How to use the colour chart for sewing Machine Appliqué

I have just added the new design set called Little Birds – Machine Appliqué .

I have also included some information that may help you with machine applique – if you haven’t tried it before.

The colour charts and design specifications are available on the design page as a PDF.

Sewing machine appliqué is quite simple. At first glance the thread change chart looks a bit overwhelming. There appears to be lots and lots of thread changes. However, once you understand how the machine works – it’s not that scary at all.

When I digitize a shape to be appliquéd it is made up of 4 stages

  • Appliqué guide
  • Place Appliqué & Tack
  • Trim Appliqué & Cover
  • Colour/RGB -(this is the colour used for the above appliqué sequence)

On the colour chart each one of these steps is a different colour. This is because the only way the machine will stop in between each step is if it ‘thinks’ there is a change of colour. So what appears to be 4 different colour changes – is really 1.

This is why it is vital that you have the colour chart for the design beside you when you are sewing out the design. When you see the appliqué sequence (above), thread the machine with the colour following the Trim Appliqué & Cover i.e the Colour/RGB .


  1. Autumn Orange
  2. Magenta
  3. Turquoise
  4. Appliqué Guide
  5. Place Appliqué & Tack
  6. Trim Appliqué & Cover
  7. Red
  8. Appliqué Guide
  9. Place Appliqué & Tack
  10. Trim Appliqué & Cover
  11. Sky Blue
  12. Black

The above colour sequence becomes

  1. Autumn Orange
  2. Magenta
  3. Turquoise
  4. Appliqué Guide  Red
  5. Place Appliqué & Tack  Red
  6. Trim Appliqué & Cover Red
  7. Red
  8. Appliqué Guide  Sky Blue
  9. Place Appliqué & Tack Sky Blue
  10. Trim Appliqué & Cover Sky Blue
  11. Sky Blue
  12. Black

So instead of a 12 thread change, it is really only a 6 thread colour change. With the machine stopping after each step so that you can place the fabric, trim, then sew the cover stitch – all in the same colour.

If the colour chart has RGB instead of a colour name use the colour indicated in the little box beside the number. Apply the same rules as above for the appliqué sequence i.e. use the colour at the end of that appliqué sequence, for the whole of that appliqué sequence.