Tutorial: Ric-Rac Applique

Well, that brings me to a more detailed explanation of ric-rac applique. I know I kind of word-ily described it in the past, but while I was doing it again today, I thought I would take some more pictures along the way.

Basically, I’m using ric-rac to turn under the edge of an applique shape…in this case, a wedge-y circle. This probably works best with simple shapes. I’m using ric-rac that is wide-ish–about 3/4″ between the widest up and down. I have done it with narrower ric-rac, you just have to be more precise.

Leave about 1″ to 1 1/2″ of ric-rac free before you start stitching–you will need this to fold over and finish the stitching. To start, lay the ric-rac on the right side of the circle. What you want is to be able to stitch 1/4″ away from the edge of the circle and right down the center of the ric-rac without falling off either side of the ric-rac:


Stitch 1/4″ away from the edge and keep adjusting the ric-rac as you sew around the circle:


When you get near the end, you’ll want to stop sewing about 2″ before the place you started. This is when you will start fiddling with the extra 1″ to 1 1/2″ you left free at the beginning. You will be folding the starting end UP toward yourself (rather than under). You also want to try to get the fold in the middle of one of the ric-rac “humps” that is pointing toward the left, or toward the center of the applique–trim off any excess on the starting end of the ric-rac:

Next, overlap the end of the ric-rac with the beginning and trim the end:


Finally, lay the end of the ric-rac OVER the beginning fold and finish stitching (you can pin this if you need to, but that may distort the ric-rac–better to hold everything in place with a seam ripper or other pointy object):


Now you’ll take the circle to your pressing surface and flip the right edge of the ric-rac under the circle. This will take the raw edge along with it:


Press well, making sure to pull on the ric-rac that is showing so that you have it nice and even:


You are ready to edge stitch or top stitch your circle to your background–in this case, I pre-quilted my background:


After I have edge stitched the circle to the background, I will go back and stitch in the ditch on either side of each wedge to further secure it to the background. After that, I’ll applique the small center circle onto the middle of the larger circle and I may do some quilting right in the middle of the circle. I could even finish the edge of the center circle with some ric-rac!

And there you have a more full explication of the ric-rac applique technique. Feel free to ask questions!



  1. Susannah said

    Where do you buy yours? Thank you!

  2. V said

    great info.
    when you use ric rac on the top surface like a flower stem, are you zig zagging it to keep it flat? or a straight stitch?

  3. Kelly said

    Fantastic instructions, thank you! 🙂

  4. Jill said

    This is inspirational, in the quilting sense.

  5. Caroline said

    Thank you, your instructions were fab, very easy to follow!

  6. very informative. Pam K.

  7. Michele said

    Oh my, I love that! I must try it!

  8. Char Hay said

    I LOVE these wedge circles. What pattern /wedge ruler did you use?

  9. raajia said

    fantastic instructions!! I love that! ! many thanks

  10. April said

    BRILLIANT idea! Ric rac is my favorite embellishment – thanks for sharing!

  11. Alicia enriquez said

    I love your ric-rac aplique and im going to try it in a wallquilt for my kitchen. Love your site here in México

  12. […] my first time using ric rac to edge applique and I have to say it’s a genius technique. (You can see how it’s done via Amy’s tutorial here.) I’ve rushed out and purchased some more ric rac so I can give it another […]

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: