Applique using deli paper or a telephone book

Applique Umbrella Quilt Template

Applique Umbrella Quilt Template

Applique using deli paper or a telephone book

Recently I showed you my April Showers quilt and some of you had questions about how I did my umbrella applique using a telephone book so here is the tutorial.
Many of you really liked the bright, colorful fabrics in the Red Tide collection that I received from Island Batik, I know I did! It was so much fun to just cut up my squares, throw them in a pile and just grab and piece them together.

Disclosure: many of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission.  All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use.
I had lots of requests for information on how I did my appliqué for the umbrellas so I made another one and took some photos.
  • Download the Umbrella template
  • Print it
  • Grab a piece of Plastic Quilt Template and trace the umbrella.
  • Make a mark on each piece so you know what is the right side.
  • Cut the pieces out. TIP – I usually cut outside the line I traced around the umbrella and INSIDE the line for the parts that added to it. That way it gives you a little more room around the pieces.
Choose a fusible web, I used Pellon Wonder-Under Paper-backed fusible web Fabric By The Yard. I usually buy it by the yard and then wrap it around one of those swimming pool noodle that you can pick up at the Dollar Store in the summer. I just trim it to the size of my Wonder Under.
  1. Cut a piece of the fusible and follow the directions on it to fuse it to your fabric.
  2. Trace your template, you can use the reverse sides for umbrellas facing the opposite way.
  3. Cut out the pieces.

Pellon Wonder Under and Umbrella template

Don’t cut off the little tip at the top of the umbrella…I did that on one of the umbrella’s for my quilt and then did the same on all five to make it look right.

Batik umbrella cut from template

I have a hard time removing the backing from Pellon Wonder Under……which is why I usually use Thermoweb Heat’n Bond Lite Iron-on Adhesive.
What I find works is to grab a pin and score the backing. Then it is easy to remove it.
remove the Wonder Under with a pin

Place the batik pieces on the umbrella after you iron the black umbrella to your block. Batik appliqued umbrella

Another thing I like to do is cut my blocks just a little bigger than I need and then trim them after I have finished my applique. Sometime applique causes your fabric to shrink a little. I cut my blocks 7″ square and trim them to 6 1/2″ after the applique is finished. Applique for quilting using deli paper or phone books

I am doing a type of free-style applique on my vintage 15-91 Singer which is only a straight stitch machine.  applique quilting

I appliqued the outside edge of the umbrella and then removed the paper before I did the inside applique, you can just leave it on if you want. There is enough stability on the inside pieces of the umbrella so you don’t have to worry about distortion. applique using phone book

It is very easy to remove the paper and I have never had a problem with the ink bleeding on the fabric. Batik umbrella block appliqued

I also like using deli paper which is bigger than my phone books. The size I buy is 8″ x 10.75″. applique umbrella block oversized

Remember that I said I like to cut my blocks a little bigger? I give the block a quick press and then trim it up.
I have a Omnigrid 6-1/2-Inch by 6-1/2-Inch Quilter’s Square that works perfectly for this.Triming the block with a ruller
Here is the finished applique umbrella block.  finished applique umbrella block

This post is getting way too long so I will share the April Showers tutorial here.
April Showers Umbrella quilt closeup
It is always good to recycle phone books but deli paper…..I prefer clean new ones works great!
Follow Freemotion by the River on Pinterest
Umbrella Quilt Template Tutorial at Freemotion by the River
In the meantime if you want to work on it, just download the template and make 5 applique umbrella blocks for your April Showers quilt.

and get quilt tutorials sent to you twice a week!


  1. I personally prefer Wonder Under myself, but tend to use HNB Lite, as it’s easier for me to purchase and I don’t get the usual hassles about sending it overseas like I get with pellon products. I love the idea about the yellow pages, that’s a great way to use up that old paper and at least your recycling it for another use, then can pop it in the paper trash bin. 🙂

    1. I think most of us get used to one type of fusible and tend to stick with that. I have been using Heat n Bond Lite for…….20 years but I like to keep different types on hand.

  2. I have never used deli paper for anything and yet I have always wanted to try it for so many applications. This looks like a wonderful way to applique. Your tutorials are always wonderful and easy to understand. Thank you for sharing your tips and techniques dear. Love your April Showers Umbrella Quilt.

  3. Deli paper – wow I never would have thought to use that. Great tutorial Connie!
    I love how you laid the bright colors on the black background of the umbrellas. It gives them a stained glass effect.

  4. Great tute. thank you so much. Love the phone book paper stabilizer idea. I usually just put them in the recycle bin but I like that they will save me money on stabilizer.

  5. Super tutorial and great information. I don’t always want to use an interfacing when I’m machine appliqueing, which I’ll be doing today! So I’ll try the old phone book idea. Thank you, too, for providing the templates for the umbrellas. XO

  6. Thanks for sharing this Connie! I’m wondering why you used Wonder Under instead of the Heat n bond that you say you usually use? Is Wonder Under better for this particular applique for some reason? My guild will have a short session on fusibles next week, so I’m curious about your thoughts on this.

    1. I like both, Tamara, I’ve just been using Heat n Bond for a long, long time. I actually just grabbed what was handy. Wonder Under seems to be a little thinner. I really don’t care for the way that the paper is hard to remove on it also.

    2. I like both, Tamara, I’ve just been using Heat n Bond for a long, long time. I actually just grabbed what was handy. Wonder Under seems to be a little thinner. I really don’t care for the way that the paper is hard to remove on it also.

      1. The “wonkiness was what attracted me to your basket in the first place. Hope I can achieve the same look. I have been using the telephone book to stabilize my appliqué for years.

  7. I really like how you laid the colors over the black silhouette of the umbrella. Very cute! I did some leaf applique like that a few years ago and also used kind of a “messy” zig zag on the edges. It was a fun technique.

  8. Great tutorial Connie. Thank you for giving us more about how you use the phone books for applique, or the deli paper. I actually have a box of that deli paper I bought from Gordon Food Service although mine is a box of 500 sheets which are 15 x 10 3/4. I can’t recall how much they were, but I originally bought them to use for tracing pattern pieces when I needed to trace baby patterns. (I figured if there were larger pattern pieces I could just tape them together but that wastes a lot of time if too large) Now I have a better use for those with your excellent tutorial here. I also have a collection of phone books that I’ve been saving over the past few years, but they’re the smaller sized ones since you can’t find the nice big ones anymore. That was the reason I bought this deli paper; they are larger than the small phone books.

    I’m so happy you have given the instructions on how you do the applique with these papers now. Thank you.

    And another huge THANK YOU for the awesome tip about saving the fusible web!!!! I do roll mine up rather than folding it to avoid creasing it, but if something is put on top of it, the creases still happen. I never thought about using the pool noodles so thank you so much. I guess not having any little kids around the house now, I never buy those so it never dawned on me to look at using them in sewing room.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *