Monday, March 27, 2017

My Vote is In

I have been hand stitching the binding on my big-ish quilt, but it is so tedious that after awhile I switch to quilting the background for my dog quilt.  This is the quilt on which I tried the Modpodge technique instead of fusible (scroll back to last week's post for directions).

**Easy to prepare.

**Cut patterns right side up.  Easy.

**Fuses down nicely ("Glossy" version), although a couple of sharp points have worked loose, but only the tips.

**Edges don't fray.

**Does not gum up the sewing machine needle.

**Have to let it dry for an hour after painting the Modpodge on the fabric.

**Using "Glossy" the fabric is definitely stiffer than traditional fusing material.

**It is tough to sew through.  My machine does it just fine, but using a needle to bury the
threads dug a hole in my finger.  The stitching doesn't bury itself down into the batting as much as I would like.

**Because of the stiffness I don't think the quilting has as much puff as it normally would.  However, I am using a low-loft batting so I am guessing.

My vote is in.  I mostly don't like the heavy stiffness because it prevents the fabric from flowing under the quilting needle - sort of like pushing card stock and trying quilt it.  Using the "Fabric" variety of Modpodge probably doesn't make it so stiff, but it also doesn't iron down securely.  I won't be using this as a regular part of my sewing.  Anyone want some Modpodge?

No way to capture the stiffness in a photo, but I was still able to quilt it.

TIP:  Don't let a fail stop you from trying new things.  You never know until you try if a new process fits you.

I wonder what would happen if I diluted the Modpodge a little.  Time for some scientific experimentation.  Later!

I have used Softfuse for several years and like it better than anything else.  You can purchase it on Amazon.  One of my local quilt stores carries it, but it is generally harder to find than some other brands.  It comes with paper on only one side so patterns have to be reversed if you draw them on the paper side, but I have a work-around for that.

How do I manage a work-around for the pattern?  I iron fusible to the back of a reasonable amount fabric before cutting pieces. Set the prepared fabric on a pressing sheet (silicone or teflon) right side up, fusible down.   Then iron the freezer paper pattern to the right side of the fabric, cut it out and pull the pattern off (like I did with Modpodge).  The fabric lifts right off the pressing sheet, fusible still on the back.  I try to gauge how much fabric to prepare so I don't have a lot of extra fabric with fusible on it.  You can always fix some more and it doesn't have to dry like Modpodge.

I wrote the above two days ago, but this morning while walking my dog in the fog I had a brilliant idea.  It is not really new, but I just adapted it to Modpodge.  One thing I really like about the Modpodge technique is the non-fraying edges.  So here is my idea.  Cut loosely around the pattern leaving about 1/8 inch beyond the edges.  Then paint only the outer edges with the Modpodge.  Let it dry then cut the details of the pattern.  It will keep the edges from fraying.  It will iron to the background fabric.  It will still be soft in the middle.  You won't have useless, stiff, leftover fabric scraps.  You could still use some fusible in the center if it is a large piece.  Worth a try, don't you think?

Sew some happy seams this week!  I wish you a bunch of new ideas to think about.


  1. Ooh, I wondered about the Modpodge. I'm happy to let you experiment though and report on your results. :) I like the idea of just using it on the edges. I hope it works!

    1. It think the edge thing will work, and will try it at my first opportunity.

  2. Does the modgepodge wash out? Or does the fabric remain stiff? Emilyste7ens at gmail dot com

    1. From what I can tell, it does not wash out. I washed a piece to see if it continued to stick. It does. Can't remember if it stayed stiff. I wasn't to that point yet!

  3. Smart idea . . . I like it! (lynnstck[at]

  4. Now that is a good idea, a little Modge Podge on the edge. My vote is still out on it, as I have yet to try washing it to see what happens. Too many other things to work on right now. Thanks for sharing your insights!

  5. Love that dog picture. I'm impressed that you tried the Modge Podge but I wouldn't like a stiff quilt -- not even a wall hanging, or so I think. Why not use some Fray Check on the edges that unravel? (Well, other than the cost probably!)

    1. I have used Fray Check on other projects over the years. Not impressed! The Modpodge is much better, but for edges only. It is a pain to quilt through, but would be workable if only on edges.

  6. The dog quilt is so cute, and I think it is good that you are experimenting, that keeps you moving forward.

  7. It is fascinating to follow your thoughts as your try, adjust, adapt and speculate about the best way to fuse appliqué.