Monday, July 19, 2010

Fusing

I have been getting a lot of questions lately from people concerning using  fusing web in their quilts. So I am going to do a whole series about using fusible web correctly and  successfully. My hope is that this will help people to understand fusing better and to achieve better results with their fusing efforts.
FUSING 101
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that fusible web is a heat activated product. When you place it on your fabric, usually the back side, you use your iron to apply it to the fabric.
1. You want your iron set to the cotton setting. It should be HOT and the steam is turned off. You don’t want to use steam when applying fusible web – EVER.  I do use steam to set my fusible at the very end of a project when ALL of the quilting is done and the binding is in place.
2. You should apply it to fabric that has been prewashed if possible. Cotton, silk, rayon should all have any sizing removed this will allow  the fusible to adhere to the fabric well.
3. Don’t over fuse the product. Read the directions on the package and do what it says to do. This is one of those cases where it pays to do what they tell you. You can’t get away with just looking at the pictures.
When ever possible I try to fuse my fabrics ahead of time and let them sit and cool down. If I am well organized I fuse them the day before. If not I try to fuse everything and then let them sit for a bit. Remember when you heat up the fusible web it gets sticky and melts and then when it cools down it solidifies again and sticks to the fabric.
I will go down in the studio in the morning  and pick out my colors. I then fuse my fabrics and then I go eat breakfast or run an errand or do my exercises. When I am done they have completely cooled off and the release paper peels away very easily. DON’T over fuse them by using too much heat.
Do a few tests to see how it all works.
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WonderUnder #805 on half of a yard of fabric. You can see the white “release” paper. It is sitting waiting to cool down before I remove the paper.
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Using my hand to anchor one end of the fused fabric while I peel back the “release” paper. Notice how the fusible web on the fabric looks opaque. If is looks glassy you have fused it too long and will have to put another piece of fusible over it in order for it to still work.

2 comments:

Lisa said...

Thanks for answering these fusible questions!

Julie Bagamary said...

I just started a small project again using fusible web. Your detailed instructions will be great. Thanks.

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