The SECRET to a Better Applique!

I’m calling this a SECRET because I see and hear every day that there are people out there, embroidery people nonetheless, who don’t know about this product.
It’s called HEAT N’ BOND LITE!! Add it to your get-it list!! It will change the way you do applique and rock your world! It will IMPROVE your applique and make all the difference in a good looking shirt, and maybe a so-so looking shirt. (I’m not an employee of Therm-O-Web nor do they pay me to promote this product. I get nothing from this product but great looking appliques!)
Did I mention I love this product? That’s why I have a drawer full of it friends (see below)! I buy mine at Joann (without an ‘s’). When they have SEWING NOTIONS at 50% off, I go in and stock up. I also get 50% off coupons all the time in the mail and on my phone (Iphone App is available) so I always take advantage and stock up! You can also buy it at some Walmart stores (although I have never seen any in ours), and by the yard at Hancock Fabrics. They may sell it off the bolt at Joann but I’ve honestly never asked or looked for it. I’ve also talked to Steve at about this product and I used it when I did my little class there in October. They will hopefully be selling it soon. Anyway….
It comes in this package and is simply a roll ~ one side is paper and one side is shiny and a little textured.
Make sure you get LITE and not ULTRAHOLD. I’ve been using HNBL for a long long long time and it has never gummed up my needle.

First… you’ve sewn your marking stitch for the applique you are working on. Mine is the zig zag tiara. HNBL works especially well with zig zag designs because without it, your fabric will most likely fray.
I cut my piece of fabric large enough to cover the design.

I iron my piece of fabric. Notice my iron is on about medium heat.

I cut my piece of HNBL so that it’s about the same size as my fabric. As you can see mine hangs over a bit which is why my ironing board looks the way it does. Notice the HNBL is paper side up.

Iron the HNBL light with the shiny side down. Again, you are ironing on the paper side.

Peel the paper away, and your fabric will now have the HNBL on it. Throw the paper away! It now appears shiny and is like a coating on the fabric which the camera didn’t quite capture.

I lay the fabric shiny side down on the marking stitch and now you’re ready for the tackdown stitch. (I do not use any type of spray adhesive to stick the fabric to the shirt at this point. Some people do but I do not.)

Now it’s time to trim around the tackdown stitch. You might be able to see in this picture that the fabric underside is shiny. That’s the HNBL. It also helps in this trimming process ~ there aren’t any loose threads, as the HNBL is like a coating on your fabric. (Notice my Gingher 4″ curved embroidery scissors – love them!)
The applique is ready for the final stitch, and in this case it’s zig zag! As you can see the cut is very clean!

Here is the applique after the zz stitch. You might notice the fabric is a little bubbled up. I’m not done yet…

Again, the applique is finished, but now it’s time to FUSE the applique.
Iron over the applique. I keep my iron on medium heat. I iron over the applique and also let it sit on it for a second or two. If the applique fabric doesn’t seem like it’s fusing (still bubbly), I spray it with the iron water and then iron over it again. The applique fabric will “harden” a tad and you will be able to tell that the fabric is “set”.
You might see a difference here ~ the applique is FLAT. The fabric is fused to the garment.
Lastly, I finish the back side of my applique with Comfort Cover, aka Floriani Dreamweave (there are a variety of different brands of this product, including Sulky).
Here is your finished product!
Does your applique look like this??
I recommend this product all the time to people and no, I am not getting paid to do so! I have found it works great so I recommend it whenever possible! If you’re appliques are bubbly, you need this! If your appliques sometimes come loose after washing, you need this! EVERYONE NEEDS THIS!! Get some if you don’t have some and see how much better your appliques turn out!


  1. graciesbaby says

    Thanks Rosemary, This is the tutorial I've needed all this time. It helped me in every way possible. I'll never be without it now!!!

  2. Alison Berry says

    Rosemary – I run a small embroidery business on the side and have loved reading your blog and all the good tips. I will be getting heat and bond ASAP!

  3. I used the 50% off coupon for the 75 yard boxed roll a few months ago!!! I cut a strip of HNBL and put it on all my fabrics prior to using-I do it in larger sections, because it is easier for me (i.e. I HNBL an eighth of a yard at a time). Love using HNBL and, like you, have never had a gummy needle.

  4. I'm definitely going to try this today! What stabilizers do you use?

  5. Getting Heat and Bond today!!! I wondered why it did that.

  6. The Carters says

    I love your blog and appreciate all of the tips you share. Just wanted to say that I tried HNBL and the Gingher 4" curved scissors per your recommendation awhile back and both have improved my applique experience. Just wanted to say thanks!

  7. Melissa Applin says

    Love the new blog & I absolutely LOVE Heat'N'Bond Lite. I use my own variation of these steps. Once I cut out around the design I use a small travel iron that will fit into my 5×7 hoop to fuse the fabric to the shirt before the final stitching. I use the tiny craft iron in my 4×4 hoop. I do this so I don't have to iron over the final design which results in flattening the satin stitch look.

    • Melisssa, I do the same as you. I like to fuse my fabric before the final stitch. I just purchase a mini craft iron today, actually, so I no longer have to struggle with fitting my full size iron into my 5×7 hoop. I love HNBL. I recommend it to people, as well.

  8. Courtney McIlwain says

    Just discovered your new blog. I love it. I’ve bought many(MANY) designs from your store. Thansk for this tip. As you said most in the embroidery world don’t know about this stuff. I’ve used it before but never with my embroidery. Thanks a bunch!!!!!!

