Are 2 Fabric Applique quilts reverse applique?
This seems to be a question that is asked often. Everyone has their own interpretation of this so I thought I would share ours:
There really is no such thing as reverse applique for you, the quiltmaker. You are always cutting on the cutting line of the top fabric, turning under the raw edge and stitching the top fabric to a background fabric. All applique is done exactly this way. The stitching is identical whether you have cut little pieces to make a design, or are cutting away some fabric from a whole piece to create the design. Just because you may be cutting a large piece of fabric after it is basted to the background does not change the type of applique.
The notion of reverse applique comes from the visual perception of the design. When the pattern is being designed the turn-under allowance needs to be added to the correct side of the cutting line by the pattern designer. But once the pattern is drawn, the process for the appliquer is exactly the same. it is not a change in applique technique.
We believe we would all do well to eliminate the term reverse applique from the quilters' dictionary. We wish there was a different name used to describe a design where the background fabric is the object that the applique fabric surrounds and reveals, which is really a design difference, not a different technique. The term reverse applique is confusing and provides many with the idea that it is somehow different or more difficult than normal applique... neither of which is true. We never use the term reverse applique, as far as we are concerned there is no such thing. There are just different applique designs.