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?

How to Strip Fuse

stripfusing1On today’s How To Tuesday, I’d like to show you how to do Strip Fusing. (Don’t worry, strip fusing has nothing to do with the amount of clothing you are wearing.) It is simply a collage technique using strips of fabric to make a striped pattern.

Here’s How to Strip Fuse:

  • Cut fused fabric into strips measuring about 1/2″ to 1″ wide.
  • Cut the strips on the bias or at a 45 degree angle to the grain of the fabric. (Bias cut fabrics don’t fray so you’ll have neater fabric strips.)
  • Use straight or decorative rotary cutter blades or free cut the strips.

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  • Lay a strip of fabric, glue side down, onto silicone release paper or parchment paper or a Teflon sheet. Fuse-tack into place.
  • Overlap another strip about 1/4″ on top of the long side of the first strip. Continue to add strips across the paper.
  • Always overlap darker value fabric onto lighter value fabrics. If you put light value on dark value, a shadow is cast on the light fabric.
  • Continue to add more strips until the set of stripes is the length you want.

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  • After the fabric cools, remove the strip fused collage from the release paper.
  • Cut into any shape you like. Here you see the strip fusing become the grass at the lower edge of the design.

Who’s Feeling Bright and Sunny Today?

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Windy City #11 by Laura Wasilowski

As winter doth drageth on in the northern hemisphere, I am reminded that the days ARE getting longer and there shall be light eventually. But first, I must shovel snow.

fusingtableAnd then enjoy my messy studio where it is always sunny and bright! Why? Because there is fabric to play with and imagination to be explored. Have you fondled your fabric lately? Maybe it needs your personal attention right now. We don’t want our fabric to feel lonely.

Hope your days are sunny and bright!

How to Count When Fusing

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One of the first steps in fusing fabric is to apply the glue to the fabric for 5-7 seconds with a hot, dry iron. Seems simple, right? But I have discovered that in different regions of the country, people count at a different pace. So 5 seconds in Alabama is not 5 seconds in New York City.

Therefore I have implemented the Chicago School of Fusing Method of Counting!

First, pretend you are Lawrence Welk. You are conducting the orchestra in a polka. The beat goes: 1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3. (Do NOT include the North Dakota “anda” between the numbers.)

  • Count out loud. If you do this rhythm 4 times correctly, a total of 6 seconds will pass. 
  • Now draw a straight line on the non-glue side of the fusible web. 
  • Place the glue side of the fusible web onto the fabric.

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  • Place the hot (cotton setting) iron on the right side of the line.
  • Begin the polka. Repeat after me: 1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3.

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  • As you begin your 1,2,3s glide the iron across the line so you end up with the line on the right side of the iron by your last 1,2,3. 
  • There! Not only do you have the correct speed for fusing but you can dance as well.