Applique Thread Change Shortcut

Avoid unnecessary applique thread changes with this shortcut tip!

This week, I am going to show you an applique shortcut using Purple Applique Flower by BunnyCup Embroidery. When you buy one of their designs, you will get one free until Nov. 10.

If you need an applique refresher, check out this blog. You can also see how to use this applique design to create cutwork here.

Appliqué Basics

Appliqué designs are created by adding fabric, sometimes even multiple layers of fabric, to an existing base and then finishing the edges with decorative stitching to hold them in place.

Each layer of added fabric has a placement stitch to show the fabric size and location and a tack-down stitch to secure the fabric in place before trimming.


This design has 10 color stops but only four actual thread colors. The other six create pauses during the embroidery process, most often for placing fabric (white) or tacking down fabric (grey) rather than stitching an actual thread color.

You do not actually have to change to white or grey thread for the placement and tackdown stitches. The machine does not know what color of thread you decide to use. While some embroidery colors change for parts of the actual design, in the case of applique, some colors are used just so that the machine stops so that you can place fabric or tack it down.

Thread Change Shortcut

In this design, color 7 (pink) is the first actual thread color you will use for embroidery. You can actually load this thread color and use it for all of the placement and tackdown stitches.

In my stitchout, I used green thread for my outer flower instead of the pink that is used in the design color chart. It worked just fine for the three placement stitches and three tackdown stitches.

Then, when it was time to stitch the outer flower satin stitches, the green thread was already loaded and ready to go. You only have one thread change for the first seven color stops. Just three more thread changes and the design is finished.

Debbie SewBlest

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