Friday, August 28, 2009

Approachable Art said... I wish I had even the first clue how you get such beautiful stitch lines along your fused pieces without any fraying at all... I lovelovelove this piece!

Answer: I may have said this before, but I suppose it bears repeating...fraying is not an issue BECAUSE I remove the paper after I have fused my fabrics. Then I cut the fabric and fuse it to another piece which then ends the possibility of it getting messy. And I am using 95% hand dyeds in my work, and only about 5% commercial prints. The hand dyed base fabric is a finely woven cotton which stays nicely together. See this post for step by step pictures.

Then the stitching part: On this piece and many others I am not using free motion quilting. I am using feed dogs up, with my regular presser foot (not a walking foot) and just stitching large stitches next to but NOT on top of the edges of the shapes. However I have loosened the pressure on the presser foot, down to zero, so it glides along on the three layers without pulling the fabrics. And of course everything is fused so nothing moves either...

Fusing makes all the difference in the final product. And yesterday I noticed that the amount of teachers teaching fusing is increasing by leaps and bounds. Could it be that people are taking fusing seriously at last? One can only hope.


  1. Great tutorial Melody, thankyou for sharing your technique.

  2. What a fantastic answer,t hank you so much.

    I've been dyeing my own fabrics all summer and I'm utterly addicted to using them in my work now, I don't imagine ever going back to commercial fabrics again. I agree with you that they seem to have a durability and vibrancy that commercial fabrics will never have.

    I studied close-ups of your work this week, thank you so much for posting them! I find a learn a lot about quilting just by examining closely the work of artists like yourself. I will use your two suggestions of cutting the fabric AFTER removing the paper and stitching next to but not on top of each element, fantastic of you to share them. :D

    I hope one day to hang a piece of your work in my home. :D

  3. Anonymous11:37 AM

    I agree with everyone! It is so generous of you to share your work and techniques with people you dont even know! I have gained so much from you! Thank you!

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