Stick to These Glues

Self Portrait #2 by Laura Wasilowski

Thank you all for participating in the “big hand give-away” in the previous post. I’ve contacted the lucky winners and we now move on to discuss a topic near and dear to my heart, fusible web.

Fusible web has been around longer than dirt! Remember Stitch Witchery for hemming trousers? Remember trousers?

Fusible web is a dry glue activated by the heat of an iron and is used to glue 2 pieces of fabric together. It’s also my favorite method of creating art quilts.

Without naming names, there are several brands of fusible web to avoid if you are making fused quilts. Some brands are like plastic and sink into the fabric staining it. Some are bulky, have a tackiness that picks up fibers, or gum up your needle when stitching. These brands have their uses but are not for the fabrics we use when making quilts.

There are several brands I do recommend, however. I think you’ll find them useful for making your next art quilt:

Pressing Matters by Laura Wasilowski

Many of you are dedicated fusers and you have the dirty iron to prove it. No matter what brand you use, I hope fusing will give you hours of hot fun!

Giving You a Big Hand

Hand of Fortune by Laura Wasilowski

My traveling teacher days have slowed recently but I still have all the stuff I would normally hand out to my students. In one class, Hand of Fortune, students were given a pre-printed hand shape to hand embroider. (There is also a kit for it here.)This fabric was printed by Spoonflower on a silk or crepe fabric.

In my last order of the pre-printed hand fabric I made a giant error. The hands were printed to measure about 10″ high by 8″ wide. That is really big in the hand! But if you’d like a huge pre-printed purple hand panel (panels measure about 12″ x 10″) please leave a comment. You may be one of 15 lucky winners!

How to Challenge Yourself Improv #5

When you work small you end up with a lot of scrap fabric that is too wonderful to throw away. During the month of September, I gave away a bag of felt scraps like these with each order placed in the Artfabrik Store. Then I challenged myself to create something from one of those scrap bags.

I’m not a big fan of using brown in my work but this brown fabric was the largest piece of fabric in the scrap bag. So it served as a background or canvas for the work. Slowly the warm brown color won me over.

With the central design complete I’ve cut away the surrounding brown felt leaving about 1/4″ of fabric around the edge. I like how this outline of brown creates an organic border that embraces the design.

Bridgehouse #1 by Laura Wasilowski

To complete the piece, I’ve stitched it to a wonderful green batik. It measures about 6″ x 6″ and is named for the Bridgehouse Museum in Chicago.

Making this piece has taught me a few things. First, challenge your use of color and appreciate those colors you usually shun. Second, give yourself permission to improvise. It stimulates and entertains the brain. And finally, a small piece of artwork can give as much joy as a gigantic wall piece.