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Great Falls, Montana, United States
I love creating art. I love the Creator! And through that love, I find a little slice of heaven on earth and I give Him all the glory! It's a great adventure and I'm excited to see what's around the bend! Come join me, won't you?
Showing posts with label steam a seam. Show all posts
Showing posts with label steam a seam. Show all posts

Friday, January 23, 2015

just the {fusible} facts ~ misty fuse, steam-a-seam2

hey peeps ~

first, i'm not an expert at fusibles...  but i have used them a lot!  so i thought i'd share what i've discovered, and why i use  different brands, and types, and why and where i determine to use them. {to the best of my skill!} lol

my most favorite fusible is "steam-a-seam 2" the "lite" version of the original.  it was out of production for a bit, but now it's back, and i am super glad.  this product is slightly sticky, so that once you've cut your shape out, it stays where you place it.  which is excellent if you're working on a wall, but it is also nice to keep your placement firm.... until you fuse it.  which is great for collage! the fusible glue on the back does not become permanent until you decide to iron it with a very hot, steam-oriented iron.  hint:  the name indicates how to make it work permanently... it requires steam!
steam-a-seam2 is great for large flower shapes, like shown above and below on this fat-quarter-size piece of fabric:
when it came back into production, i purchased a large box of it.  the collage quilts i'm making require at least 5 yards, but i'm using more as i'm building up a supply of elements.
steam-a-seam2 has two pieces of paper encasing the glue fusible.  i just pull back the top, and lay it fusible side down, onto the backside of my fabric.
i smooth it out with my hand, and... i also lighly touch the iron surface over it all, just to get a nice bond that won't easily peel off.
perhaps you want to "piece" a shape you've cut out, and this is easily done, too. i sometimes generally cut around it, and then later, specifically cut the shape how i want it to be.
or you can do several at once.  
i cut them very specifically from the web, ensuring there is as little as possible, no {wasted} extra fusible surrounding it, and then iron it very slightly to set the glue until i peel the paper back and use it in a collaged piece. 
{cutting it into a more specific detailed shape as needed}
i save almost all of my leftover pieces in their own bag... they do come in hand now and then, and i do, and have used them lots:

and they can be pieced onto a shape, if you are using steam-a-steam brand.  {this is kinda awkward, but it works in a pinch!} i also do this on a protective teflon sheet, and i highly recommend having at least two of these sheets ~ one on the top and the other on the bottom. {your iron will thank you} and you will be thankful you don't have to clean your iron!
below, i've pressed all the patchwork of fusible pieces onto the backside of this flower shape, and now i will trim it away.
you can leave the paper on until it's time to use the shape, which is convenient, but one thing that is nice, too, is that if you lose the paper, or take it off, then you can store these motifs in a bag, and even if they stick to one another, they are usually quite easily removed from one another, and the fusible stays intact.
one of the advantages of using teflon sheets to set the glue of the fusible web is that they are so easy to clean up.  you can wipe your finger across the surface, and the leftover pieces are easily picked up {and tossed away}
the next favorite fusible in my supply is "misty fuse" shown below on a roll which i purchased directly from mistyfuse.com, the company. {they had a great sale over new years}.  it is a wonderfully light fusible product, but it is not repositionable as steam-a-seam is.  but! because it is so light, it does not affect the hand of the fabric as much as the others.  {great for wearable clothing you may want to embellish!} you must definitely use a teflon sheet to use this product.  it is flimsy, and will stick to itself {once it gets warm from the iron} so be careful not to let the fused sides touch until it's cool. 
for small pieces... i still prefer a paper back fusible {steam-a-seam} as it makes these shapes much easier to cut precisely than misty fuse.  misty fuse is wonderful for large motifs, such as tree trunks, or wherever you don't want fusible to affect the hand of your fabric, especially for wearables.  but my preference is to use paper backed fusible for easier cutting, especially for delicate shapes with lots of curves or details.
{below} this is how i work with misty fuse, and i've labeled the layers in order, of which there are four:  1. teflon sheet, 2. misty fuse on top of 3. fabric, and 4. another {second sheet} of teflon on the bottom.  now just fuse the whole piece of fabric, using your iron on top of the first teflon sheet:

