This conversation came up yesterday with Judy Danz, and I thought you would all like to be in on it too. Judy mentioned that in many of her classes she uses glue stick to baste the pieces in place before stitching rather than fusible. I have done that when I am using a satin stitch on the applique. And it works beautifully and leaves the applique nice and soft in the end. It also does not gum up the needle as I thought it might. And you don’t even have to get up from the embroidery machine. I was able to find a piece of cardboard that was firm enough and thin enough to place under my hoop while at the machine, so I barely had to slip the hoop off the clamp to add the glue.
However, on the applique stitch, I have been using fusible just because I was thinking the stitches might fray a bit if I didn’t. The stitches that I am using to digitize are so close together that they probably won’t fray no matter what – so I’m going to try this experiment, wash it a few times and I’ll let you know how it comes out.
I use almost all the different types of fusible depending on what is available at any given time. But I’ll tell you what works for me and then you can make your own decisions. My top favorites are Mistyfuse and Stitch Witchery. Thirty years ago I made baby quilts for my children and those baby quilts are still in use today with the grandchildren and are just as nice as ever. They were fused with Stitch Witchery because that was the only fusible available at the time. Mistyfuse has come along and it is a bit lighter than Stitch Witchery, and I can find it a little more readily. These fusibles do not come on paper, so I have to lay them between two pieces of parchment, press, and then peel one piece off or lay them on the back side of the fabric and layer parchment on top. They leave the fabric nice and soft and fuse nicely.
Paper backed fusibles that I have used include Wonder Under and Steam a Seam. I love Wonder Under and like Steam A Seam Lite. The regular Steam A Seam is too heavy for appliqué, in my opinion; although I do use it when making boxes and things like that.
And that’s my two cents on fusibles.
Here’s Judy’s turtle
Judy stitched up the turtle on her Bernina and it looks great. The center circle was a little long and we talked about the variabilities that occur with different fabrics and different fusibles and the dies. This is just the nature of the beast, and we talked about how accurate the fit must be between the appliqué stitch and the dies in order to work with machine embroidery. This does make me rethink my digitizing so I can add some stitches to account for that factor. But–the machine embroidery is so much fun that I am going to try to keep manipulating the fabric with complete abandon and will stick pin the edges and fuse them first and deal with the middle last. I’m sure that will land me in trouble sooner or later. . .I’ll let you know 🙂