Project: Free Motion Raw Edge Applique | OLFA - CraftOLFA – Craft

Project: Free Motion Raw Edge Applique


Free Motion Raw Edge Applique

With Lori Kennedy of The Inbox Jaunt

Hello, Quilters and Crafters!

I’m Lori Kennedy from The Inbox Jaunt and my passion is free motion, machine quilting!  I LOVE to create new designs and share them.  I also LOVE to create pretty things to use in my house.  Free motion, raw edge applique is quick and easy with OLFA cutting supplies and it’s a great way to create small table runners or wall hangings.

Today’s project can easily be accomplished in an afternoon—but don’t be surprised if you find yourself burning the midnight oil creating a variety of compositions!  Be sure to try out the OLFA Compass Cutter—it’s my new favorite tool!


OLFA Cutting Supplies:

OLFA Splash Rotary Cutter

OLFA Self Healing Mat

OLFA Frosted Acrylic Rulers

Optional Cutters:

OLFA Compass Circle Cutter

OLFA Wave Blade

OLFA Cushion Grip Knife


2 Fat quarters cotton fabric:  one dark, one light

1 Fat quarter cotton fabric for backing

Scraps of colorful fabric for applique fused with double stick fusible web such as Steam-A Seam Lite

Batting:  Light weight cotton 12” x 20”

PDF Download-applique shapes


50wt thread for piecing

50 wt thread for bobbin

40 wt or heavier thread for applique


Universal 80/12 needle for piecing

Topstitch 90/14 needle for applique




Use your OLFA rotary cutter, self-healing mat and frosted acrylic ruler to cut:

(All measurements in inches)

Dark Fabric:
Cut One:  12 ½ x 4 ½

Cut Two:  2 ½ x 6 ½

Cut Two  2 ½ x 18 ½

Light Fabric (Sashing)

Cut Two:  1 ½ x 4 ½

Cut Two:  1 ½ x 14 ½

Backing Fabric:

Cut One:  12 x 20



Set up the sewing machine for machine piecing.

Stitch the 1 ½ x 4 ½ inch light colored sashing strips to the 12 ½ x 4 ½ inch dark rectangle.  Press toward the sashing strip.

Add the long sashing strips.  Press toward the sashing strips.


Stitch the short dark strips to the block, press toward the light sashing strips.

Complete the block by adding the long, dark strips.  Press toward the sashing strips.

Create a quilt sandwich by layering the quilt block with a piece of batting and backing.


Using the same thread as for piecing, stitch in the ditch along the sashing.  To prevent shifting of the layers, use a walking foot or dual-feed mechanism.  Stitch on both sides of the sashing strip.

Stitch ¼ away from the edge of the block border as well.  (OPTIONAL)

Now we have a “blank canvas” to create our applique design.


Download the applique shapes and glue on to tag board or a manila folder to create reusable templates.

Trace the shapes on to fused fabric.  For the floral designs you will need six leaves, one large flower, one small flower and one small circle.

Or create your own shapes and designs.  For example, use the OLFA Compass Cutter to quickly cut out circles in a variety of sizes.


Arrange your applique elements to create your design.

Try arranging them vertically.

Or mix things up a bit.   Don’t be afraid to overlap the sashing strip!

Try a composition with a single element like circles.

Once you are happy with the composition, fuse the shapes according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Now the real fun begins–Free motion, raw edge applique!  Set up your machine for machine quilting.  (See the steps to machine quilting set-up at The Inbox Jaunt HERE.)

I recommend a Topstitch 90/14 needle and a heavy weight thread –40 or 30 wt.  Lower your feed dogs and attach a darning or free motion quilting foot.  I use an open-toe and offset foot.

For raw edge applique, I like to stitch around each element at least three times.  The first time, stitch inside the shape, as close to the edge as possible.

For the second pass, stitch close to, but outside of the shape.

For the final round, stitch a line that wiggles on and off the edge.

NOTE-It is often difficult to be precise.  It looks great if all three of the revolutions wiggle on and off the edge of the applique!

Once the applique is stitched in place, add free motion motifs to embellish the interior of the shape.  In the leaves, I added a motif similar to the Mistletoe Motif –see the step-by-step tutorial at The Inbox Jaunt HERE:

Another variation that would work quite well is The Basic Leaf –Tutorial HERE:

Add a little personality to your project with quilted embellishments like The Butterfly  Tutorial HERE:

Stitch a simple border motif like straight lines, The Bow Tie or The Paperclip.

Once the applique and quilting are complete, use your OLFA frosted ruler, Splash cutter and OLFA mat to square off the corners and trim the quilt.

For a quick binding, use an OLFA Wave Blade to cut one-inch strips of fused fabric.

Press the fused binding on to the front and then fold it over and fuse it to the back.

Repeat on all four sides to create a quick binding!

Use a traditional binding method for a more formal look.

Once you get started with this project, you won’t want to stop!

Free Motion Raw Edge Applique is quick and easy with OLFA products!  Make one for yourself and one for a friend!

For more free motion quilting motifs, tips and inspiration, join me at The Inbox Jaunt!

We LOVE to see what YOU create!