Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Little Quilt Content

Fused piecing

Q&A about Fusing.

One can fuse fabric onto a base fabric, as in fused applique or just fuse two pieces together by overlapping the edges. In order to make a 'seam' in this way, one must have a pressing base of the release paper from the Wonder-Under, or a teflon pressing sheet. When neither is available, we have also used parchment paper with good results.

Fuse the fabric using a hot iron and a swift continuous movement, paying extra attention to the edges of the paper, making sure to fuse them. LET THE FABRIC COOL BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO REMOVE THE RELEASE PAPER. Once cool, remove the paper and cut the fabric with a scissor or rotary cutter. Because the paper is already removed, the edges are not stressed and will not fray.

Essentially, one fused piece of fabric must touch the surface of the next piece of fused fabric. Press lightly with a hot iron and let cool. Then peel both pieces off the fusing surface and voila, a fused seam!

That's it. That's all there is to fused seaming, or fused applique.

WE in the CSOF (Chicago School of Fusing) use only hand dyed fabrics in our work because these fabrics stay fused best, and the raw edges show only the color of the fabric, not any printing associated with commercially printed fabrics. With prints, only the surface has the color, and there is a wrong side, so while one can fuse them, one must deal with the unattractive edges. Secondly hand dyed fabric inherently has no factory applied coatings which interfere with permanent fusing.

Any design that can be imagined can be accomplished using these construction techniques. We use fusing for quilts for the wall, of course, and do not recommend fusing bed quilts that will be washed unless all edges are finished and secured by quilting.

Any questions?

A question about aging of fused fabrics: Here's the skinny on longevity of fusing. I have OLD fused quilts, which are doing just fine. And should something release from the surface, momentarily, a hot iron will remedy the situation. Discoloration? Not a bit.

On the other hand, the quilts I made in the beginning of my quilting odyssey, which have been used and loved, and were hand and machine pieced and quilted, have shown some age, some splitting of seams and some wear. Nothing is permanent and if artwork is handled with common sense, it will last and last.

Of course we could all use polyester and never have a fear of anything deteriorating.

9 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:21 AM

    Obviously, you gals are doing wonderful stuff with fusing but do you ever wonder what it's going to look like in 20 years? (or 10, or 30) even without lots of washing?? Especially, with those evil batches of Wonder Under you've experienced? I'd especially fear for those matchstick pieces. What if they start to peel?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous, I don't think it matters what it looks like in years to come: with art, it's enjoying what appeals to you today. I don't think it's necessary to believe that anything we create in our lifetime is going to become an "enduring masterpiece," but rather that it can bring joy to you now while you live with it. Just my two cents!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous11:45 AM

    Enough with this quilt stuff. I want to know where you are and what you've seen and how much you are enjoying the journey. Juanita

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ha! Mel, Juanita and I are both living vicariously through you and Dave with this new home, new city, new state treasure hunt!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous7:02 PM

    It's called "Quilt Wilt".

    ReplyDelete
  6. ::Of course we could all use polyester and never have a fear of anything deteriorating.::
    HA! I almost split a gut here!

    This brings back fond memories of the class I took with you...I have described how you showed us a 'seam' to a couple of friends, and it tickles them as much as it did me in class ("Watch really closely...this is how you make a fused seam ::quick motion of iron::..There...that's it")

    Hope you are finding what you are looking for...it sounds like a grand trip so far...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous8:37 AM

    A long time ago when I sold clothing in a large dept. store, a co-worker of mine said to her clients who objected to the wrinkles which occur when wearing linen, cotton and other natural fibers, "Well, we could look for a dress made out of vinyl. That won't wrinkle!!"

    ReplyDelete
  8. is there a pictured description of that fused seam? I want to do that, too, but I didn't understand.

    ReplyDelete
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Hello,
So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com