This week I switched it up from pillows to art quilts. I am doing (sort of, kind of) the Quilt Along with Melody. Her quilts are completely fused so that’s what I did this week. I started by cutting out arcs and fusing them to my 6-inch blocks.
One of the things Melody warns about is using commercial fabric for this type of fusing. She uses only hand-dyed fabrics. She did tell us that the commercial stuff will fray, even with the fuse stuff on the back. And they do fray. Since this is a practice piece that will only (if that) be displayed in my house, I wasn’t concerned. However, if I do decide to continue in this vein (which, at this point is not likely) I would have to purchase hand-dyed fabric or learn to dye myself.
At this point I decided that the I needed more arcs and maybe some stripes or something. Of course, I didn’t take pictures along the way, but here is the quilt top finished:
I really like the colors but I’m not so sure about the rays. I also like the border.
I fused the quilt to some batting and sewed the backing on in the method that Melody calls escape hatch finish. I had read in one of the comments on her post that if you sew two opposing sides first and then fold the seam allowance over when you sew the other two sides it would make sharper corners. I tried that, but for me, not so sharp corners. Plus, once you get the quilt turned and ironed flat your supposed to take the back off the fusible on the backing and iron it all shut. I forgot to do that.
Then I sat down to quilt. I practiced for about a minute, maybe less, and decided I could free motion quilt even though I haven’t actually done free motion quilting for a few months. I also decided that I was going to quilt a spiral starting in the middle, even though I have never been able to do that, even WITH practice. So, yeah, it pretty much came out completely wonky. I tried to cover up the wonky spiral by free motioning (I don’t think that’s a real word, but I’ll go with it) some leafy shapes over the spiral. It actually turned out not too horrible. But then I decided to use a machine stitch for the edges — edges that were pulling up since, I read later, it’s not such a good idea to put some fused items right where you turn the fabric. And then even more stupidly I used a stipple stitch — a MACHINE stipple stitch. It turned out horrible. Really horrible.
I would put a closeup but it’s too horrible for that.
- Commercial fabric does fray with the fuse everything method.
- Using a variety of fusibles is not a good idea. Some of them didn’t stick very well (I think the FineFuse) and some of them were pretty stiff (Heat&Bond), so next time I’ll stick to just the WonderUnder.
- Practice free-motion quilting BEFORE you try it on an actual project.
- DO NOT use the machine stipple stitch. EVER.
So, would I do another quilt completed fused? I’m not sure. I think I may try a hybrid at some point. Next week I am going to make a Liberated Quilt using the same (non-fused) fabrics as this one used.
This quilt is about 15″ square. It’s a bit small, I think, for this design, but a perfect size to try this application. I think next week’s quilt will be a similar size. Plus, it’s the perfect size to actually finish in a week.