Would love to try this one out! I see you are teaching in Oregon in April. Trying to figure out how I can go out there attend.

  • love watching your videos and this is a good one. my hubby knows I am watching your videos by the bam bam at the beginning and the quack quack of your friend Jenny.

  • Doing reverse applique helps us avoid the tedium of adding adhesives on every piece, at least the way you are presenting it. This is a lovely design in its simplicity, and thanks for the tip on using batiks. I'll be making an embroidered in the hoop Mola, so that is a helpful hint.

  • Cheers from a fellow dude quilter! I'm definitely going to use this technique on my next quilt. Also, that design you're working on is really cool!

  • I love all of Rob's videos but I think my favorite is the "Easy Reverse Applique". It is such an awesome block. I would love to make a larger quilt with this technique.

  • Way cool stuff. I have watched alot of your videos and they are all great, keep it up. I have been toying around with an idea for a quilt for my daughter. She is graduating this year from high school and I am planning a quilt for her, the school colors are gold and black and i found some cool squares at Walmart that i am going to use for the main part of the quilt. in the center i want to make a reverse applique with black as the top piece and gold showing through in the shape of a Trojans helmet. One question i have is the gold is pretty sheer metallic fabric that i got from hobby lobby and i am worried about it being flimsy. do you think if i were to fuse a piece of fabric to the gold that will make it sturdier or do you think i should find another gold fabric to use? and what problems might i run into? the last thing is that the black and the squares are 100% cotton and the gold is obviously not.

  • Good honkin' honnah — this is one cool quilt! You are so encouraging and relaxed and inspiring. Thanks for such an original approach. I love your celebration of ideas and humor and heart.

  • I also just started applique, made an owl panel, not a great sew'r but I'm a good enough artist to make sellable street art quilts from scraps, I even drawer on fabric if I'm missing a peice & make it the new centre peice. thanks for the tips. ONLY REAL MEN SEW

  • Surprised by the title! The reverse applique I've seen is pretty time intensive…what would spark Rob's attention to that?! Well, no surprise…you found a fast, fun way to make it easier and so creative! Great job 🙂

  • This is an amazing tutorial, I followed your instructions and made a wall hanging.
    The making was as cool as it is in the tutorial.
    You are an amazing instructor, thank you for sharing this method.
    God bless you.

  • Love this! Like you said, nice from the "serious" stuff. You and Jenny Doan are motivating me like mad, lol! #mansewing #msqc

  • You are amazing!! You simplified the entire process so that it feels like something I could actually do. Thank you for taking the time to make a terrific video.

  • Cool! you are just so cute and friendly ! Never done reversed appliqué before. i think I will make this my weekend project. thanks a lot for sharing your expertise.

  • There are a few factors in how to find callers Id. One place I discovered that succeeds in merging these is the Reverse Phone Tactic (check it out on google) without a doubt the best treatment i've seen.Check out the amazing information .

  • Hi Rob- I just watched the reverse applique and I'm going to challenge myself to design a full quilt using this technique. I plan on using Tula Pink fabrics. Here's my questions, are you using quilting cotton for the black or a cuddle type? 2. Can this technique be used in a quilt as you go scenario for attaching all the blocks together? I'm closing my sewing and quilting business from Thanksgiving to New Year this year and spending some extra time with my husband and work on this quilting project of my own. Thanks for sharing. Diana

  • I shy away from appliqué, but you've encouraged me to give it a try. I've loved your videos for years and meeting you at the Houston Quilt Festival (twice) was so awesome! Thanks for being such a good sport taking selfies with me (even the shoes-only picture). LoL!

    Your enthusiasm is contagious and it makes my own for the craft even stronger. You rock!

  • This is so going on my project list. Do you do any additional quilting once the design is done? Is this washable where you could do blocks for a quilt that will get a lot of use or does it need to be a wall hanging?

  • I just love your tutorials. Your spirit and heart are infectious and your joy in creating things is special.

  • Rob, when I was scrolling through YouTube I skipped this, it looked too involved. But then it auto played and I am glad, it looks very easy. I am a many year seamstress but new quilter. I am going to work this into my planned project list. And the blue bubble fabric is just great. You have great energy, and your designs are so fresh and young. Keep it up!

  • Thank-you. That was fabulous. It's given me a great idea for a similar Maori design, with a Paua look-a-like material, on a bag I want to make as a special gift.

  • How do you finish off the black fabric that edges the applique? Great video tutorials! Thank you for making this fun!!

  • I am so glad I stumbled upon this channel. You make your videos fun to watch and I love how you have so much energy and make it fun. Keep it up!! 😊

  • My goodness! I am learning so much tonight. This Reverse Applique is fabulous. Thank you again Rob for inspiring me to do something that will become uniquely my design. Now I have to go and try drawing my own design.
    Christa on Vancouver Island, Canada

  • Did I miss if you iron the fusible again or is it just one side to keep the cut outs from unraveling? Love this and your design is very Hawaiian or tribal. TIA

  • Rob I am not sure if you're still checking this. You are just fabulous! You got me into quilting and my friend would love this for her wedding. But I need to know if you can wash this type of quilt? Would it do for a throw on a bed?

  • Hi Rob! Love this idea as much as your snowflake! I'm going to try to design a flier de Lis using this method! Thanks for another great project! Rebecca

  • Ive been sewing for 50 plus years but sometimes you just want to see a new method even if I could figure it out myself. I’m telling you glad I found this channel. Many links don’t have real instructions plus things like…I’m eyeballing this. I do that too. You don’t need everything exact. You sew to exactness. I’m doing this on a sweatshirt I’m altering that is a dark lavender and adding a polyester shiny material from a blouse underneath to similuate leaves along the top. All thrift buys. I don’t quilt but borrow all the techniques! I’m also learning beginning free motion. But I don’t have any fancy machine. I know some do free motion on a treadle. Well off to sew and will check out past and future videos! Thanks!

  • This is a brilliant idea. you say you use this to break up large projects. I think this would be a great table set in between quilts. Place mats and table runners would be small projects when you need a break from large quilts. Love that idea Rob!!!!

  • Rob, I love this tut!! I also love the shirt and the others you wear in your tutorials, can you disclose where you get them??? One more thing, I sooo agree with you when it comes to having a fun project you can work on while doing something labor intensive. I think it helps you enjoy both of them more! Love your energy!!!!

  • Hi, I'm Kari, and I saw you w. The gal on Missouri Star Quilt Co. Loved ya…. SO, I checked out your vids and they're Great hun! Ima follower now xx Kari

  • Love your design! Looks like a well used deign we do here in Hawaii-the wave! Thanks for sharing this great tutorial!

  • Fantastic have you seen the Draw Sew Trim Technique illustrated beautifully on Katalin Horvath’s Facebook page similar idea but different.

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