applique bat : a free template and tutorial – how to make really pointy points

making sharp applique points

It’s like boiling eggs, there are tons of different methods for getting sharp applique points. I’ve been messing around with a bat shape and working out the point situation. And I made you a template and a little tutorial because I’m nice like that.

Bats sure are pointy, they are like the applique sharp point olympics. Before we dive into that I want to show you a couple other ideas that I think would make cool embroidery or applique projects.  I’m especially exited to try that green house.  I think it will be my first spoonflower print. I’ve been wanting to try that for ages. The details of the house and little cat etc. could be embroidered. What do you think?

download the bat template

I think it helps to read through all the steps once before beginning.  I’ll get you started with the points and curves today and be back on Sunday with more.  The points took some practice for me but once I got going it want faster than I expected.  Also I mostly laid it flat to take photos but found it easier to do the points especially with it draped over my knee.

1. Trace the stitch line on the template onto freezer paper.

2. Place the pattern on  a piece of folded fabric. Use a cotton that’s light weight and not ravely.  Tip: Use some spray starch to make the fabric a bit stiff. It helps a lot. You can even make your own spray starch if you like.

iron bat template to fabric

3. I cut the template in half before placing it shiny side down on the right side of the cut out fabric. Cutting it made it easier to match up all those points and the center can absorb any margin of error rather than the edges or points. Iron it to the fabric.  I pinned it to a piece of vintage linen. It conveniently covers a couple spots and holes. You’ll want to use a ton of pins.

4. I’m beginning on one of the long curves. Make a small knot at the end of the thread and insert your needle from underneath. Come out at the edge of the freezer paper. You will need to make some little clips along the curve. Clip as you go in little sections. Don’t do all the clipping first. Clip to just before the edge of the paper.  Don’t clip too close to the points – leave about an inch.

5. Use your needle and finger to fold the edge under and begin stitching with very tiny stitches.

6. Notice I have left about an inch of unclipped fabric before the point. Stop stitching here.

7. Tuck the fabric under the side of the point you are working on and stitch, stop about 1/4 inch before the point.

8. Fold the tip under as shown – with the folded edge flat.

9. Make a couple tiny stitches at the point.

how to make a very sharp an applique point

10. For the next step I found it way easier to pick the work up off the table. Take out the pin and use your finger or the needle to fold the other side of the point down and under. Stitch down the side of the point, put the pin back in and then clip in the curve to continue towards the next point.

11.  When all your points are stitched clip on each side of the head.

12. Turn the edge of the wing under and stitch. Leave the head unstitched.  Clip on each side of the bottom of the bat body too – stitch on each side of the wing and tuck in the edges around the little end of the body and stitch.

13. Cut two little teardrop shapes for ears.

14. Tuck one side of the head under.

15. Fold one of the ear shapes and tuck it in on one side of the head.  Stitch it in place. Repeat for the other side. Finally tuck in the edge at the top of the head and stitch.

There will be a part 2 soon for the embroidered and applique details. If you give the bat a try please use tag #annwoodpattern on instagram – I’d love to see!

bat applique tutorial

click here for part 2


  1. Sonia Rodriguez

    Aww I absolutely adore this. What a great treat! I have ordered both owls and plan on working on them this weekend in the evenings. I absolutely adore your work!!

  2. Christina Porter

    You are so inspiring, love your work. I really enjoy immersing myself in your designs, thank you for your thoughtfulness. You make fiddly techniques so much easier to master.

  3. Lisa M Griffith

    I love the bat and thank you so much..can’t wait to use it.

  4. The paper on top applique method is great, I don’t understand why it’s so unknown. I’ve used it for years, it’s much easier than any other method. Anyways, nice bat! Getting ready for halloween, maybe? 🙂

  5. Can’t wait to see how the house turns out, would love to try it, I am crazy for black cats, love the song too

  6. Love the Bat, Ann and again thank you so much for your talent and generosity! look forward to seeing you at Squam so very soon.

  7. Such a cool project ,thanks for the template , Im off to play ……
    You appliqué point method is very similar to the one I used …

  8. Jane Plant

    My grandsons and I have been working on your boats and ships. The 3 and 7-year-olds made the smallest ones and the 10-year-old and I did the large ship. So much fun. We did the paper mache last week and let it thoroughly dry. Today we painted and glued in the mast. Mine is in the style of yours with pale blue and white lines. His is deep blue with lime green lower portion. His favorite football team is the Seattle Seahawks and those are their colors. We found a headline of “Seahawks” in the local paper that he pasted on the back. So much fun. Next up are the sails.

  9. Thank you so much – I’m making patchwork/applique boat panels and really struggling with the corners. Thanks to your generous tutorial I can now make curved sails as well as straight ones. Whilst listening to Robert Palmer, resurrected from a pile of dusty, forgotten cds. Up till now Al Stewart (Time Passages from 1978) had been my boat-making music. The Spoonflower print and embroidery combined sounds perfect – looking forward to seeing it. I love your daily paintings and would love even more to see them as fabric.

  10. Kerri Verrochi

    I just found this free tutorial, I’m late to the party as usual. But I am so pumped to try and get this made before halloween!! Did I miss the part 2, tho?? I cant seem to find it. Ty so much for sharing this pattern and tutorial!
    P.S. I am a gigantic fan of all things creative that u do:)

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