How to make a Stained Glass Appliqué Quilt

Stained glass appliqué is a beautiful technique for making quilts that gives the appearance of stained glass to the quilt top.

There are a few different methods for achieving this look, including reverse appliqué, mosaic style appliqué and even needle turning tiny black strips of fabric!  I think the easiest method uses black bias tape stitched down over the edges of the coloured fabric pieces.  The bias tape creates the ‘leading’, while the fabric pieces create the ‘glass’.  Since the invention of fusible webbing, this process has become even easier.

Stained Glass Applique

Deborah Wirsu, a textile artist from Australia, has generously made a video tutorial showing the process of making stained glass appliqué from go to whoa.  She had a great technique for getting all the little pieces of fabric and tape in the right place by using a padded surface to pin straight into.

[youtube id=”zvHUBd32E8M” autoplay=”no”]

Other tips for making a stained glass appliqué quilt are to use plain, jewel toned fabrics as these appear much more like glass than highly patterned or muddy fabrics.  Choose a simple pattern with large pieces to get the hang of the technique before attempting something complicated, and don’t sweat the small stuff – if your stitches jump off your black tape every now and then, don’t worry, no-one will notice from a couple of paces away!

Stained glass appliqué can create striking quilts and wallhangings, if you’ve never tried it, give it a go.  Looking for fusible black bias tape?  Try one of the quilt shops listed in our directory.

Thanks to Deborah Wirsu



Charlotte has been quilting for more than 10 years, making both traditional quilts and art quilts and loving both processes. She teaches and writes about quilting to help introduce more people to this awesome craft. She lives in Northland on a boat with her husband, two children, a dog, a cat and two sewing machines – fabric and stitch are her escape! You can also find Charlotte's writings on her blog The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady


  1. Love it, always wondered how to do this and no more a mystery! Now feel capable of doing one myself, thank you for the generous tuition, really appreciated!

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