wait until the fusible has cooled, and then just peel back the teflon sheet from the fused fabric.  if you have fused it long enough, it will peel away easily.  if it has not been set long enough, the misty fuse will not be stuck to the fabric, and if not, just set it again with the iron, laying the teflon sheet back over it. i think it's important to WAIT until it's cooled, too.
if it doesn't stick, then you can see the fusible separate it, as i've shown below:
it's likely you will at times, find a bit of misty fuse on the sheet; especially if you are just fusing shapes by themselves, and this is normal, and easy to just wipe off:
clean your teflon sheets, using a leftover piece of batting, wiping it across the surface on both sides:
you may think you don't have any fusible on the sheet, as it's hard to see, but you can feel it, i guarantee you!  just wipe your hand across the surface... and then wipe it clean.
with the lite steam a steam2, sometimes if you don't set it well enough with the light press of your iron, it will not come away from the paper, so just set it again:
this is not what i prefer to do, but it does work with all your leftover pieces of steam-a-seam2! {which i had to do until my order came in!}
misty fuse comes in many different colors; black, white, ultraviolet to fit whatever need you may have.  and it comes in many different sizes, too.  mostly, in quilt shops, you will see it in a package similar to the one below, where the product has been folded up.  the only place i know to get it by the roll, is directly from the company itself.
and, as you can see, once misty fuse is fused to the backside of your fabric, it has a slight sheen to it.  now all that is required to permanently set {most fusibles} is a very hot iron to permanently set them to the fabric. remember that steam a seam products require steam, too!

i still prefer steam-a-seam2 for my collages, as they are wall quilts, and a bit of stiffness is an advantage in my opinion.  i love the repositionable quality about the fusible, too, especially for collage, but both are great products.  

i have used pellon products as well, and like the regular and light {sticky} backed ones, but they aren't as well-suited overall.  and if you press more than two or three times, these products lose their ability to fuse.

hope that helps some of you have posted questions, and i thank you for asking!  the best fusible is going to be what you get comfortable with, but i also encourage you to try new products, as you may just find they are perfect for your project or technique!

Friday, January 28, 2011

JoyFUL we Adore Thee!

My current project is one in the works for today's blog.... and it all started with this: THE BIG SHOT! I do alot of fusing... and I love it!  But sometimes cutting with the hands is well... hard on the hands!  So have been waiting ... thinking... contemplating about the Accuquilt GO and those cool quick cut dies for several years... and am glad I went the Sizzix direction. SAVED me lots of moo-lah!  Now I am not saying Accuquilt isn't fabulous... it sure is.  But that much money out-of-pocket (about $500 just to get started with the GO)... wasn't happening for me, personally!  
Many thanks to Patsy Thompson and Kelly Jackson, both of whom were gracious, knowledgeable ... and really helped me decide about which machine to purchase... and showed the "how-to's"  through their terrific blogs,  being KIND and taking TIME...to answer my emails and the many questions I had!  The gal at Patsy's store (whom I have now forgot - maybe it's Nicki) is SWEET to help when I CALLED -- she even checked the box to tell me what it actually contained so I could get all the info I needed about accessories... YAY! I dearly adore... personal service!  Don't you?!
Batik fabrics, Steam-A-Seam, and a pressing sheet... and some time... time to play... rearrange... re-organize... and then... Poof!  It's like...

           h   a   p   p  y...
a ... bit... addictive.... and.... 
m  a  g  i  c  a  l !
Turning to some hand-dyed fabric of mine... hmmm... let's try this 'marveles' orangy-tango piece...  a touch of paintstiks, bubble wrap as texture.... stencils...textile paint, a mesh bag... throw in some fusible circles... (just because I can!)

 and then  a  ...   z  i  p  p  e  r  !
and... if necessary... use words!

v  i   b  r  a  n  t  !
and don't forget.... the.... 

a   n  g  e  l  i  n  a  !!!
and "sew ye shall reap... so shall ye sow..."
J   o   y ...

It's a  p  l  a  y  t  i  m  e  in progress!  
more to come...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Oh gosh, I had hours and hours of delight designing this quilt, painting the leaves, fusing and adding trapunto to the leaves... and quilting metallic, swirly whirly lines of wind sweeping among the fall leaves floating through the air in my front window from my Antique Crab Apple Tree!  I designed this pattern, after using a stamp to initially "rub" the leaf images using Paintstiks.  Come!  Join me in he Paintstik class at the QUILT-A-WAY on February 5th and  February 8th.  These are two separate classes, one in the evening and one in the daytime.  See my BLOG entry on CLASSES I'm offering here!

This piece is for SALE at GALLERY 16 in Great Falls, Montana.

 I absolutely adore Paintstiks!  Such a fun paint medium to play with.  It's so easy to blend and create your own colorways and creative design.  If you haven't tried them... check it out!  Paintstiks should be available at your favorite quilt store, and if not, ask them to stock them!  You can also find them here and here.  Laura Murray, a designer who has created many treasures, and she has  fabulous site in which you will be greatly inspired! (The first link).  The second link is Quilting Arts.

