New EASTER designs and a coupon!

All NEW designs are 35% off for a limited time!
Coupon Code: AAFEB4FEB10
Save 40% off ALL orders $10 or greater. Expires 2/10/2017 at midnight.
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Don’t miss our latest shop announcement.
On ALL orders and future orders, you will be alerted BEFORE purchasing a duplicate design.  You must be logged in for this feature to work.  Unfortunately it will not apply to past orders.  You may access all past order before July 5, 2016 here.

Applique with HTV (vinyl)

I promised you a tutorial and here it is!

Before we get started, head over to our site and download this free goldfish design so you can work right along with us.


First, I like to “plan ahead”.  Pick your colors.  Match your threads.


Let the first tackdown stitch.


Cut your vinyl to the approximate size of your applique outline.


Peel off the top layer of the HTV vinyl BEFORE tacking the vinyl to your shirt.  Failure to do so will prevent the HTV from being able to bond to the shirt.


I like to use just a light spritz of sticky spray to make sure my vinyl stays in place.  Make sure you use one that doesn’t leave a residue.  You do not need heat n bond lite with HTV.


Smooth the vinyl over the applique area.


Tack down your vinyl.


It tends to appear a little bubbly… but you can “fix” that when you iron over the HTV.


Carefully cut around the tack down stitch.  You scissors should glide right along.


Now, you are ready to iron over your HTV and bond it to your shirt.


Here, I used a small craft iron and a flour sack towel to protect the vinyl from the iron.  Sometimes craft irons don’t get hot enough to adhere the vinyl, so if you can, use your normal iron with the steam setting off.


Hold the iron for about 15-30 seconds on each area.  I like to iron outwards so any bubbles will be pushed to the tack down stitches and eventually covered by the satin.


While the vinyl is still warm, I like to smooth over the applique with my hands, again pushing out towards the tack down.  Be careful not to do this while the vinyl is still hot to prevent burning yourself.


Touch up as needed.


Zig Zag tack down.


Now, you are ready to start on the fin.  Repeat the same process.


Cut the size HTV needed.


On this printed vinyl, you will remove the layer under the vinyl unlike the top layer you removed on the solid.  I like to roll the edges with my fingers to separate the layers.  It can be tricky.  Again, failure to do so will prevent the HTV from being able to bond to the shirt.


Spray lightly with sticky spray.  (again I am using 505 spray)


Smooth the vinyl over the applique area.


Tack down.




Prepare to iron using the same method.


Iron and smooth as before pushing outward.  Use good pressure when ironing HTV.


Now it’s time for the last Zig Zag tack down and then the satin.


Many people are afraid of the needle making holes in the HTV.  As you can see here, that wasn’t an issue.  Make sure to use a good quality HTV.

photo-dec-31-4-03-40-pmphoto-dec-31-4-04-27-pmStitch the eye.


And, you’re finished!  We added a name using our Finnick Tripp font.  I love the combination of the vinyl and fabric… satin and Zig Zag.  This shirt has dimension and style!  I did use heat n bond lite on the applique letters.


The Applique Alley TOP 10 Applique Must Haves


Machine applique isn’t an EXACT science.  If you’ve been doing it for more than say one minute, you know this already.  From stitching sleeve to the back of tees to those ever annoying “check upper and bobbin thread” type errors… it’s never dull!

However, there are some quick tips to make your experience a little more enjoyable and easy.  Yes, most of us do this as a business, but there’s no harm in loving what you do!

Here is our Top 10 list for Applique:

