Fusible web applique w/o all that stiffness

I don't like how fusible web makes the piece stiff so here is a method I developed to reduce the stiffness of the appliqued piece. Trace the bear on the back of Steam-a-seam fusible web (I haven't tried this with other types of fusibles). Cut out 1/4" outside the drawn line all around. Cut out a bear from a piece of paper 1/4" SMALLER all around - I've marked this with the dashed line on the pattern. Position it on the back the fabric to use for the bear. Center the fusible web tracing of the bear, web side down, over the paper on the fabric. Adjust so that the paper bear is 1/4" inside the drawn lines on the fusible web. Fuse.
The paper will keep the center of the web from adhering to the bear. Carefully slit the paper bear - don't cut the fabric!. Gently pull the plain paper bear with some of the fusible attached away from the fabric and discard. Now cut out the bear on the line drawn on the paper of the fusible web. Remove the paper from the fusible and position the fabric bear on the background and fuse in place. Be sure to secure the applique with zig-zag or decorative stitches.

I've included a pdf of the bear pattern here. This technique works best with fairly large simple pieces.

Here is a quilt that Threadheads made using this technique:


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