Yesterday I talked about some of the things to keep in mind when you are using fusible web.
Here are a few more thoughts and suggestions.
1. Make samples of things before you put them into a quilt. This seems like an obvious idea but so many people, me included sometimes, don’t take the time to do a test first. One of the things that we did in fashion design school was make samples of processes like button holes, welt pockets, and all kinds of finishes so that when we went to use them in a design we understood all the intricacies and mechanisms of the technique. Same goes for quilting.
2. If you are going to wash your quilt you will have to finish the edges of your design somehow. I have washed fused quilts and have been pleased that the fusible does not come undone, if I don’t want my edges to fray I need to zig-zag or satin stitch around them.
That being said I made a project for Quilting Arts TV two years ago that was intended to ravel when washed. It was a table runner made with fusible fabric and the decorative wavy blade. When it was washed all the edges frayed somewhat, it was part of the design.
Most of my quilts are art pieces. I never intend for them to be washed so I don’t satin stitch the edges. But I have begun playing around with the decorative stitches on my sewing machine and now some of my bigger pieces have different decorative stitches around the edges, more as a texture than a finish.
Detail of “Springs Greeting” with small zig zag around the edges and to add in detail on the flowers, done in matching silk thread.
3. You can use all kinds of binding or finishing techniques even on larger quilts. I have done a pillow cased edge on a fused 48” square art quilt. I heavily machine quilted it. I had to make sure that I quilted it evenly all over because the quilting will make the quilt shrink up a bit and you want it to lay flat when you are finished.
Duluth Trees 34” x 40”
Beyond the Hill 30” x 20”
Illinois Landscape 42” x 24”
Enchanted Forest 42” x 24”
4. Assembly of a pillow cased quilt. (See Melody Johnson's escape hatch finish)
All of these four quilts are fused together on a piece of release paper, or a large pressing sheet. I have a large pressing sheet that is 40” x 60”. This sits on top of my design table. Once I have finished the design on the pressing sheet I steam set it on the sheet or release paper. It is then allowed to cool. Once it has cooled I lift it off of the sheet and fuse it to a piece of batting that has been steam pressed and allowed to cool. I then can “square up” my front and batting to any size and shape I like achieving some subtle curves on my edges.
The backing is then pillow cased on to the front of the quilt. I cut the backing fabric the exact same size as the front of the quilt and then I cut away 1/4” on two of the sides so that the back is slightly smaller than the front. This ensures that the front of the quilt will slightly roll to the back when it is turned right sides out and I won’t see any edges from the back on the front side of the quilt. When I sew the four sides I make sure that evenly distribute the backing fabric around the edge of the front fabric, easing in the smaller fabric on the back to the front. I sew all the way around all four edges and leave a slit in the top center of the backing fabric that has had fusible web applied to the inside with the fusible paper left on. I then turn it out through the slit in the backing fabric and once I have all of the edges ironed well I pull the paper off of the slit on the inside of the backing fabric and fuse it closed. After the quilt has been pillow cased I can then quilt it keeping in mind that the quilting is applied in an even manor.