Years ago, I learned to do hand-applique, but I switched to fusible applique shortly afterward and have never looked back.
I like to press fusible web to the back of many pieces of fabric. Then I cut the applique pieces directly out of the fusible fabric. (This is in contrast to other people, who use patterns to cut mirror-image pieces out of the fusible web, and then iron the fusible web shape to the back of the fabric. That would make me insane to do it that way!)
I am not very good at drawing, so I trace many of the shapes of my animals, plants, and objects off of photos. Then I make the little item out of fabric, and move it around on a background until I decide where to attach it. I think it is a little like playing with paper dolls or ColorForms™.
What type of Fusible Web do I use?
I like to use Heat-n-Bond Lite, as opposed to Wonder Under. I know that most other quilting teachers like Wonder Under better, but here are the reasons I like Heat-n-Bond Lite:
I like the way it feels (I think Wonder Under feels scratchy on the back of the fabric.)
I can tell Heat-n-Bond Lite is on the fabric, it feels a little like Saran Wrap has been stuck to the fabric (To me, Wonder Under is difficult and sometimes impossible to detect on the back of the fabric.)
I always sew around my applique, so it doesn’t bother me that Heat-n-Bond Lite pops off if not sewn down.
I think Wonder Under and Steam-a-Seam are both good quality products, I would just rather use Heat-n-bond Lite.
P.S. I never wash my wallhangings, so I have no opinions on whether these products are washable or not.