Thursday, October 7, 2010


I love applique. I don’t care if it is hand applique, freezer paper, needle turn, fusible machine or anything else. I just love the pictures you can create. Don’t get me wrong I love traditional piecing and foundation/paper piecing, but I really love applique. About the only quilty thing I don’t care for is art quilting. I love looking at those art quilts, but they are so far out of my box that I can’t seem to do them.

I took an art quilt technique class once. Yikes! It was a two-day seminar at a local store. Great teacher! Betty Blais from Embellishment Village teaches a fabulous class and is very entertaining and informative. Worst weekend I ever spent. I loved Betty, but the painting and stenciling and working with Angelina, eeks, I shudder just to remember it. Everyone else had a great time, but it was all I could do not to run screaming from the store.

Don’t ask me why, I just felt like someone was shoving splinters under my nails. I stuck it out and really learned a lot of new techniques. That said, I don’t think art quilting is for me. I’m much more traditional than that. Of course, I am trying to teach myself thread painting right now, but don’t hold your breath waiting for huge successes in that avenue. I enjoy doing it, but man do I suck. I’ll plug away and see what I can come up with. They say practice makes perfect, but I’m not sure it doesn’t make for plain old irritation.

Calendar Critters

I think what I really need here is a drawing class. If I could learn to draw what is in my head, maybe I could transfer those images into fabric. It takes me hours and hours to create the images for my applique patterns. Calendar Critters was a long time coming. Drawing those animals was very difficult for me. Which brings me back to applique …

When I do fusible machine applique, I prefer Wonder Under for my fusible web. It is lightweight, flexible, simple to use, and doesn’t gum up my needle.

Things to consider when choosing your fusible web include, flexibility, melting point, cost and final usage. Steam a Seam Light is great. It is flexible and does not gum up your needle, but here in Calgary, it is costly. I don’t like the heat and bond products for things I plan to stitch on, but love them for crafty purposes. Heat and bond is great for fusing fabric onto plain craft paper bags to make Christmas gift bags, but it is low temperature melt and when your sewing machine needle gets hot, it gums up really badly.

Remember that these are heat-activated products and your dryer produces heat. So, if you EVER plan to wash that project, you must stitch around the appliques or they’ll come off in the dryer. Just ask me how I know! Oh yeah, one more thing. Read the fusible web’s directions carefully. If you overheat them, most webs will lose their grip and will not ever stick on.

My advice to you is to purchase a small amount of as many fusible webs as you can find and test drive each one. I found about 10 to try. One had no label and no instructions. It was plastic backed and it was almost impossible to get that plastic off. Some don’t have backings such as Misty Fuse, but I prefer a product I can trace my shapes onto.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Do you have a favorite fusible web? Why do you prefer it?


  1. Not a great expert on this but I use Floriani Stitch N Wash, water soluble tearway. I use to use freezer paper for my aplique quilts and I hated it. I was reading a blog one day and the Stitch N Wash was recomended and since then it is my favorite aplique base. Not gummy at all, easy to remove and will also disolve in the wash if you don't get it all out. Sharonj.

  2. I use Bondaweb as it's pretty much all I can find!
    I tried steam a seam but found it made the fabric far too stiff (possibly SAS light is lighter?????)
    I'm interested to hear other's experiences!!

  3. I like Wonder Under, the only problem I've ever had was trying to get the paper off.

  4. I like Wonder Under too, steam a seam is too confusing for me, seems like I am always ironing on the wrong side or attaching it on the wrong side or something. Wonder Under is easy and cheap and I use alot of it. I do wool applique and it works well for that, light enough the wool doesn't get sticky but heavy enough that the wool adheres to the background fabric. :)

  5. If you overheat wonder under, or peel the paper too soon, it will not peel right. Have you tried scratching the paper with a pin and sliding a finger under the slit to peel it?

    Steam a seam light is lighter, but I still find it quite stiff. I prefer my appliques to be as soft as possible.

  6. I'm afraid of applique, though recently practiced on needle turn on some throw away blocks.

  7. I don't have a favorite. For applique I've been using a TON of starch and a glue stick...(something about that just doesn't sound right), but that's what I do. ;)

  8. I like Pellon Shape-Flex. I don't applique, but I use it for backing my fabric for embroidery. It is a piece of fabric that is fusible and it is not heavy. Love it!

  9. I like wonder under. I have used that a lot and have had minimal problems. I have had trouble a time or two with the peeling part, but if I take my time I tend to avoid that problem.

  10. I am really into hand I don't use wonder under or such but it is good that I found several different ideas in these comments in case I decide to try my luck


Sadly, ad bots have snagged onto my blog. This means you have fight your way through the silly and frustrating word verification process. Please persevere. I do value your feedback.