Monday, September 26, 2011

Basic Fusing

Recently on this blog I asked for input from you readers. What I heard from several people was I should do more demo’s with more pictures, talk about inspiration and just share more and have lengthier posts.

So here we go, I have turned over a new leaf and will be posting more pictures, demo’s videos and of course pictures of George.

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Let’s talk about basic fusing.

I have found out several things over the 30 years that I have been using fusible web. I have had some ups and downs but over all I love the process and the products that I use. I am a faculty member of the Chicago School of Fusing - dean of technology, I help people with their computers, printers, sewing machines, irons, if it is a machine I help them. I really think I could have been a mechanical engineer, well except for the math part.

FUSING BASICS 101

Using WonderUnder #805 here are some of my top tips -

***1. Pre wash all your fabrics. Commercial, store bought fabrics that is, have at least starch on them if not more stuff, so you need to wash them before you put them in your stash. If you want fusible to stick to ithe fabric WASH it to get all the chemicals and things off the fabric. The fusible will stick to it and then to the other fabric you fuse it to so much better if the fabrics are clear of all chemicals. VERY IMPORTANT tip.***

2. OR just use my hand dyed fabrics they come PRE washed. The thing that I do is RAW edge fusing. Which means that I don’t do anything to finish the edges like satin stitch.  When using commercial fabrics a little white line shows on the cut edge of the fabric, but with hand dyed fabrics or batiks there is no white line because the colors go all the way through to the back of the fabric, they are not just printed on top they are dyed through and through. This is just one of the reasons I like to use my hand dyed fabrics, the other reason of course is that I ADORE saturated color and my hand dyed gradations are saturated with gorgeous color and color combinations, can you tell?

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3.Steam your fabrics to remove all the wrinkles and then turn the steam OFF. You will not use steam again until the end of your project.

4. Use a hot dry iron to apply the fusible web to the back side of the fabric. I keep my iron on HOT and leave it there.

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Some body always asks me in class or at a lecture why their fusible didn’t stick to their fabric.

The two main reasons are 1.They are not pre washing the fabric and 2. they are not using a hot enough iron. Fusible web is an adhesive that gets sticky when you heat it up and it has to heat up to HOT to get sticky and stick to the back of the fabric.

5. Let the fusible solidify and cool down before you remove the paper. I also cut my fused fabric without the paper on it. You’ll see in the demo, next time on Star Lilies. The reason I do this is to get a clean crisp edge when I cut out my designs. With the paper removed the edges stay clean and crisp, in fact people often say to me “Is this turned applique?” and I answer them very politely NO.

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6. You can use parchment paper, the stuff you bake on, remember baking, instead of release paper. Release paper is the paper that comes off of the fused fabric, or what the fusible sits on before you apply it to your fabric. I only use WonderUnder #805 it is my favorite and preferred fusible and it comes with release paper. I use the release paper in many ways while I am working with fused fabrics.

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I’m going to share with you next time one of my fused patterns -“Star Lilies” and the inspiration for making it.

By the way Sewmuchtodo won the step gradation from Thankful Thursday. Send me your address and I’ll put it in the mail to you this week. YEA!!!

6 comments:

Sewing Junkie said...

You answered several questions I had with this first session. So many times quilters don't understand the sizing in the fabrics can cause problems. Glad to hear you encouraged washing of the fabrics. Advantage of the us of the hand dyed fabrics you made clear alos. Will be staying tuned to next segment. Chris

Stray Stitches said...

Thanks for all of the info! Wonderunder is my favorite fusible too. I look forward to your next 'share'!!

Cornwoman said...

When I first tried a fusible project, I tried Wonder Under, but had issues with trying to sew it. So then I tried Wonder Under Lite, and both of my machines skip stitches constantly. Yet I hear you and other fusible quilters say that they love Wonder Under. The only thing that I've tried that was light enough not to cause issues is Lite Steam A Seam 2. Is the 805 Wonder Under different than the two that I used, and if not, do you have any ideas about what caused my issues?? Thanks!

Frieda said...

Dear Cornwoman
i have never really had a problem with WonderUnder. Are you sure you were using it and not Heat and Bond which does all the things that described.
If your needle was skipping then you were using the wrong needle. I always use a sharp shank needle, either a quilting needle, embroidery needle or microtex needle or top stitching needle when I quilt on wonderunder.
WonderUnder #805 is the light, actually the REGULAR version.
But hey if you are happy with Steam A Seam lite go for it. I think it works well too.

Vivika said...

Nice tutorial, and even *nicer* picture of George. Terriers make the best studio mates! My Jack Russel died 6 years ago, but his picture will always hang by my desk...

sewmuch2do said...

Hi Frieda,

I was getting ready to tpost to say I how much I enjoyed the last 2 blog entries and saw I had won the purple fabric - yippee! I have sent an email to you with my info THANK YOU.

The tip about sizing on commercial fabric was very helpful. I have had problems before when I have not laundered fat quarters. And I love using the sharpie on the release paper to the back of the fused piece.

I look forward to future blogs and pics and entries about your inpiration and work - and of course George.

Phyllis

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