When I teach a class, the first thing we do is go over the Chicago School of Fusing Rules of Etiquitte. These rules about making fused art quilts are based upon a lifetime of fusing mistakes. I’ve broken every one of them
Want to be a good fuser and not break the rules?
Here are my top fusing tips:
– Work with fusible web that gives you the best results. I suggest Pellon Wonder Under #805, Vlisofix, Soft Fuse, Appli-Web Plus, or Misty Fuse. Other brands may gum up your needle or sink into the fabric and leave a gridded shadow on the fabric.
– Use fabric where the color goes all the way through the fabric. In raw edge fusing you see the edges of the fabric shapes. Fabrics with a white back will have a distracting white edge around each shape.
– Wash fabric before fusing to remove sizing. Sizing or starches on fabric interfere with bonding.
– Fuse the fabric according to the manufacturers directions by gliding the iron across the fabric (about 5-7 seconds in each spot). Don’t place the iron or you miss areas.
– Let the fabric cool then take all the paper off. Do not cut shapes with paper on them. If you leave the paper on the fabric and cut out a shape you may fray the fabric when you remove the paper.
– Use sharp tools when you cut out the fabric to get clean crisp edges. Dull tools fray fabric shapes.
– Keep clean. Protect your iron and ironing surface from the glue by working on silicone release paper, parchment paper, or a Teflon sheet. Clean your iron regularly.
– Apply your quilt top to the NON-scrim side of the batting. Scrim can ripple the quilt. You may have to test your batting by fusing a corner of the quilt to the batt. If it ripples, take it off and put the quilt on the other side of the batting.
– And most importantly don’t expose the glue to too much heat from the iron. Holding the iron in place for too long kills the glue. It burns into your fabric making it stiff and hard to stitch through. Fuse-tack elements into place for 3-5 seconds. Then steam set the quilt top to the batting for about 10 seconds in each spot to set the glue.