Fix a Quilt Block with Reverse Applique

How to Fix a Quilt Block with Reverse Applique

Fix a Quilt Block with Reverse Applique

It was one of those days! Red felt and white fabric. I sprayed the quilt top after stitching the hearts and immediately saw it run. OUCH! I simply couldn’t think of ripping out rows on this quilt, and then remembered the reverse applique technique. It might come in handy for you too! Here’s how to fix a quilt block with reverse applique.

Felt Applique
Fabric bled onto quilt block.

Fix a Quilt Block with Reverse Applique

What is Reverse Applique?

In a normal situation, reverse applique is done by layering the fabric, and cutting away the top to reveal the fabric behind. Regular applique is usually done by placing the pieces on the top layer and sewing in place.

In my case, the fabric was not yet layered. I was able to cut out the quilt block from the quilt top and replace it from behind. I then carried on to finish the quilt.

Here’s a 2 1/2-minute video quickly running through the steps I used to fix this block with reverse applique.

The first thing to do is draw your cut-out line. You will be folding this to the back. Depending on what you’re using for the applique (what you want the opening to show), you might measure further out from the seam. My block is the same size so I measured 1/4″ from the sewn seam. Using an erasable pen, mark your cut-out line.

Ideas to Fix a Damaged Quilt block

Make sure your replacement is going to fit the area you’ve marked before you cut! Carefully cut a slit in the back. Now turn the quilt over and work from the top to finish cutting.

Cutting the damaged part of a quilt block out.
Add borders to a replacement quilt block.

Cut the drawn line. Clip the seam corners (like a miter) spray, and fold to the back ironing in place.

I added borders that matched the background of the other blocks to my 5″ block. This helps to center the quilt block making it easier to slip stitch in place. The picture shows the block on top just so I could make sure the borders added enough fabric.

Pinned applique
Slip stitching reverse applique.

From the back, center and pin the new block in place. You can also use a basting spray. Slip-stitch, the new block in place, from the front. (Link to some beginning quilting videos on Joyous Home, including slip-stitching!)

Finished stitched hearts quilt.

The finished quilt!

Happy Sewing!


Finished stitched hearts quilt.

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