Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Fusing Tips in the Studio

Hello Quilters!
What a pleasure it is to have serious studio time!  It has been quite awhile since I've had the luxury of dedicated time in the studio and I'm loving every minute of it!
Today's weather cancelled my afternoon plans so I had another wonderful day of playing with fabric. The photo below doesn't show how windy it is.  White outs and cancellations today!
The view from my studio windows.
With all the studio time, I've been able to get a good start on my new photo-realistic quilt of the wolves that I mentioned in my last blog entry.  Here is my progress so far.....  I should mention that this is the result of 4 day's work.  It's a slow process but I do enjoy it......

The eyes will go on the quilt last.  There are two more wolves on this quilt so I'll wait until all three are done before I tackle the eyes.  Usually they are a combination of fabric and paint.  Several sets of "practice" eyes are done on a test canvas before I can make the choice for the piece.

I am often asked what type of adhesive I use for this type of work.  With lots of trial with several different types of fusibles I have settled on Misty Fuse.  It is very fine so when it comes time to do the free-motion quilting, the threads still create shadow and the needle doesn't get gummed up.  My Polar Bear Family quilt was made with Steam A Seam and the quilting threads have stayed on the surface of the quilt instead of embedding in the batting.  It doesn't have as much shadow as I would have liked.

Misty Fuse

Before I begin fusing Misty Fuse to the fabrics for the quilt, I pin a large piece of Parchment Paper to the ironing board surface.  This protects the ironing board cover from any stray adhesive.

When fusing the fabric, I cover the fabric that is sitting on top of the parchment paper with a teflon pressing sheet.  This keeps the Misty Fuse from getting stuck to the iron.  Make sure that you have your teflon sheet labelled so that you know which side is up.  If you don't, you'll spend ages cleaning your iron!
Labelled Teflon Sheet

The under side of the teflon sheets does accumulate the adhesive.  When this happens just iron a towel on top of the teflon sheet (gooey side up) then once it's warm, wipe it with that towel.  It will come right off onto the towel and you are ready to go again.

Gooey Teflon Sheet

Iron with an old towel.

Rub with warm towel to remove excess adhesive.

My trusty Proctor Silex iron from Value Village.
Year 5 for $3.99!

Lots of quilters spend a fortune on their irons but I have found that I like to use the old, heavy metal irons like the Proctor Silex iron pictured above.  They get really hot.  I never use steam for quilting for many reasons I won't get into here, so these old irons are perfect.  They don't have auto-shut off however so I have devised a plan to remind me if the iron is on or not.  When I plug in the iron, I put on the night light.  When I unplug the iron, I turn off the night light.  I can see at a glance whether or not the iron is on.  
Iron is ON!
Iron is OFF!

Happy Quilting everyone.  I hope that January will get you some much needed studio time too!