  9. Ahhhh….you just made my day:) I love your designs!! Your blog looks *A*M*A*Z*I*N*G* Thanks so much for all the tips:)

  10. The Cobbs Nest says

    Hey Rosemary! Could you do a post on needle selection?! I get so confused about that but definitely notice that it makes a difference. Thanks!!!

    • I always use Schmetz Embroidery Needles – 75/11.

      • Hi Rosemary!

        Thanks so much for your fantastic designs and blog! I am just getting started and wondered what type of 75/11 needle? A Ballpoint or Sharp or something else??? I want to achieve a very clean finish on both my appliques and fonts and I am having a bit of a hard time. Although I have noticed that your appliques stitch out very nicely. Thanks bunches for your advice!!!

  11. Rosemary, thank you so much for your wonderful tips and information on your blog. I am an Applique Cafe customer and have subscribed to your blog from the minute I discovered it. I have learned so much. I started doing embroidery about a year ago, and run my own business from home, (I also make children’s clothing). When I first bought my machine (Janome 9500) , I took a 6 hr class on stabilizers, hooping, needle & thread selection, etc. They never taught about HNBL, either. After having the “so-so” looking appliques, I started experimenting with many different “fusings” (if that’s what you call them) and discovered HNBL. I love it and use it all the time. I do what Jessica does, though, and actually do the fusing part before the final stitch.

    I just purchased a Brother PR600 and will have it in about a month. I can’t wait. I hear a lot about Fast Frames too. I read your post on that. I am a hooper as well, so really debating on whether I need them or not. Some people I talk to use them for everything. Hmmm…. I guess we’ll see. Thanks again for a wonderful and very informative blog. 🙂

    • I was wondering when you make an iron on applique and the heat and bond, you ironed it on to your fabric, then you placed it on the stabalizer? and then you ironed it again? did you put a fusable backing on the stabalizer?

      Thank you!!

      • I have never made an iron on applique so I am really not 100% sure of the process. I would think you could do the applique on tearaway stabilizer, then apply HNBL on the back?

  12. Ashlee Fort says

    Hi Rosemary, I’m spending my daughter’s naptime today reading through all your blog posts. Great information! Cannot thank you enough. Wondering if you have an answer that I’ve googled several times and never found. Have you seen the patches that people are selling on etsy? How are they making those? Are they just doing applique onto the HNBL? I cannot figure it out! Sometimes there are things I want to applique, but they aren’t hoopable (like areas of a backpack. Thanks for your help!

  13. rosemary, i’ve NEVER heard of this before. I can see how it would be very helpful for larger applique where the fabric has a tendency to bubble up like you said. after you wash it does it look better than it did had you not used the HNBL. I too should have stock in HNB. Although I use the heavy duty for doing the letters on my banners I’ve used probably 100s of packages of this stuff. And I can barely stand to make these banners anymore after 4 years of it. But I will because people like ’em like only one who doesn’t sew could love ’em.

    anyway, i’m gonna try this. i love how my appliques turn out but there is always room for improvement right? i always just starch the heck out of my applique fabric to keep it flat.

    • It fuses the applique fabric to the garment, so yes it does do better after laundry! Hanging to dry and ironing it would probably make it even better! 🙂

  14. I Rosemary, I found your site and I love it. I am a stay at home Mom and just started learning embroidery a few months ago. I am learning so much from your site and buying a lot of things also. Your designs are wonderful. I craft a lot with my Cricut machine and am making vinyl t-shirts and decided it was time to learn something new so embroidery came about to me. If I read correctly you are from Alabama, and I took am from Alabama. Actually, Anniston, AL. I went to Jacksonville State University. I would love to hear exactly where you are from in Alabama.

    • Hi! I live in Montgomery now – have been here since 97. Went to school at Troy and am from Enterprise!

      • Kathy Houston says

        Hey Rosemary. I just read where your from Montgomery Al. I live in Millbrook, well Elmore but Millbrook side. Anyway, I don’t even know if you’ll get this message since it’s 4 yrs later but I’ll try anyway. I’ve recently started embroidering but I’ve never appliqued. I’ve wanted to try but haven’t gotten the nerve yet. So my question to you is you have on here that You: “I finish the back side of my applique with Comfort Cover, aka Floriani Dreamweave (there are a variety of different brands of this product, including Sulky).”
        What do you use & if you do plain embroidery what do you use on the back of it? There are so many different names out there & I get so confused on what to use on the back side of my embroidery so that it doesn’t bunch up after it’s washed. Can you PLEASE HELP ME??? Thank you in advance! Kathy

  15. Thank you so much for sharing this secret. I’m new to machine applique embroidery. This worked perfectly. Thank you!!!

  16. I just came across your posts and they’re amazing!!! I’m fairly new to embroidery (started last July) and I wish I would have come across your tips months ago! I have a question, do you use interfacing on your fabric for an applique? I didnt see any on the fabric you put the heat bond on. Just curious what your thoughts on it is 🙂

    Thanks for your wonderful tips!

    • I only use the HNBL. If it’s a thin fabric that the shirt might show through on, I might use a layer of white fabric underneath.

      • Another question…at what point do you use the white fabric and do you use HNBL on it? I love the HNBL, it really cleaned up my applique but I did have a problem with the blank fabric showing through! THanks!


  18. I took your advice and started using HNBL on my appliques, however I’m now having a problem with my thread breaking. This doesn’t happen as much when going around the outside of the design with a satin stitch, but more so when tacking down the design and especially when there is more than one layer of fabric (which means more than one layer of HNBL….
    Have you ever had this problem? It is VERY frustrating. I love the look of a “finished” applique with HNBL but having my thread break over and over while stitching isn’t fun.

  19. Cindy Becton says

    I am wondering what makes this better then Wonder under, because it is lite and it has been amazing for me! I do over 15 appliques a day and I find the wonder under available at Walmart, or any craft or fabric store and it is cheaper then the HNBL. Please tell me what you think, I am curious to see if I am missing something? I have used both the wonder under and the HNBL and I see no difference, but I am not the most observant, hahahaha!!

    • I don’t know that it’s better. I just prefer it! The paper peels off easier to me. I always had trouble with the wonder under. By all means use what you like best! 🙂 I think any fusible is better than nothing!

  20. Thank You for this tutourial. I found it to be so informative. I was told by the woman at the store where I purchased my machine not to use HBNL because it gummed up the needle. But you stated it does not, I am having trouble with my material separating behind the stitches, if you know what I mean. I can trim close but it is after the satin stitch that I have my issues. I will be trying this on my next applique for sure. I have this and use it for other things but was a bit scared to try it in my embroidery machine. I now have the confidence to do so after reading the article. Thank you so very much and I am glad someone posted this for me to read. Sincerely, Diane Fox

  21. So I’m assuming you did the name with an embroidery machine?

  22. Hi Rosemary! I am having a problem with the HNBL leaving a residue on my iron. I also use this iron for everyday ironing (shirts, pants…) and once heated, the residue shows up on these items. Is there a trick to removing the gummy residue that you know of? Thanks! Laura

    • You can buy iron cleaner and clean it when you get ready to do regular ironing? If you are ironing on the paper side, I’m not sure why it’s getting on your iron?? Mine gets on my ironing board cover but typically doesn’t get on my iron. I’d suggest the cleaner or buying a cheap “work iron”!?

      • I couldn’t figure out how it is getting in my iron either! Mystery!!!
        Thanks! I will go grab some iron cleaner and may just pick up a new work iron while I’m at it 🙂

        • I now use a piece of non fusible stabilizer to cover the applique for the first pass of ironing. Any fusible residue will stick to the non-fusible first.

        • I know you posted this a year ago but I found a great way of cleaning gummed up stuff off my iron. set the iron to a low heat setting and run it over a used bounce dryer sheet. sometimes i also carefully ball up the used dryer sheet and rub on tough spots on the warm iron.. worked very well for me.. I gummed it up by ironing my bedskirt on hot setting and the fabric melted to my iron..oops.. hope someone can use this tip even though its a year late.

  23. jennifer andrade says

    i have a question…on your first step where it shows thw crown,,,is that on the actual shirt or is it just a peice of cloth? Im asking because if its the shirt i dont see how your fitting it in the hoop, its shows that its real neat and wouldnt it have to be between the front and back of the shirt? im new to embroidery and i love your site but this part threw me off. please help

    • Yes that is a hooped shirt. I have a 6 needle machine, so the way it hoops, the arm of the machine goes inside the neck of the shirt. The hoops for 6 needles are also a little different than single needle machines. Let me know if that doesn’t answer your question!

      • jennifer andrade says

        thanks..i have a pe770 and i cant seem to fit it..the shirt seemd so big.
        any suggestions

  24. tabrina meyer says

    I am custom appliqueing for my business and use wonderunder and do not have a bit of trouble w/it and i really like the product . But now i am appliqueing for another business in large quantities and they use ONLY heatbond ultra and sometimes lite and it is gumming up my needles, i was told to use a better quality needle by a sewing store which they recommened xlasse universal titanium 80/12 and it still gums up breaking the upper thread also, i have a brother SE 400 machine and a simple singer2263 and i used singer universal 80/11 needles before the titanium needles and it did this also when i would use heatbond HELP! I really want to do a great job for this new business and i am at my wits ends figuring out what to do.


    • Did you look at the posts in Helpful Posts? I suggest starting with a simple 1 fabric design and play w/ it – once you do one it’ll make sense!

  26. Ashley Russell says

    Hey just wondering what kind of machine do you have. I want to learn how to do this.

  27. Thank you for all of the information you have provided! I just purchased a Brother PE-770, and I used you blog to make my shopping list. I am having trouble finding cute blanks. I have seen several on the Cherry Tree site that are too cute- any idea where these blanks can be purchased?

    Thank you

    • If you look under LINKS on my blog, there is a list of blanks suppliers. Cherry Tree uses Monag a lot, and there is a new one called Blanks Boutique that sells a similar cute girl tee (all white right now).

      • Hi! I kniw this thread is a couple years old, but I had a question I hope you can answer. What hoop Size do you think you use the most on children shirts for appliques. The 5×7 or 6×10? I’m in the process of buying a machine. I just want to make sure I get the right hoop size. Thanks for your time!

        • I do 5×7 on most children’s t-shirts. I have a multi needle so I also have 9×9 and other options which helps when adding a name underneath. I would say 5×7 at the very least and 6×10 if you can, but not necessary. I used a 5×7 machine for 2-3 years and did everything under the sun!

  28. I have been using Heat n Bond Ultra (after the people at the Joann store told me it would be ok, then later saying “No, no don’t use Heat n Bond Ultra”) My question is-I have never had any problem-what is the cons to using the Ultra and just ironing it on and then stitching around it? Thanks!

  29. You know that it’s much easier to draw the motive (in reverse) onto the paper side of the heat and bond, right? Then iron it onto the untrimmed fabric (so there is more fabric than heat and bond), then trim out the motive, peel of the paper and iron it onto the desired place and stitch it down.

  30. Becky Lott says

    I’ve loved this product for years! Several years ago, I bought multiple weights in whole rolls (not sure how many yards in each), and have used it for quite a while for everything! It’s a product which is so useful for so many things, and never goes bad! Since few projects take very big pieces, a 5 yard piece will last a good long time.
    Happy crafting!

  31. Rosemary,
    I’m sure you have mentioned this somewhere in your blog, but I can’t seem to find it. Do you wash your clothing items (shirts, dresses, etc.) and fabric used in applique before you sew the item? I’m new to this and wasn’t sure if I needed to worry about the shirt shrinking under the applique or the applique fabric shrinking in the design. Thanks for all of your helpful posts!!

    • I don’t prewash anything! I use Heat N BOnd Lite which fuses the applique to the shirt, so if there is shrinkage they both shrink together sort of.

      • Thanks! I’ve been using HNBL per your suggestion and love how it turns out! Good to know about the shrinking! Thanks!

  32. Megan Comer says

    Hi there! I apologize if you have this answered somewhere in your blog, but what type of stabilizer do you use with this technique? I’m a beginner and would love to get another great tip from you!

    All the best, Megan

  33. Our Joann Fabric seems to have discontinued carrying HeatNBond! I always bought the 5yd roll there. Do you know of anywhere else that carries it? Thanks

  34. Rosemary,

    Do you use a stablizer on the back of the fabrice you are appliquing on? and then use Heat N Bond on the piece of fabric that makes the applique?

  35. i just stumbled onto your website/blog, looking for appliqué ideas, and so glad I did. I do hand embroidery with machine scroll stitches, Brother NX-600, and mixed mediums, etc. Anyhow, my Brother, used twice, a new machine due to back injury, the internal CPU fried, when I got it out of storage to begin sewing again, etc., so while I’m saving to get it fixed, I thought I’d try Appliqué instead on my normal manual machines, a Kenmore and a very old Universal, which works better in ways than the 80s Kenmore. since stitches are limited, etc., to zigzag, straight, some scallop. But since I do my own drawings, art with mixed med, I still want to add embroidery, beading, etc, on Aprons, my mew project. I normally use stabilzers and methods for applying vary, my question is, if I use the HNBL, will it be too stiff to use embroidery thread with hand stitches? also with combines paint? Often times my work comes out thick, due to textures, and not sure how exactly to go about, the aprons I am working with are reconstructed denim, heavy, to stay durable through many washings, since they are recycled materials, the thickness varies depending on quilting, etc. Any suggestions?

    • If I were you I would just try it! It would help fuse any fabric to your garment. It’s not thick – I believe you would be able to hand stitch through it w/ no trouble!

  36. I just found this article thru facebook and love you already! Thank you so much for this excellent idea. I have two new grandchildren that I am appliquing for, and have been very disappointed with the little threads that peek thru when I’m done. This will definately help make my projects look so much better!! Just one question; I saw that you use 75/11 needles, is that for everything you embroider regardless of fabric or design? I read so much about using different needles, (like ballpoint for instance) and it is so confusing. Also, how often do you change out your needle? Thanks again and please keep these helpful tips / tutorials coming!!

    • Yes I use 75/11 needles on everything – I mostly do tshirts though! I don’t have a set schedule to change them out (I have a 6 needle) but usually just know when it is time – needles look gunky or lots of dust on the needle shafts.

  37. Jocelyn Rutland says

    I also use HeatNBond Lite and that’s all I’ve ever used. However, here lately it seems like it’s not working very well. I even tried to get a new package thinking mine was maybe a little old. It doesn’t adhere well and it seems when the items are laundered, the applique gets all wrinkly inside:( What am I doing wrong??

  38. hi rosemary! can u tell me how to put pictures of family to put on a quilt I am making for xmas ? thank u!

    • Use t-shirt transfer material. You print sheets with your ink jet printer and iron them on. Some companies make sheet that is material and you run it through your printer. You buy this in packages in the craft section or quilting section Wal Mart, JoAnn or Hobby Lobby to name a few.

  39. Kathryn Davis says

    What kind of embroidery machine do you have? I am thinking of purchasing one but don’t know the first thing about them! One that could outline the design like you have done here would be fantastic!

  40. SANDRA FAVORS says


  41. SANDRA FAVORS says


  42. Hi Rosemary,
    I was just wandering if you have ever used satin for your appliques? And if so, does the heat and bond work without melting the satin? I make carseat canopies with satin initial appliques ( sometimes they bunch up… I am just using a regular singer sewing machine.
    Thanks a bunch!

  43. I own a commercial embroidery machine and run a small business from home. I am unhappy with my finished appliques because the fabric is always wrinkled. So here is my process, what am I doing wrong??

    First, because I don’t pre-wash my shirts or my applique fabric, I iron and steam it good. Then I hoop the shirt with a 2.5 oz cutaway stabilizer. I don’t stretch the shirt out when I hoop, but I do pull it a little so that it’s tight enough to keep stitching from puckering the shirt. I starch my applique fabric before laying it down. I also hold the fabric down to make sure it stitches flat. The finished appliques always look smooth an great. I turn the shirt inside out and iron on Tricot to the back of the design using a press cloth and steam. When I turn the shirt back the right way the applique is wrinkled. I even tried once to use HBL but I still got the same wrinkling. Am I not supposed to iron the applique? Am I using too much steam?

    I hope there is some advice you can give me, I just can’t figure out what I am doing wrong. A fellow embroiderer friend doesn’t add Tricot to the back and doesn’t have this problem, so I am wondering if it’s just from too much heat/steam.

