How to Murder Your Glue with Kindness

fusingfabric3We all know this when using fusible web: too much heat from the iron for too long will kill fusible web on fabric. Repeated exposure to a hot iron actually burns the glue into the fabric. The fabric shapes get stiff and soon pop off like a rubber band in flight.

Don’t do it!

fusingfabric5Instead use a technique called “fuse tacking” when adding fused shapes to your background fabric. Fuse tacking is exposing the glue to a little heat from the iron for a short amount of time, about 3 seconds.

ironcleaning4Also, cover your design with silicone release paper or parchment paper when fuse tacking. This protects your iron and keeps shapes place upside down from sticking to the iron. (Here are more tips on fusing .)

However, I do give you permission to kill glue on your ironing board. The glue loves the iron and wants to melt all over it. If you get fusible web on your ironing surface, the iron will melt it and put it on your beautiful quilt top.

Here’s how to kill your glue: Place silicone release paper or parchment paper on the offending splotch of glue. Use a hot iron and iron the glue through the paper a good 20 – 30 seconds. This will melt the glue into the ironing board fabric and it will no longer be attracted to your hot iron.

Press on!

Small Work, Big Fun

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Little Landscape #22 by Laura Wasilowski

Soon to be on the road, I’m packing my bags to teach in Sisters, OR next week. Sisters is the home of the largest outdoor quilt festival in the nation called Quilter’s Affair and being there is always lots of fun.

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Little Landscape #21 by Laura Wasilowski

These small pieces of artwork are traveling with me and measure about 9″ x 9″. Can’t wait to show my students and encourage them to think big. See you in Sisters!

A Summer Project

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Little Landscape #23 by Laura Wasilowski

It’s summer time! Time to enjoy free time in my cool, neat, and clean studio.

studiostate2OK, maybe it’s not all that neat. There is a lot to straighten up. But I can’t wait to tackle all the potential hidden in those fabulous fused fabric scraps. Do you have a summer project planned too?

Never Enough Embroidery

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Felt Like Gardening #5 by Laura Wasilowski

Soon I’m off to Sisters OR to teach a class at Quilter’s Affair called Felt Like Gardening. Felt Like Gardening #5 above is an example of what my students can make with the many felt shapes they’ll get in their kits.

folkartgardenYou may recognize this piece from a similar project found in Joyful Stitching called Folk Art Garden. Using a step-out or stage in the construction process prepared for the book, I changed it up and added more stitchery.

One can never go wrong with more embroidery.

Hope to see you at Sisters!

Dare I Cut?

flowerbud1This is about as far as I go for this hand embroidery on felt. Or is it? Should I fill in the surrounding blue area with more hand stitchery? Or dare I cut it out with a decorative rotary cutter blade and apply the embroidery to another fabric?

flowerbud1a Here goes nothing! (My big fear is that I cut into the stitching. Then what would I do?)

flowerbud1bSo, gritting my teeth and sending a prayer to the St.Ethel of Mertz, I trim the embroidery and place it on a yellow background fabric. Whew! that was close!

What to Do with Size 3 Thread

couching1Size 3 pearl cotton thread is huge! And by that I mean thick, much thicker than your regular size 8 pearl cotton thread. Size 3 is also a little difficult to stitch through fabric. So how do you stitch this bulky thread to your fabric? Use couching.
 
Couching is a method of securing thick threads, like the yellow Size 3 pearl cotton thread above, to the surface of fabric. The heavy thread lays on the fabric and a finer, easier to handle thread, like a Size 8 pearl thread, is stitched over it to fasten it to the fabric.

Here’s how to add Couching to your fabric:

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  1. Come up at point A with the Size 3 thread using a Size 1 embroidery needle. Come up at B, about 1/4’’ from A, with a lighter weight thread like a Size 8 or Size 12 pearl cotton using a Size 3 or Size 5 embroidery needle respectively. (See the Needle and Thread Chart here.)

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  1. Stitch the big needle into the fabric to hold it out of the way. Bring the smaller needle, used with the finer thread, over the thick thread and insert the needle back into B. Draw the thread through the fabric. The finer thread traps the heavy thread into place.

 

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  1. Bring the small needle up at C about 1/4’’ from B. Insert the small needle on the other side of the thick thread and back into C. Draw the thread through the fabric.

 

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  1. Continue to couch down the thicker thread to make shapes, draw lines, or outline shapes. To end the stitching, bring both threads to the back of the fabric and tie them off.

During the month of June I’ll be giving away a skein of hand-dyed size 3 pearl cotton fabric with any purchase from the Artfabrik store. Give it a try!