Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tips about Fusible Web

I was chatting online with a customer today about fusible web and it dawned on me that I have some of that same conversation with others.... so I thought I'd share some info with you.  Some of you most likely know more than I do about this, so if you're one of them- sorry this will be boring.  But many people are new to fusible applique and I want to cover a few basics.  (This is JUST the basics)

Fusible applique in a nutshell:  You take fusible web, which is paper on one side and some sort of sticky stuff on the other side.   There are a lot of different brands with a lot of different properties, but the idea is to trace or draw a design on the paper.... then fuse (iron) it onto the back of the fabric.  Then cut out the shape you drew on the paper... you'll be cutting paper and fabric together because they are stuck together now.  When you peel the paper off, your fabric is now an iron-on applique.

If you're doing a complicated design, you will do well to use an applique pressing sheet.  You can see through it, so you can put the large pattern "map" down under it, and place the pieces on top where they belong.  Press lightly, and they will stick to each other, but not to the pressing sheet because it's non-stick.

There are lots of great little irons and pressing tools, but you can use whatever you want.  If you're doing a lot of this stuff, invest in a little iron.  If you just want to try it- you can use your regular iron.

Here's my big tip.... fusible web has a lifetime.  It gets old.  DON'T buy a bunch of it!  It isn't fabric and you can't stash it.  Get what you need for your project and use it.  Don't get it yet if you aren't sure when you're going to get around to the project.  Share with friends.  Have you ever had old fusible web separate from the paper before you ever get the chance to get it near an iron?  That's what I'm talkin' about!  When it's older, the layers separate.  I am not going to endorse a brand of fusible web because it's a personal choice, AND it depends on the season and where you live.  Some work better in humid areas and some better in dry climates.  Some are better in cold and some in warm climates.  I'm not kidding.  And everybody swears by her own favorite.  What to do?  If possible, as a friend who has some for her scraps.  Or try to find it by the yard and just buy 1/8 yard of all of the brands and play.

And the best advice I can give you is to READ THE DIRECTIONS!  If they say 10 seconds... 30 seconds isn't better.  Heat n' bond, for instance, will stick very well after a certain amount of time (as per the directions), and then if you overheat it, it will let go and you can't get it to stick again.  Some are pressure sensitive, some heat activated, and I swear there is probably one that tells you to hop on one foot an rub your belly to make it stick!  Kidding aside- no matter how many times you've done this, and you think you know what you're doing.... still read and FOLLOW the manufacturer's directions.

Lessons here?  Read the directions and use fresh stuff.

Is anybody interested in a tutorial on fusible applique?  Are there any other quilting techniques you'd like to see here?  Tell me what you'd like to learn about.


QuiltSue said...

I've made the mistake you mention about buying too much - it was a bargain I thought, but it wasn't really as it didn't last!

I'm about to start an applique project, so you've reminded me, I must go and check that what I have now is OK.

Maggey and Jim said...

Thanks, that is a real help,, I have had it seperate so it must have been there for a bit..

WoolenSails said...

I used to have something like that, years ago and it stopped sticking. That was when I bought in bulk, so a lot of wasted product.


Needled Mom said...

I did not realize that it had a expiration period. Guess I have never bought it in bulk.

Kath said...

I found this very interesting, I have made all the mistakes you mentioned :D
Yes I would like a tutorial, as I am quite a newbie and would be sure to pick up some great tips. Best wishes from England

Sue said...

I'll try to get a tutorial on fusible applique on here soon. I explain it to a lot of people and it would be nice to tell them to look on here for pictures.

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Fleurette said...

Thanks for the tip, I've had mine fall apart too!