Thursday, July 20, 2006

On the Wild Side



That's the title of my finished Queen Anne's Lace piece for our "How Does Your Garden Grow challenge. I'm happy with the colors and the composition, and the flower pieces are ok (my husband knew what they were when it was finished), but as usual my machine quilting is the weak spot. Not only do the stitches leave a lot to be desired, but I have trouble knowing what pattern would best enhance the piece. All I can do is keep practicing and hope for the best.

I used several different fusibles on this, some new to me, so if anybody wants a quickie review of fusibles, read on. I used BoNash to fuse the center lace medallion and that worked very well. It did not hold the indiviual rosettes though, and I had to use a glue stick for basting until they were sewed down. BoNash works well, but is messy. I used Misty Fuse for the sheer part of the flower, and although it did the job, I'm not as enthusiastic as some have been. The directions are vague, and it's hard to judge the temperature. With a synthetic like the one I was using, it's easy to be too hot, too long. For the big simple leaves at the top and the finished flower pieces I used Steam-a-Seam 2. It works in the final step, but has the usual problem of not sticking tightly to the fabric in step one, (before it's fused). So I find it unsatisfactory to use for a piece that has to be cut very accurately or with fine details. My favorite fusible, which I used for the fern-like detailed leaves on the bottom, is something called Trans-Web. A guild friend swears by it, and she gave me a piece. I have been hoarding it and using it sparingly because I can't find it locally now. I found sources on the internet, but one is out of it, and the other one has not yet shipped, so who knows. It's a great product--it holds firmly in the first step (which is fused), and the paper backing peels off cleanly, so you can make quite delicate detailed cuts without a problem. I sure hope the manufacturer has not discontinued this product. Basically, I think there is no perfect fusible--it amazes me how people do such fine work with them--their fine motor skills are obviously better than mine!

5 comments:

Allison said...

Do ask your inner critic to pipe down...this is wonderful!

Thanks for the description of the fusibles, too.
Have you ever tried KK3000? It is a temporary adhesive fabric spray. It could keep those fine bits in place until you sew them...I used to buy it by the case, in my raw edge applique days...

Micki said...

This is a really great piece. I am thinking of doing something with Queens Annes Lace for my August Journal. I also like both of your Hoffman Challenge pieces.

The Calico Cat said...

LOVE IT! (I knew it was Queen Annes lace right away too.) Those greens are great!

My Brain on Quilts said...

Your piece is great! And thanks for the info on fusibles. I too have been disappointed with Misty Fuse, but have yet to find an alternative for fusing tulle. I do like (GASP) Heat N'Bond Lite and buy it by the bolt. It leaves a slightly larger needle hole than I would like, but it holds and no frayed edges.

I also have been using LiquiFuse more and more, and am sorry to say today I bought the last bottle Michael's will be carrying for $.50. It is now marketed under a different name and in a smaller bottle. But I love it and it doesn't change the hand of the fabric. I blogged about my method.

One final thought. . . Glue Baste-It is fabulous for holding fabric in place until you sew it.

diva of quilts said...

it's GORGEOUS! I love those little cotton lace flowers. Did you know they take dye and paint beautifully?