I love to sew, mainly quilts and bags. I am 62, married to Fred and have one son, Matthew who is 24. I enjoy embroidery and applique and prefer to machine piece and quilt my projects. I love my vintage Singer sewing machines especially my Featherweight 222K. I've recently started collecting Miniature Sewing Machines, three Essex and one Singer 20 and a Vulcan Countess. My love of sewing I believe comes from my Grandmother - I still have the drawings she made for me to embroider on tea towels many many years ago!

Thursday, 17 March 2011


"What did she say?"  I can hear all of you laughing!!!

Today I built a Monkey.......   Applique block that is!!  This is the method I use when "building" a layered applique, such as the Monkey.

1.  Trace applique shapes onto iron-on webbing, cut out roughly then iron onto chosen fabrics.

2.  Cut out each shape.

3.  Place applique paper design under your Applique Mat.  You should
do this on your ironing board.  An applique mat is a teflon
sheet, you should be able to buy them at all
craft shops.

4.  Peel all paper backings from applique shapes, then begin
to place each shape from the bottom layer upwards.  Do not iron yet!

5.  Continue to build your shape, placing all the pieces where
you want them, making sure you have put the "under" pieces correctly.
In this case, the ears under the forehead, the eyes under the face, and the forehead under the face.

6.  Now you can begin to press.  If you are worried about having
the pieces "right way up" you can fold over your Applique Mat on top
of your fabric making sure you don't disturb the layout.  Just
press until you feel every piece is set.

7.  Now you can see that your applique Monkey is all ironed up ready
to place onto your background fabric.  Don't peel him off
immediately.... let him cool off a bit!

8.  O.K., he's cool now, so peel him off gently and this is what you get,
a one piece applique unit.

9.  See, he's all ironed up ready to go!

10.  Position your applique unit onto your background fabric and press.  I like
to dry iron the front but steam iron the back, it seems to help set
the glue of the fusible web.
Now, how to trace his mouth.  I actually have a light board, but as many of you
do not, this is the old "penny rub" method.  Just trace the mouth onto
the piece of paper which came off your face applique, then flip over
and rub that tracing onto your fabric.

11.  You can see it fine, and can always go over it
again with either a 2B pencil or your Pigma Pen.

12.  So now I have the Monkey all ready to blanket stitch.
Next on the list is the Elephant, Owl and Bee.

You didn't know you were going to have an Applique class today, did you!!  Hope you enjoyed it!!

Happy Sewing!!

sorry, I should have mentioned that the pattern I am working with is "ROYAL CRITTERS" - it's a free download!


  1. Helen,your monkey is adorable, which pattern is this?? I love it!

  2. What a fantastic nmonkey - we all love him!

  3. I DID enjoy that . Your monkey is so cute I want to make one right now!

    Cant wait to see the other critters!

  4. Thanks for the tutorial Helen, very cute! And the link to the pattern...the owl looks great too!

  5. That is adorable and thanks for the tutorial!

  6. That was a wonderful applique class. I had never heard of steaming the back of the applique. That's a good tip.

  7. Love ya monkey! Can he come out to play?

  8. Oh, this is too cute!! I just love it.

  9. This looks so cute. Love that Monkey! Love how you made him.

  10. That is a very cute monkey. Thank you for the tutorial. I didn't know applique mats existed!