Pretty Planet Birdhouses #1 by Laura Wasilowski
I’m back from visiting the Racine Lighthouse Quilters Guild in Wisconsin where I was introduced to an amazing treat- kringle. (Not sure what kringle is? Just google kringle near me. It will be worth it!) Now that I’m back in the studio my time is dedicated to finishing up a few little wall quilts. That’s code for “binding”.
Pretty Planet #17 by Laura Wasilowski
There are 4 binding methods with tutorials that you can check out on my website. My favorite is the Pillowcase binding like those used in the above quilts. It’s a neat way to finish up your quilt top and is easy to do. And my reward for completing the little quilt tops? Why kringle, of course! Join me?
We 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!
Instead 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.
Also, 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.
As you may have guessed, I am a total Neat Freak. And if you guessed this, you would be wrong. Cause I am neither neat, nor tidy, nor clean when I sew. There are fabric and thread clippings everywhere!
But I do have a cleaning tip for you. Use batting. Place a small square of batting next to your sewing machine and drop your thread snips onto it. It’s a good way to keep the threads from slipping to the floor.
Sweep up your work area with batting. I use it to dust my work tables and Teflon covered work table. You’d be surprised at how many fibers it collects. (No doubt my Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval is in the mail.)
And here’s another use for batting. Make a small ball and throw it to your cat. My cats would go nuts over a ball of batting. Not sure why. Who knows what’s going on in the brain of a cat?
Another cat related item. A student in my class who loves cats had a bag that said “I’m just one cat short of crazy.” Keep that in mind all you cat lovers out there!
Traveling this summer? Then you need a portable sewing kit or etui like this to carry all your sewing needs. It’s easy to make and small enough to fit into your purse, glove compartment, saddle bags, or under the seat in front of you.
This little etui measures about 5″ x 6″ and is made with felt and a stiff interfacing like Timtex. Stitched together by hand, it holds your scissors, thimble, needles, and pins. Click here for directions on how to make your etui.
Betty’s Bloomers #7 by Laura Wasilowski
Need to make waves with your fabric? The answer is bias fusing. Bias fusing is a method of taking a straight strip of fabric and curving it as you fuse. It is magic! And therefore dangerous. So stand back as I show you how to make waves like those in the vase above.
1.Cut a square of fused fabric from corner to corner to form 2 triangles. You are cutting the square on the bias or at a 45 degree angle to the grain of the fabric.
2. Cut a set of straight strips that taper from a point to about 1/2″ across from the bias edge of each triangle.
3. Clean your iron! You must use a clean iron to fuse the bias strips or I guarantee you’ll get gunk on your fabric. Here’s how to clean your iron.
4. Iron a square of fused fabric to a Teflon sheet or a piece of silicone release paper.
5. Tack one of the bias cut fabric strips onto the edge of the background fabric.
6. Slowly fuse and curve the bias strip across the background square.
7. Continue to fuse more bias strips across the square.
8. After the fabric cools, remove the bias fused collage from the paper.
9. Fold the square from corner to corner with the glue sides out.
10. Free-cut a vase shape from the folded square.
Betty’s Bloomer #7 by Laura Wasilowski
11.Stick some leaves and flowers in the vase, put it on a table, and call it done!
Spring Leaves by Laura Wasilowski
One of the hazards of making a fused art quilt is the dreaded frayed edge. Fabric shapes with threads sticking out like whiskers detract from your gorgeous art work. You want a close shave, fabric edges that are cleanly cut.
Here are a few tips to avoid the dreaded frayed edge.
- Use sharp tools. Sharp scissors and rotary cutters give you a nice clean cut. Dull tools fray fabric.
- Practice cutting shapes in one long motion. Starting and stopping while cutting shapes with scissors leaves uneven, ragged edges.
- When cutting long and skinny fabric shapes, cut the fabric on the bias. A bias cut fabric is cut at a 45 degree angle to the grain of the fabric. Bias cut fabrics don’t fray. To find the bias cut a square of fabric using the selvedge edge of the fabric as one side of your square. Cut across the square from corner to corner to form 2 triangles. The long sides of the 2 triangles are the bias edges.