  1. Heat N Bond Lite – I cannot stress the importance of this handy dandy item enough.  Not only does it make the applique experience easier, it also increases the life span of the applique itself by securing the fabric to the garment. It also makes the fabric easier to trim with little to no fraying.   **Make sure you get the LITE.  The other could gum up your machine.  **  You can find it on amazon or at your local Walmart and JoAnn stores.
  2. Quality Blanks – I almost made this one number one, but that’s how obsessed I am with HNBL.  Quality blanks are designed to improve your embroidery success.  Many blanks sites now have baby blanks that snap all the way down the back so you won’t have to stretch them over your hooping system.  This allows for larger appliques and fewer “oopsies”.  I HATED stitching baby items before I found these.  Some of our favorite blank sites include but are not limited to:  Blanks Boutique, ARB Blanks, Giggle Box BlanksMonkey Tail Blanks, Blossom Blanks, Bright Blanks, Sassy Kid Blanks, and EllieO Blanks.
  3. Medium Cutaway Stabilizer – I do use tear away as well, but I use medium cutaway for 90% of my projects.  I get the Exquisite 20″ Wide Roll from The Embroidery Store online.  A good friend told me the 20″ wide rolls allow for more than one hooping for the 9×9 durkee hoop if you leave the piece in tact.  Then once you cut, enough was left to hoop again.  LESS WASTE!
  4. Magna Glide pre-wound bobbins – I also get these from The Embroidery Store.  They are an old favorite… so a must have.  I prefer them to the cardboard bobbins.
  5. Solvy Water Soluble Stabilizer – I use this mainly when I am stitching on towels, stockings, or any thick or textured material.  It prevents the embroidery from “sinking” and allows a much cleaner stitch.  You can also get this on Amazon or a number of other online retailers.
  6. Double Curved Applique Scissors – Now, many people love their expensive Gingher scissors and I can’t debate that because I haven’t tried them.  I have used this inexpensive double curved scissors from the beginning.  I got mine from The Embroidery Store on sale.
  7. 505 Spray – This is my favorite sticky spray so far.  It holds what I need to be held and doesn’t leave a residue.  Be sure to read the warnings.  It may not be safe for more delicate fabrics.  You can get it at your local JoAnn store or online at All Brands.
  8. Cotton Quilting Fabrics – I have never prewashed any of my fabrics, but I will only use quality cotton fabrics.  I have not had any problems with shrinking, fading, or bleeding.  My go to favorites are Michael Miller Ta Dot, Michael Miller Dumb Dot, Riley Blake HoneyComb Dot, Riley Blake Chevron, and Fabric Finder 1/16″ gingham.  You can get most of these at, Whimsical Fabrics, or All Stitched Up By Angela.  There are also a number of Etsy shops that run fabric specials so check them out and tell us your favorites!
  9. Polyester Embroidery Thread – My favorite is Madeira Polyneon.  I get mine at AllStitch online.  I highly suggest getting a thread chart.  It really helps in getting the best colors that you need.
  10. Glitter Vinyl HTV – I prefer this to glitter fabrics or the glitter sheets from Hobby Lobby.  They adhere to the material and aren’t nearly as stiff as the HL sheets.  I bought mine at Sew Down South but I am pretty sure you can also get it at

And there you have it!  Of course, this is not a comprehensive list.  There are other items that I love and probably couldn’t do without!  I have plans for other Top 10 lists in addition to this one… but, if you have an idea, I would love to hear it!

New Fonts. New Designs. New Year & SALE!

Now that Christmas is over… it’s time to start thinking about Spring and Summer!  We are here to help… and 80% off to top it off!
Don’t miss our latest shop announcement.
On ALL orders and future orders, you will be alerted BEFORE purchasing a duplicate design.  You must be logged in for this feature to work.  Unfortunately it will not apply to past orders.  You may access all past order before July 5, 2016 here.

Merry ALMOST Christmas! 

Merry ALMOST Christmas.

I am going to be a little “real” with all of you for just a minute. 🙂 I have been thinking of ways I could do something good for this holiday season… a giveaway for my customers or an auction to benefit a charity…. I would honestly love to be able to give away a machine or something BIG to one of you. My customers (YOU) are the reasons that I am able to work from home. Just as I don’t know that hard parts of your life… I (just like you) have hard parts in mine. Working from home is a BLESSING that you just don’t realize that you are a HUGE part of. I am so so grateful.  

Instead of being discouraged about what I can’t do for you… like I have been. I want to be encouraged to do what I can and encourage YOU to do what you can do. I think so many times, we let what we can’t do stop us and we do nothing…. Well today, I have a little something for you. This is something I CAN DO. I hope you like it and I hope it helps you grow your business! I want to return the support that you have given to me in support of Applique Alley and my family. 

I am going to give 10 shopping passes before Christmas that will be good for 48 hours. I don’t have the times set yet. I will come up with a schedule. You will have a designated time to shop on our site for 48 hours to get all the designs you need for your collection to help grow your business for 2017. I hope this helps you and your family the way you have helped mine.

I will post the first giveaway at 10 pm tonight on our facebook page: