How To Applique For Machine Embroidery


Applique are just fabric apply to another fabric to give it depth and texture.

Below I will show you how to use an applique design for machine embroidery.  I will assuming you have never use an applique design before and I will try to be as in depth as possible.  You should not have a problem as they are very easy to use. There are many ways to use an applique design, but I will show you the most common way.

Require items:

  • Applique Design ( sample design : strawberry)
  • Embroidery machine
  • Scissors
  • Fabrics for applique and fabric to use as an applique

Step 1:

Upload the design into your embroidery machine( pick the format that your embroidery machine use). For example, Brother machines use pes and dst formats. Below you will see what the design will look like along with all the step change.


There are six steps in this applique design. All applique design will have three step minimum. An outline stitch, a tack-down stitch, and a covering stitch. I chose to show you how to do a two panel applique as it can get quite complex and a simple one may not show you everything.

Tip: Remember you will get to pick the thread and fabric you want to use.  The image above is a green/red strawberry, but you don’t have to use green/red thread and fabric. Use orange/pink, etc thread with pattern fabric or whatever you want. Be creative and you can turn really simple design into something unique.

  • Step 1 & 3 are the outline
  • Step 2 & 4 are the tack-down
  • Step 5 & 6 are the covering

Step 2:

Hoop the item you want to put the applique on and insert the hoop into the machine. Don’t forget to use stabilizer.

note: for #2, if you want to make patches to sew on later or iron on patches. Just use a piece of tearaway stabilizer as your fabric. This way you can just tear away the stabilizer, leaving you a nice clean patch.

  1. Run step 1
  2. Place the fabric you would like to be the applique on the outline(strawberry)
  3. Run step 2
  4. Use your scissor and trim the  outside applique fabric. Don’t cut the thread.
  5. You should see the shape of the strawberry
  6. Repeat 1-4 for step 3 and step 4 (leaf)
  7. You should see the leaf and strawberry now
  8. Run the last 2 step to cover the leaf and strawberry with a satin stitch

Step 3:

Unhoop your item and enjoy your design.  You should see something similar to the design below once you are finish. Of course yours should look way better and the satin thread will shine. Check out our mini tutorial to learn about mini applique designs.





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