Sunday, June 12, 2005


Dear Melody,
If you remove the fusible paper before you cut how do you cut a pattern that has very many details?
Ready Scissors

Dear Ms. Scissors,
If you have to make a shape that 'fits', then you need a template. I use the release paper from the used Wonder-Under. It can be used as tracing paper, and can be cut to the exact dimensions of the shape that is needed. I trace the shape and then place the cut-out on the back side of the fused fabric, making certain that it is facing the correct way. If it is put on reversed, it will not fit where it belongs, and will have to be cut again. One mistake and you will never do that again, she said. I mark the side that is up so that I know if the pencil mark is on the fused side, it will be correct. This makes more sense when you actually do it than when you read it.
Then I use my iron on a stick to tack-fuse the cut-out in a few spots to keep it in place while I cut around it. I am careful to cut slightly larger than the original shape so that there is an overlap. This need only be a eighth of an inch or so.

Most of the time I am not particular about exactitude (shocked? I know.) and will cut and fuse willy nilly. I have a large supply of willy nilly at the ready for such occasions. For example, I have a pattern called Garden Cat. It has a multitude of tiny flowerettes. I made the quilt first and then to make the pattern I traced the actual quilt. It was way more tedious to draw all those tiny flowerettes than it was to cut them and fuse them in place. I would hate to think that anyone would make a template for a flower that is a half-inch tall.

Fusing all my work, it occurs to me that I do a lot of cutting, and cutting the shapes is half the art of the quilt. I have several sizes of rotary cutters, with different decorative blades to make wonderful edges. I use sharp small scissors for tiny bits of detail and save every little bit of fused debris to use as decorative elements. If the paper were still on, I would have to remove it from the bits and that would start the fraying process and my work would be a big mess of frayed edges.
I would not like that.
So take off the paper, and place it nearby, as it is the most useful material to build a quilt. I use it for the construction site of my fusing too, as one needs a place to fuse two pieces together and still be able to pull them off the paper and place on the composition. See the sidebar for more information, Fusing 101.
Thanks and write back often.


  1. This is great. At some point, Mrs, Mel, you can just print your blog and you will have a book!!

  2. And we would buy it, even though we already have Laura's


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