Sunday, January 14, 2018

More Fusing

I promised to continue sharing my fusing process for creating a dog in fabric so I will get right to it.  All the prep was explained last week (scroll down) so now we start the phase 2 step-wise tutorial.

Step 1:  Iron one of the freezer paper drawings to the ironing board.  I use a portable ironing surface,  18 x 24 inches, for this.  Cover the freezer paper with a silicone ironing sheet that you can see through and secure it with pins or clamps.  You will fuse all fabric pieces to the ironing sheet.

Portable ironing surface, freezer paper drawing, silicone pressing sheet.
Step 2:  Now you will use the other freezer paper drawing as your pattern.  Cut out one piece carefully.  You don't want to cut away wantonly and destroy the other pieces you have so carefully outlined.  I start from the outside and work from there.

Freezer paper drawing
Step 3:  Cut a piece of fusible just a little bigger than your little pattern piece.  I usually cut a rectangle because it is easier to manage than odd shapes.  Iron that fusible to the back of the fabric and cut it out.

Fusible fused to back of fabric.  Placement was determined
by the shading that I wanted.
TIP:  When cutting the fabric be sure to cut it close to the edge of the fusible.  You will be cutting the pattern piece with the right side up and won't be able to see where there is fusible on the back...or not.  If your pattern piece misses some of the fusible it won't fuse.  On the other hand, if you leave any fusible on the back of your fabric you may end up with an unanticipated mess next time you use that fabric.

TIP:  If you are using fusible encased between two pieces of paper you should pull one paper off so it will fuse to the fabric.  Leave the other paper in place for now.

Fused fabric carefully cut away from the rest of the fabric - 
wrong side with fusible up.
Step 4:  Turn the fabric right side up with fusible down, leaving the paper on the back.  Iron the freezer paper piece you cut earlier onto the fabric shiny side down and press it to the fabric.  Cut out the piece leaving a scant 1/16 inch around the outside of the pattern.  This way all the pieces will overlap just enough to hold the whole thing together as you progress.  The joy of this process is that you don't have to worry about the pattern being in reverse.  That drove me crazy when I was taught to do it that way.

Freezer paper pattern piece pressed to right side of fabric that
has fusible on the back.
Step 5:  You will be able to see through the silicone sheet to find where your newly cut piece belongs.  Peel off the paper from the back and the freezer paper pattern, set the fabric in place and iron it down.  Continue until you have created the critter.

TIP:  What if you decide you don't like a piece that you have already fused?  You can heat up that piece and carefully pull it off.  If there is any residue it will be covered by the new piece.  It you want to replace a piece that is already buried by the edges of other pieces, just cut your new piece and fuse it over the old one.  I save all my cut paper pattern pieces in a plastic bag.  Although a nuisance to find, you will have the original paper pattern piece to use again if needed, or retrace from the mylar version of the drawing.

The start of the dog still missing her nose!

Yes, there is some waste, but how many of you consistently avoid waste in quilting?  Unfortunately, it is inherent in the craft.  If I have any sizable pieces of fused fabric I save them for smaller pattern pieces, but there aren't very many nor are they very big.  My method avoids preparing large amounts of fabric ahead of time so less waste.

TIP:  You can find a use for much of your waste.  I save unfused scraps in a trash bag to donate for dog or cat beds.

I have completed the dog and am working on the background by cutting pieces and slipping them under the edge of the dog.  Another way would be to pick up the fused, finished dog from the silicone in one piece (it will hang together if carefully fused) and iron it onto a background.

This project will be put aside for awhile as I return to the major quilt on which I have been working.  My paper piecing paper has arrived.  It is convenient to have the dog on a portable surface that I can set aside until I am ready to return to it.

Sew some happy seams this week.  I wish you a lot of sunshine from these winter skies.