To Fuse Or Sew? That Is The Question

This is recent experimentation with fusing my signature wandering fabric strips to black background. (sample size shown c. 6″)

While in the US recently I bought a brand of fusing /bonding material I hadn’t used before, partly because the veisoflex I’d been using didn’t seem to be anywhere around where I was.  So I bought some Steam a Seam 2., its different, and I really like it.  I haven’t done a lot of fusing in the past, but I did think it might be a way to go with the new smaller works I am doing.  These smaller works I posted previously have been sewn, then fused to a backing before being  sewn down onto the base fabric.  One thing I thought was that strips of fabric fused down might be quicker than sewing inserted strips.  Wrong –  really, small strip by small strip it is a bit fiddly, or, if you back a piece of each fabric you’re going to use, even jsut 2″ x 10″, and cut pieces from that, then you have bits left which you need to keep using to get the best value from your materials, right?  And I am pretty nifty with the sewn strips.   So that’s one thing I have to work out.

Below is a pic of strips pieced, ie sewn, into background fabric (a section of  pre-quilted “Ebb&Flow 15″   as it happens) 


And this third pic is a side-by side comparison –  sewn on the left, with fused on the right.   The fused piece is a very flat looking surface by comparison.  In a bed quilt there would be too much movement of the quilt for it to be a viable technique, it wouldn’t last.  On the wall though, it would, and for some kind of background it could be just the thing;  though, as I say, hardly ‘quicker.’  This afternoon I have fused sheer to plain as a substitute for stencilling some sand ripples – light ridges vs dark hollows – its very promising indeed and I have been doing some hand stitch over the top of that, and as quilters would say, ‘ the hand’ is fine. I had thought there might be a stickiness or resistance on the needle, but no.  Pics of all that when it’s a bit further along.

4 Responses to “To Fuse Or Sew? That Is The Question”

  1. Heather Lair says:

    Try Mistyfuse for this kind of work. It is very easy to sew through, even with multiple layers.

  2. Joy V says:

    Alison, for me it would depend on the size, how I was finishing the quilt, how much ‘texture’ you are looking for and if I was going to ‘quilt to death’ the whole quilt, ie minimal quilting I would probably choose to sew them down, lots of quilting would definitely fuse. I also use Mistyfuse – it is very light and doesn’t change the hand of the quilt, plus you can get it in black.

  3. It’s very hard to tell from your pictures which is fused and which is pieced. I wish I could see a larger view. I do a fair amount of skinny piecing myself and it is slow and tedious work, but I love the look. I could save myself many hours by just fusing them down, but I don”t think the effect is the same.

  4. Alison says:

    No, itisn’t and in fact not much time is saved. Since this post I have done some very colourful ittle lineat pieces, mounted on canvases, and sent to a gallery whol love them – pics sometime soon on this blog. Actually, piecing is addictive I find, and since I use a multifilament poly ‘bobbin’ thread top and bottom when piecing, it is sooo easy to unpick – ie by pulling out the top thread, if I don’t like that look or make a ‘mistake’; but in other small pieces using leather I have found the bonding with steam a seam is totally brilliant. and areally does save fiddly time.

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