    Thank you!

    • It sounds like you are doing everything right. I DO use HNBL on my fabric and that certainly helps with wrinkling. The only other thing I know to try if you don’t want to use HNBL is to put a layer of stiff cutaway (medium) under your fabric. But again, I use HNBL.

  44. You must be from GA!! Small world!! Steve is fabulous!!
    Thanks so much for the tip. Much better than the thick stuff!

  45. carlynholmes says

    Thanks…good information definitely needed!

  46. Jeri Bankston says

    I was wondering if you have appliqued on onsies? Would you use the fast frames for that or try to hoop that tiny thing:) Is it ever okay to applique using fast frames?

    • I would hoop but I hoop everything! Some people do use fast frames on everything. If you are using a single needle then the trick is to hoop (4×4 hoop usually) and then turn it all inside out and get it out of the way.

      • Jeri Bankston says

        I have the Brother Pro 1000. I feel more comfortable hooping it so it doesn’t shift at all, but I was just afraid of stretching it out too much. Thank you for your blog! I have learned so much through it.

  47. Do you use a cutaway stabilizer? What exact stabilizer do you use? Thanks!!

    • I use medium cutaway ~ Sulky Cutaway Plus is one I get from JOann when it’s on sale. I also use the commercial backing cutaway from You can buy it in precut squares or on a roll. I usually get the 2.2 oz – would not go over 3 oz!

  48. Sue Horne says

    Oh Bless Your Heart!!! I finally understand it….pictures are the key!! Thank you a million times for posting this!!

  49. Hi Rosemary! Great blog!! I have my own boutique – Sweet Jellybean Bowtique ( – and have been open for about seven months. I am new to embroidery, though. As in – I think I’ve made four shirts – new. I’m in the process of making a shirt for a friend of mine with the name, “Ruby” in applique letters. I’ve been having issues with it, so this blog is perfect! If I could get your advice on something. I noticed that you stitch the design to your shirt, stitch the fabric to your shirt, and then cut it out (forming the applique). The applique shown is all one piece – two of the letters I’m working with have holes in the middle – the R and B. Since the shirt is a 2T, the letters have to be smaller to fit. How would you recommend cutting out the inside holes once I’ve tacked down the applique fabric? Since there are holes to cut out, would you alter your steps any to factor that in? Any help – from anyone! – would be appreciated! I’m tired of messing up and wasting shirts! 🙂 Again, awesome blog, and I am excited to check out your store for some new appliqués!

    • I would trim that fabric out of the inside of the letters before the satin stitch (as you are trimming around the letters). Here is a post on layering fabrics in a design and the concept is similar – poke through that fabric (inside the letter) and carefully trim that fabric out. Here is the post – I wouldn’t change my steps in any way.

      • Thanks, Rosemary! After I posted this, I started looking through some of your previous blogs, and actually found that one. I think I even bookmarked it for quick reference! I’m going to try your method tomorrow and fingers crossed, it will work for me! Your opinion on one more thing – if you don’t mind. I’ve embroidered a few shirts now, and I always use a cover up on the back – the stabilizer might be softer, but I still like to put it over the back of the embroidery. On the front of the shirt, there’s all those little strings from changing letters, starting, stopping – you get the point. I’m worried that I will tear out the stitches when trimming up the loose threads. Any pointers? And do you trim the threads before or after you apply the back cover layer? Sorry for all the questions – I’ve been using my embroidery machine for about two weeks, so I still have a TON of questions. Thanks again for your help! 🙂

  50. Sandy Smith says

    A quick question about the HNBL…I love this idea. I have had issues with wrinkling in appliques a well, especially if there is a bigger piece in the applique. I normally use a top stabilizer, such as solvy, when doing a tshirt or a onesie. When using the HNBL, do you not use a top stabilizer? Only bottom? I thought the top stabilizer was needed to keep the stitches ‘on top’ of the fabric. I just want to clarify before I try the HNBL…I know this will solve my wrinkling problem. Thanks for all of the great posts! For newbies, such as myself, this is priceless!

    • I use medium cutaway on the bottom and usually nothing on the top when doing applique. Unless… I was doing something like a terry bib or something fluffy. On a tshirt then I just use the stabilizer on the bottom.

  51. Butterfly Kisses says

    ok – so I went and bought some Heat Bond- I found some at Walmart for $1.97 a yard. You are exactly correct. Our appliques look 500% better. No wrinkles, no puffiness.. Looks very professional. Check some of ours out on Facebook – Butterfly Kisses Newton, Ala. Thank you so much for this blog.

  52. How is the comfort cover for the back of the applique applied?

    Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and talents.

  53. Another vote for Heat n Bond Lite. I had tried Steam A Seam Lite but kept having issues with the needle gumming up and thread breakage. I purchased Heat n Bond Lite after reading this blog and have not had any issues with gummed up needles.

  54. Britney Wilkinson says

    I tried ironing an appliqué and the iron melted my thread. How do I avoid this? Can you iron an satin stitch? Thanks

  55. Rosemary, once I bond the lining to the fabric cut out do I need to peel it apply it right away or can I wait several days? I’m not sure if the adhesive will still work days later to apply it to the main fabric. Any help is appreciated.

    • I think it’s fine to leave the paper on for several days! It’s not really sticky or anything and isn’t activated til you iron it! Should be fine!

  56. HBL is the best …….I appliqué with it and have not found anything better, both machine and hand appliqué it is perfect. No gummed up needle. U need IT.