Lots and lots of free motion stitching applique style around the edges of these leaves... oh how fun it was!

I started with  King Tut in the variegated cotton... and Glitter thread in blue hologram for the "wind."  Oh yes... and don't forget the silver metallic... Yenmet is my Go-to Gal for "gettin' er' done' the fun way!  You can get Yenmet metallic threads at any quilt store, but if not, ask them!  It's simply one of the BEST metallic threads out there.

See my thread info-tutorial blog "TNT: Thread, Needles and Tension"  December 28, 2010
for more information and how-to's regarding threadplay and needles!

The paintstik class will explore color blending, rubbings, using materials from around your home to add texture, mica pigments for polish and shine... and some good resource information in hand outs I've worked up for all my students!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Here's a fairly simple way to add a bit of free motion embellishment without alot of time investment.  I love to buy the  pre-made, decorated hand towel (and I have made them too). Great gifts for the girls at the office, and for any other gift giving need you may have. It's really cool to make them fun, as well as unique, combining free motion, fusing, and embroidery, as well as bit of "fluff" with a ruff...ruffle, that is! 

The best part is adding the  'unexpected' embellishments!  Another example of how you can add a touch of free motion to any project, and make it very special!

I had a great batik in my stash (oh imagine that!)... so started by cutting a 5" or 6" strip of it, doubled up, and then ruffled it. Doubling a ruffle makes it more professional looking in my opinion; it hangs nicely, is finished off nicely, and it also runs through the ruffler foot quite smoothly too!  (Makes you look like a star!)  Attach to your towel, by laying the ruffle underneath the towel, and stitching along the towel's already existing hemline makes it easy to line it up!
Adding the lovely crocheted trim makes a statement of country style on top of the ruffle. But you don't need to stop there... I was pretty sure I had a lovely ribbon somewhere in my stash and found this beautiful blue rayon ribbon that was the perfect accent for the towel.  I top stitched it right above the trim using my 'triple straight stitch'--- in black thread of course!  Why choose a plain straight stitch when you've got so many others that are fun to choose from? I was tempted to use a flower-y decorative stitch instead of the triple straight stitch, but decided the three little batik flowers were enough, and didn't need any more... but it would have been cute, either way!

I used a black thread: King Tut 40 weight cotton for that, and also black cotton on my bottom in a 50 weight  Masterpiece; both threads made by Superior threads). By the way, this particular towel was embroidered first.

THEN comes the funnest part for me, and that is to add a little fused flower --- which was a very basic five-petaled flower I drew free hand onto fusible web, cut it out, fused it on, then added a bit of yellow wool, fused into the center.  Using black thread for the free motion motif made a bold statement, but in a very light-hearted,swirly, curly-q'd and leafy meanderings, tiny little circles, all following somewhat, the curves of the petals.  Such fun FUN thread play with black thread to match the embroidery design.

Inspiration is everywhere... and for me it came from the embroidered design "ZENSPIRATIONS" from Bernina.   I'm not an advanced embroiderer by any stretch of the imagination, but I do love the 'plug n play' of USB sticks in my machine.  So quick and easy! And I fell in love with the whimsical nature of the words and their STYLE!

So I repeated some of those same design elements featured in  the embroidery as my inspiration for the free motion motif on the flowers.  You can too!  Practice on a bit of paper first, if you are hesitant to go straight to your machine. It's really great to go off the line, and give your quilting a sketchy look!!! Smiles everyone!  No need to be... dare I say it... "perfect?"!!! Absolutely NOT.  It's charming, fun, fast and easy-breezy girls!

KNOW that the stitches will be a little 'off' tension-wise on the back side, because the towel is not real thick, and so it doesn't have alot of stabilization to the fabric.  And that's OKAY!  We're not being perfect - we don't need to be... this is fun, loose and FREE!.  Just be sure to loosen your top tension, match the color of your top and bottom threads, and try to hold the fabric firmly with your hands without gripping so tight you can't free motion!  If you prefer, use a spray adhesive, and attach some of the wash-a-way type stabilizers on the back. However, I DID NOT. and you can see the results.  After all... it's creative, and above all... it's FREEly done! 

I hope you found some inspiration...and FREEdom here!  Add your own special touch, and enjoy adding to your skills, and making a quick project, not to mention a wonderful gift to have on hand.

"Freely, Freely, you have received... Freely, Freely, Give."

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