Hi Friends!
I’m Lisa Ruble from Love to Color My World and I’m so excited to be part of Jungle Week! When I was pregnant with my now 13-year-old, I designed and stitched a safari animal-themed quilt for his nursery (visit my blog to see the original!).

Over the years, I’ve thought about turning that quilt into a pattern, and I even recreated the quilt in bright gender-neutral lime, yellow, aqua, and gray palette. But surprise, surprise, I couldn’t stop there. I went one step further and created a second quilt with a more modern layout. Here are the two quilts: 

The official pattern for these two quilts is still in the works, but today I’m sharing the templates for the three jungle animals, as well as my 10 best appliqué tips. I’ve got another Jungle Baby project in the works (see the photos below) – head over to my blog to follow along as I finish it!

*Fabric scraps for the animals
*Background fabric
*HeatnBond Lite Sewable Iron-On Adhesive

Download the appliqué shapes here.

Appliqué the Animals

Step 1 Trace the animal appliqués onto the paper side of the Iron-On Adhesive, leaving 1/2″ between each shape. Or another option is to print directly onto HeatnBond EZ Print Lite Sheets to save a step!

Tip 1: Before tracing your templates, double-check that they are printed in reverse. They are for more patterns, but you don’t want to realize after you’ve traced everything that it’s all backward (especially for letters!) And don’t forget – what you trace should be backward/opposite what you see in the finished product, because the iron-on adhesive will be applied to the back of the fabric.)

Tip 2: I recommend cutting your background fabric approximately 1/2″ – 1″ larger than the indicated measurements. This gives you wiggle room for trimming the block later, either because your shapes aren’t as centered as you like, or because stitching the appliqués down pulls on the background fabric a bit. 

Step 2 Cut out each shape approximately 1/4” past the drawn lines. Fuse to the wrong side of the desired fabrics.

Tip 3: If you’re using a directional fabric (like my stripes, shown here!), make sure that when you position your traced shapes, you align it with the fabric so your fabric motif if straight on your shape.

Step 3 It’s almost time to cut your appliqués! But first…
Tip 4: One of the things I love most about Thermoweb’s fusible adhesives is how easy it is to peel the paper backing off after ironing. But I still do this tip every time – it just makes the peeling faster and easier, especially when I’m working with lots of appliqué pieces. Before cutting the shape out, peel back one edge slightly past the drawn line, creating a loose edge that’s easy to peel back when you’re ready to fuse the shape in place. 

Step 4 Cut out each appliqué shape.
Tip 5: I prefer to use larger fabric scissors for appliqué cutting because the cuts are smoother. But for the smaller detailed areas, I switch to short-blade appliqué scissors to get in those tight spaces.

Step 5 Align the appliqué shapes on the background fabric.
Tip 6: I press my background fabric in half to find the center and use that to align my shapes. Start with the center shape and work out to both sides (this works especially well with appliquéd letters – just make sure you spell the word correctly since you’re not starting at the beginning!)
Tip 7: Use rulers to mark the bottom “line” where you want your appliqué to rest. Don’t forget to account for seam allowance. This allows multiple appliqués to line up in a straight row.

Step 6 Press appliqué shapes to fuse in place. Make sure not to rub back and forth. (Don’t forget to move the rules from tip 7 before pressing!)
Tip 8: When I’m fusing multiple pieces, I’ll do a careful quick press over all the appliqués to lightly fuse them into place. After all the pieces are slightly secure, I go back and press each piece until it’s fully fused in place. This prevents pieces from shifting as you work. 


Step 7 Continue positioning and fusing all appliqués in place. Pay attention to the spacing between pieces (for example, between my elephant, giraffe, and lion) so they are equal distances apart.

I love these fun, bright plaid animals! How do you think I should finish this piece? Pillow? wall quilt? Center of a larger quilt? Leave a comment below, letting me know, and be sure to visit my blog to watch what I make out of it!

What’s Next? Stitch the Appliqués in place!
Tip 9: Don’t forget to stitch your fused appliqués down! I prefer either a zigzag stitch or a straight stitch, depending on what the project is being used for. If it’s a wall hanging that won’t be handled or washed frequently, I typically choose a straight stitch, right near the edge of the appliqué. If it’s a bed or snuggle quilt, I typically choose a zig-zag stitch because it holds the edges more securely. 

Tip 10: If you’re new to using a zigzag stitch on appliqué, select a stitch that is both slightly wider and less dense. This gives you more wiggle room as you stitch, and any mistakes will be less obvious.

I can’t wait to see what you make with these jungle animal appliqués!

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