  57. So do you stitch the marking stitches on the heat n bond if so do you stitch it in the textured side or shiny s

    • I apply the HNBL after the marking stitch (on to the fabric). The textured side goes against the fabric. You are ironing the paper side, then peel the paper off.

  58. Lisa Butler says

    Love your blog. ? you say you have your iron set on medium heat. My iron doesn’t show medium heat, so where should I have my iron set. Mine has synthetics, wool-silk and linen-cotton so which of those would you consider medium heat. Where do you have your iron set on.
    Thanks for the info.

    • I would think linen cotton would be a high heat setting. You might just play around w/ it and see which one works best? I would think wool silk or b/w wool silk and linen cotton if you can set it between the 2.

  59. I’m a bit late in finding this post but it’s funny how you mention that you don’t get paid for advertising this product, you just love it so much. I just feel the same way and I have mentioned the same thing on my blog before. My JoAnn’s quit carrying it so I purchased “the other brand.” What a disappointment! After struggling with it, I went over to my computer, grabbed my JoAnn coupon, and ordered some. It is the best!

    Love your blog by the way, your interests are so similar to mine 🙂

  60. Sorry, the website link in your form is taking you to an old post. Off to check out more of your fun blog!

  61. I am having trouble getting the HNBL to stay stuck on my background while doing the embroidery stitch around it. Doing the Stitcher’s Garden flowers. What am I doing wrong. Thanks for any help.

  62. Rosemary,

    Thanks for the info…unfortunately, I didn’t read this before I made a onesie applique heart on it. I did do the stabilizer on the back of the front, but just sprayed the applique material on the front to hold in place while the machine appliqued it. It looks cute, but now I am worried what will happen once it is washed. will it bubble up? Is there anything I can do after the fact or will it be okay? I am going to do your way now. thanks.

  63. I have been having problems doing applique and in my group on FaceBook they gave me your link. So far today I have done 2 of them and they came out just perfect!! I am sure glad that you posted this on here. I am also sending your link along to anyone that asks about doing applique and using HNBL, it is such a great product to use.

  64. Candy Preston says

    Is Wonder Under the same thing? Cant find the brand you suggested..

  65. I’ve been doing what you suggest and you are correct, it works great. I do find that on occasion when I lay my HNBL fabric backed piece on top of my marking stiched area it doesn’t always want to stay flat. This creates a pucker effect when the tackdown stitch is going on. Any suggestions for this?

    • You could use a smidge of spray adhesive to keep it flat. You could also use a craft iron or small travel iron and iron the applique AFTER the tackdown and AFTER you’ve trimmed, but BEFORE the satin stitch. I’ve also found that if you squirt a little water on the applique (bubble fabric) with your iron and iron over it, it will usually smooth out and fuse to the shirt.

  66. Jennifer says

    Hi! I love your Blog! I used HNBL for the first time today. Traced my pattern, ironed it on the fabric, but my designs out, and ironed it on the background fabric. It looks great, but some of the pieces are lifting and not staying stuck down 🙁 I thought maybe it needed more heating time, so went back over it and no help. Any tips?? Thanks!

  67. I’m making my daughter a Tri-Delta t-shirt using appliques. I’m having a lot of difficulty measuring out where to put each “Delta” applique. I placed the first one in the middle and sewed it on, as I can only do one at a time, but it takes a lot of time for me to figure out where to hoop the other 2 so that everything is lined up and evenly spaced. Any suggestions?


    • Have you looked in to merging software such as Sew What Pro?? It’s on our website, It would allow you to merge the letters together before you sew. If hoop size is an issue, then maybe you could print out each letter, figure out where the center is and place them on the shirt beforehand to mark where each letter goes?

  68. Hi Rosemary! I run a small business and do sooo many children’s appliques a day. I have never used this product but so excited to try it. My appliques always look good until they are washed and then they are just all wrinkled up! But my question is do you have to iron the HNBL to every piece of fabric you use? I have some appliques that require many fabics and I feel as if this would take forever to do! Thanks for your help 🙂


  69. Hi! Just wondering if you have to iron the HNBL to every piece of fabric? I have some appliqués that require a lot of fabrics and this just seems very time consuming! Thanks for your help 🙂

    • Yes, you typically iron it on to every piece. While your machine is stitching, you can always precut the pieces of fabric and apply HNBL and have them ready to place down!

  70. Hello, I am wondering about the dream weave. Do you actually sew this on with the zig zag stitch or is it ironed on?


  71. Hi Rosemary!
    Thank you so much for this tutorial and your cute designs. I just wanted to make sure I had this right after reading through all of the comments–you hoop your shirt with a medium cutaway on the inside, use HNBL on your appliqué fabrics and then, once you are done (including fusing the appliqué), you iron on Dreamweave over the trimmed cutaway on the inside…correct?


  72. I have a pe 780d machine and every time I use HNDL it breaks my thread. I’ve tried different needles and different thread. Any other recommendations? Thanks!

  73. Hi every time I use HNDL I get ugly bobbin stitches on top. I thought something was wrong with my machine. I had to take my machine in and my dealer said NOT to use it. I wonder if it is b/c I was using a high heat instead of the medium. Sure wished I could.

    • I would try a lower heat (medium) and let it cool off a little maybe before you stitch on it. I have been using it for years and have never had a problem!

  74. Hello. I cut my fabric with heat n bond attached via silhouette cameo. I tend to get morescraps that way. I am trying to figure out a good solution to store these fabric scraps with the heat n bond attached….any tips? Or should I just be throwing them away? Thanks doll

    • I do the same thing just by hand cutting my fabric! I sometimes save the piece if it’s big enough, but then it usually gets crushed or wrinkled. Unless it’s some fabric that you are running out of, I would probably just throw it away! 🙂

  75. Terry Height says

    Thanks for the tip. I’ve used Heat N Bond for years but didn’t know if it would work well with machine applique. Now that I know it won’t gunk up the needle I will be using it for this too.

  76. Hi! I have been using the commercial cutaway stabilizer from that you suggested for all of my appliqués and I have loved how each one has turned out. However, a friend of mine brought it to my attention that hers look horrible after washing. There is a huge ring where you can see the stabilizer outline even after ironing. My question is have you ever come in contact with this issue and do you ever use polymesh stabilizer? I haven’t had any customers complain yet but I also don’t want them to…or to go elsewhere because they may have this issue. I haven’t seen a huge problem with my daughters but I do not use cloud cover over hers. I do on customers items and wonder if the cloud cover makes it show more because it can’t move??? Hope this made sense! Thanks for any input!

    • I think it depends on the shirt – if it’s too thin it might show the stabilizer. I’ve never really had a problem or had any complaints! I have used the polymesh before and I like it too! Also make sure the weight of your cutaway isn’t too heavy!

  77. I have question about monogramming on blanks biutique bib would u use tear away or cut away? I prefer tear away for look however last one pulled guess because letters stitches were wide. Their bibs are a t shirt cloth on front n terry cloth on back any suggestions.

    • I would use tearaway on the back and I often use solvy or water soluble on the top when doing monograms! It gives it a little extra support on top.

  78. polly vansteen says

    I so appreciate all the info you post. Love all your designs also.

  79. Do you use HNBL on minky fabric? I am going to applique the snowman face on a white minky dress

  80. Lynda Garland says

    Just found your blog, Rosemary! Loved this applique link and have bought myself some HNBL to try. I’m fairly new at machine embroidery and applique so it’s kind of been trial and error for me. Can’t wait to try the HNBL though instead of the spray adhesive I’ve been using.
    I have a question about applique designs with holes in the middle of the design, sort of like a donut design. Since your attaching the entire piece of fabric and then doing your tack down and cutting excess, how do you cut out the middle without cutting your base fabric? I’ve been cutting out my design and then putting it on the base fabric with spray adhesive rather than cutting off the excess after it’s been tacked down. Want to try your method but can’t figure out how to cut the hole. Thanks!

    • I usually use a pair of scissors (small ones) or a seam ripper and poke through that center at an angle. You DO have to be careful!! Check out this blog post –

      Usually if you go in at an angle very carefully, you will just pierce through that top fabric.

      • Lynda Garland says

        Thanks Rosemary!
        I checked out the other blog post and will try your way next time. I have a Brother SE400 and have those same blue handled scissors too. Have also ordered myself a pair of curved scissors which I can’t wait to get and try. They should help a lot!

  81. Do you ever use a solvy topping with hnbl? I was told from the person I purchased the machine I should put a topping down before stitching anything.

    • I only use solvy if the item I’m appliqueing is textured, like a towel or blanket. I do use solvy when doing simple monograms on stuff, but typically not when doing applique unless I’m doing it on something fluffy! 🙂

  82. Hi, I really need help! I’ve been embroidering on and off for about an year now. I have never really know what size appliqué to use on kids shirts (newborn onesie to kids 14). Is there a “golden rule” to use when deciding what size appliqué to use on a particular size shirt. Embroidery designs come in so many sizes. Thanks! ~Terri

    • Usually on the smaller tees you may be limited to 4×4 b/c the 5×7 hoop is sometimes too big! I usually do 5×7 whenever possible, and then bigger (6×10) if I were doing a larger youth size shirt. I like to use the print feature in my software also to print out a pic of the design, cut it out and put it on the shirt. That shows me if it’ll look big enough!

  83. When using heat and bond lite…..if your second piece of Applique is light colored…. Going over something dark that the pattern will shine through…..what do you do?

  84. Found it thanks

  85. Kristen Collin says

    If you use heat ‘n bond to adhere applique to a t-shirt is it absolutely necessary to do stitching around the applique if you handwash the item?

    • Are you going for the raggy look? You could leave off the satin stitch around the design if you wanted it to be more hand sewn or raggy looking.

  86. Thanks Rosemary, I so much enjoy your blog. As a beginner I need all the help I can get and you have the easiest instructions to understand. I will definitely be using this on appliques. There is just so much to learn but you have managed to make it a joy instead of work. Thanks again and Blog on, judy

  87. I love this stuff. Like you, I keep it on hand. I love doing names on things I make and this makes life easy. The only thing I do different is I use my letter stencils and flip them over so that I’m doing the letter in reverse or whatever I’m using. Cookie cutters are awesome templates by the way. I draw out what I’m going to use on the paper side, iron it on my fabric, cut my design (this helps save on wasting too much of the heat n bond) and then when you flip it to be ironed on its ready to go. No trimming. Just zig zag around and you get a beautiful design in no time.

  88. So I’m new also.. I hoop just the shirt with no stablizer to do the marking stitch first?

  89. Iris Gapusan says

    Does this product work on towels as well?

  90. What kind of stabilizer do you use for the t-shirt?

  91. After you wash the shirt does the appliqué wrinkle and look bubbly

  92. I purchased a Brother PE770 a week ago, I do appliques (very amateur) and always wanted to embroider as well. I’ve been afraid to take it out of the box and jump into it. This site has given me more of an idea of where to turn with questions if I get stuck. Thank you.

