"Applique" by AnntheGran.com
Applique has been very popular for a very long time. The word comes from the French appliquer, which means “to apply”. It’s been used as an artistic tool to ornament or decorate any cloth items or materials. It’s also a great way to enhance a design by adding texture or dimension while lowering stitch count at the same time.
There has never been a standard technique or method used by all digitizers or embroiderers. Understanding the basics of each method helps you recognize the correct steps to complete the sewing of any applique design. Any type of fabric could be used depending on the concept. Avoiding difficult shapes or identifying areas of the design that would be suitable for applique are very important; as these would take too much extra time to apply and tack-down.
The multiple file method is used by many digitizers, for embroiderers who prefer placement lines separate from the main design. So they can be used as a guideline for the material that they will cut from the applique fabric and prepare them in advance. It is mainly used by the commercial industry for high volume production on multi-head machines.
If you don’t mind the additional time for trimming excess fabric the one file method is for you. You will need a square of fabric exceeding the boundaries of the placement line. After the tackdown is sewn, you must trim away the excess fabric up to the stitched tackdown line. The fabric will cover the entire area without leaving any fabric edge uncovered by stitches.
Be aware of the color stops as these are digitized in an applique embroidery design to stop the machine when needed.
The text file with the color information reveals whether a color stop is a placement, tackdown or thread color. The applique process is just a matter of sewing a placement line, a tackdown line and sometimes a zigzag tackdown line. You must always check the colors of the design prior to stitching in order to understand how that particular design is created.