Main Content

Materials / Tools

  • Embroidery Machine
  • Hoop
  • Calico or chosen backing fabric
  • Iron-on tear-away Stabiliser
  • Chosen Thread Colours
  • Cotton Fabrics
  • Frabric glue and Temporary Spray Adhesive
  • Scissors
  • A Picture Frame

“Dream Big Little One” – Raw Edge Applique How-To

Hello and welcome to my blog! The idea of this tutorial is to guide you step-by-step in creating a raw edge applique project, I will be using this design, however there will be plenty of tips and tricks you can use for designs on a similar nature so I hope you find it useful.

Getting Started

First off lets talk stabiliser. As I wanted to embroider onto calico for this project to create wall art I chose to use an iron on stabiliser, in particular; Sulky Totally Stable Iron-On Tear-Away Stabiliser Roll. This is a great brand I have used for a lot of projects but most strong iron-on stabilisers will work well for this project it is not particularly stitch intensive. So I ironed on the Sulky to the wrong side of my calico and hooped it up nice and tight in my 5 x 7 hoop.


Make sure the design is loaded up onto your machine; I use a Janome Memorycraft 350e for all my projects, so for me it’s a case of loading the .JEF file onto a memory stick and navigating to it on my touch screen, load it up and i’m good to go!

Check that It’s stitching where you need it to, the design is automatically centred in the hoop so if you need to jig it around at all depending on what you are going to be embroidering it onto then be sure to check this in your machine settings. For me its fine I want it centred to I have a nice amount of calico around the edges to frame my picture.

Lets Stitch!

The design will start off by stitching out a wide placement stitch to show you where to lay the first piece of fabric that will make up the balloon in your design. It doesn’t really matter what colour thread you use for this, its set up as black so it is easy to see, use whatever contrasts well with your chosen background fabric.

To attach the balloon piece, cut your chosen fabric so that it covers the placement stitch with a good amount of overlap. I used 505 Temporary Fabric Adhesive and then laid it over the stitch, best to spray the fabric you are going to attach rather than the hooped fabric so you don’t get spray on other areas of the design.


The design will then stitch around the balloon with a triple running stitch, I used blue thread for this as I like a strong contrast for this type of embroidery but the choices are endless!


You will then need to cut around the balloon fabric so that the other pieces can sit on top, now there are several ways to do this and all can look great it just depends what you want the finished effect to be. For my picture I cut around the edge with applique scissors leaving about 3mm of lose fabric and allowing it to naturally fray. Alternatively you could wash the fabric after so that the edges curl or have at them with a rough scrubbing brush to really fluff and fray them out. Different fabrics will react to this with varying success it is a personal choice so have fun with your edges!


After the balloon is cut, place the hoop back into the machine, it will now stitch out the placement stitches for the banner, followed by the basket and three fluffy clouds.

As with the balloon fabric, lay the fabric pieces over these stitches securing with spray adhesive or glue. I decided to use some Fabri-tack fabric glue to attach these smaller pieces but that’s really personal choice, as long as its secure. The design will then stitch around these pieces, how adorable!

As with the balloon, cut around the shapes again using applique scissors or your preferred method, I decided on the clouds to cut slightly closer as I had used felt for them so there wouldn’t be any fraying. I chose wool felt as I loved the cute fluffy effect it gave but clouds don’t have to be white and fluffy, use your imagination, go wild! Now the design is really coming together! it just needs some details.

The next stitch will be the balloons ropes, I chose a dark pink here to match my outlines and contrast well but go with what works for your design. Following this the sentiment will be stitched out, I recommend using a contrasting colour thread for this as you want it to stand out against the banner fabric.

The bunting is the next to stitch, it’s set as a different colour so you can choose something pretty that works well, I went for yellow to bring out this colour from the flowers, I think it shows up well against the blue.

The final stitches are the motif on the basket and satin stitches over the ropes and bunting, go for something contrasting here, it will really pull the design together!

And that’s it your done! I hope you have enjoyed stitching out this design and that you are pleased with the result. The one I used for this tutorial I made for my niece and added her birth details, I also love mine its up in my little boys nursery! I’d love to see what you did with yours so please share your pics on my facebook page! Thanks again for reading, you are awesome!

Vicky x