  93. Hi there! I know this was posted years ago but I read through every comment. I’m having a bit of trouble finding the right type of bonding for a project. I’m sewing battenburg lace appliqués onto sheer silk/cotton. The heat and bond lite has been the best I’ve tried but it is appearing so shiny in the middle areas of the lace. I can’t cut it out easily once bonded because there’s threads in the spaces. I hope that makes sense. I’m not doing insert lace / cutting the back once edges are sewn- I’m just layering the lace over the sheer. It’s a wedding dress and I just wish the product would wash away after I’ve bonded and sewn on. Any advice would rule. Thank you and great post!!!

  94. Rosemary, I enjoyed your article on Heat N Bond Lite. I’ve used a product like that made by Pellon
    for many, many years. That product is called Pellon 805 Wonder-Under. I don’t think it was
    called this when I first used it – probably in the 60’s, but that’s the name of it now. In fact I
    have some of it in my stash of fabric. I feel the same way about it that you feel about
    Heat N Bond Lite. I’ll have to try that product. Here’s a listing I saw on google for it.

    Pellon Wonder Under, 15 inch x 2 Yards, White
    January 29, ’16

  95. Why would u want to waste heat & bond when u don’t need it? I use heat & bond on “the old fashion way to do appliqué. I have several friends who have monogramming machines and never use this

  96. I’ve followed the above tutorial and it helps big time! Now that I’ve got my puckering problem resolved, I have another quick question: I am having trouble getting the placement of my applique correct (not the centering part, the often times the applique is too low on the shirt), and sometimes the size is not what I anticipated, so it ends up being too small or too large. I think this can be resovled by pre-printing my designs and placing them. However, most of the websites I purchase from don’t offer this option, or at least I don’t know how to do if they do. Do you have any suggestions as to how to better place my appliques / choose the correct size?


  97. Will this make the applique stiff? Also, I need to applique on top of an applique and then to my quilt center. I’m doing the Dallas Cowboy Star. Also will be appliquing the Dallas Cowboys lettering. I don’t want the appliques to be stiff and don’t want to gum up my needle. I only have the zz stitch available, but can adjust the spacing.

    • Do you have some to try? It does not gum up the needle! It does make the applique a little stiff at first, but it softens when laundered.

  98. I have an applique on a shirt that a small section did not get sewn to the shirt how can I fix it. Thank you.

  99. My machine,a Brother Innovis 4500D, keeps shreading the top thread and sometimes snarls the bobbin thread when I use adhesive products with appliqué. The needle does not seem to be gummy and my tech guy cannot seems to get it adjusted to correct this problem. I have tried different sizes and types of needles and different threads. Any suggestions?

  100. Hi, I was wondering how you get your shirts or other fabrics that you are embroidering not to pucker? It seems like whenever I am appliquéing or even doing regular embroidery the item I am working on always puckers even if I hoop it tightly!

    • Did you read the post on Hooping??? Just make sure you aren’t stretching your shirt too tight, and stabilizer is key. I use solvy or water soluble on top when doing any type of embroidery – monogram, fill stitch design, etc.

  101. Linda Clark says

    I just took a class from Sue Nichols. Great applique teacher. Check out her technique. She traces the larger design then graduated smaller designs inside ,then cuts them out. Then irons onto the fabric and you have a smaller outline and don’t have a lot of thickness. Check out he website and get the full instructions. I am very pleased with the results I got Do to possible copyright stuff, I will not go into more detail. She is available for classes

  102. Terrie Macintosh says

    Thank you for speaking about heat n bond light. I’m really struggling with my appliqués on tshirts. I every time I get the same end result – the fabric is not adhearing to the tshirt. After stitching, i press with hot iron, pressing cloth for about 10-15 seconds. It just wrinkles up inside the design. I just finished 3 big, middle, little sister tshirts for customer. All 3 are wrinkled. I’m using floriani fusible no show mesh on inside. I float on fast frames w sticky stabilizer. I have NO puckers around any of the design. Just wrinkles inside. It is obvious the fabric is not adhearing. I can move the fabric with my finger. I bought the HNBL from joanns about a month ago. I hope you can help me.

    • Sometimes squirting the applique with water (from your iron) and then ironing it will fuse the fabric. Just wondering if your stabilizer is too thin?? Is the shirt tight in the hoop?

      • Terrie Macintosh says

        I use fast frames w sticky back. I Iron unwashed florisni poly mesh cutaway on back of washed tshirt. I bought a new bolt of HNBL. I set iron to cotton, reduced time on pressing fabric, cut a template. tsgurt is size 5 from ARB blanks. So I need fast frames for the larger design. I have tried not pressing until after final stitch. All same non stick result. Should I do a basting stitch? ty

        • What type fabric are you using?? Also, have you tried using a little craft iron to press the applique BEFORE the satin stitch and AFTER you’ve trimmed?

  103. It sure gimme up my needle I have to keep stopping every few seconds and I don’t mean minutes to clean my needle.

  104. this helped me make my own socks wow I can finally sell them at school
    yours faithfully
    suzie xo

  105. I am having problems with my satin stitches being uneven in width. My machine has been recently serviced, I have also just put in a new needle and experimented with thread tension. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you very much!

  106. Justina M Cracchiolo says

    Thank you so much for this wonderful blog post about Heat and Bond Lite. It is explained so clearly and it truly works just like you said. I appreciate tips like this. I so want my embroidery designs to look professional. This has kicked my finished pieces up a few notches!