Sunday, October 27, 2013

Colorful Tropics Block of the Month 2014

These are the final hours of the Houston Quilt Market, wrapping up another exciting weekend for Pearl and the girls..... as we wait for the triumphant return and hear all about the new things to come in the future, I'd like to take a brief moment to tell you about one of our 2 up-coming Blocks of the Month programs for 2014.

The first one is Colorful Tropics
by Barbara Bieraugel.

There is a nice balance of piecing and paper-piecing (the mariner's compass center) with just a touch of applique' and the pattern has an optional block for people who just won't 'go there' and will avoid anything to do with appliqué! 

It's easy to see that living in Hawaii can inspire beautiful quilt patterns in sun-drenched colors! This is an 11 month BOM that will start in January and will cost $22.99 each month. 

So, Thursday and Friday our UPS dude, Jeff, dropped off 2 boxes of the gorgeous batiks that go into this quilt...... this is going to be a real stunner!

It measures 76" x 89" and will include all patterns and fabric including binding to complete the quilt top. Batting and backing are not included.

If you would like to sign up for this Block of the Month, please give us a call at 985-845-9554. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

November - December Calendar of Classes

Here is the new schedule of classes fro November and December at Bright Hopes Quilting.

We think we have pulled together a great roster to see you through the holiday season.

Give us a call at 985-845-9554 to reserve your spots and remember that Saturday, Nov. 16, Kathy Brown will be bringing her Trunk Show to Bright Hopes for a show n tell in the morning!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fun With Fusibles!

Mary Green has pulled together all the good information about the wonderful world of fusible webs and has made a display board here at the shop that you can see and feel for yourself how they differ from one another behind fabric.

This may help you decide which is most appropriate for any project you are working on.

Please stop by, see what Mary made and make a small 'sampler' to take home for future reference.

Thanks Mary!!!! Great information!

Fun with Fusibles!


Fusible web is an iron-on adhesive made from a mesh of fibers with adhesive properties.  The fibers melt when heated to join two layers of fabric together.  There are a number of fusible web products out there but this is the common element.


Paper-Backed Fusibles


There are many brands of paper-backed fusibles. Heat n Bond Lite, Heat n Bond Feather Lite, Shades SoftFuse, and Bosal fusible come with one side of paper.  Steam-a-Seam 2 and Lite Steam-a-Seam are both products that come with paper on both sides of the fusible web.


The procedure for using a paper-backed fusible is generally the same:


1.     Remember to reverse the design in order to avoid a mirror image.

2.     Trace the reversed design onto the paper backing of the fusible web.

3.     Roughly cut out the traced object leaving about ¼ around the design, leave the paper attached.

4.     Iron the cut out piece of paper-backed fusible web to the wrong side of your applique fabric and allow it to cool.

5.     Cut the design to size, using the outlines drawn on the paper.  When cutting “to size” remember to include under or overlaps, if using.

6.     Peel off the paper backing.

7.     Iron the fused fabric into position


When using Steam-a-Seam 2 and Lite Steam-a-Seam the directions are slightly different since they have paper on both sides of the fusible web.  The double paper backing is because the fusible web is pressure sensitive on both sides allowing for a temporary hold to both the applique material and the background.  Here are good directions for using Steam-a-Seam products:


1.     Remove one piece of the paper backing.  One side should be easier to remove than the other, so check for this before drawing your design.

2.     Draw your reversed design onto the remaining paper backing and roughly cut around it.

3.     You can iron or just finger press the Steam-a-Seam to the wrong side of your applique fabric

4.     Cut out the design on the drawn lines.

5.     Position the applique on the background.  It can be moved until it is ironed.

6.     Fuse the applique to the surface with the iron on cotton setting for 3-5 seconds.  (The directions says 10-15 seconds but I think this is too long.  I do not iron my fusibles more than 3 seconds each time I use them.  Too much heat can cause the fusible web to darken.  You can always go back and iron again but you can’t take it back).


Misty Fuse

Misty Fuse is a non paper-backed fusible.  It performs the same function as other fusible web products but is very sheer, light weight, and does not add stiffness or bulk to layers of fabric.  It can be used with very sheer fabrics and lower temperatures.

However, the absence of a paper backing means that you can not draw your design onto Misty Fuse and you must use a non-stick pressing sheet or parchment paper in order to prevent the fusible from sticking to your iron or ironing board.

Directions for using Misty Fuse:

1.     Draw your design or applique onto freezer paper, Do not reverse.

2.     Fuse Misty Fuse to the wrong side of your applique fabric.

·        Use parchment paper or an applique pressing sheet to cover your ironing surface

·        Place Misty Fuse on the non-stick sheet

·        Place the applique fabric right side up (wrong side against the fusible) to cover the Misty Fuse completely

·        Press briefly using a medium heat setting

·        Fuse a larger piece of fabric than your planned applique piece.  Often people who like using Misty Fuse will pre-fused pieces of fabric so they are ready to cut out for future projects

3.     Press the freezer paper template to the right side of the pre-fused fabric and cut it out.  Keep the non-stick sheet under the fusible side of the Misty Fuse.

4.     Position the applique and press with medium-high heat to permanently fuse.

Things to remember with Misty Fuse:

·        You must use an applique pressing sheet or parchment paper

·        It can be used with sheer fabrics – like organza

·        You do not need to reverse the design when you draw it since it will be attached to the right side of the fabric and not flipped.

·        It is solvent-free with no added adhesives so it does not gum up needles

Everybody has their favorite when it comes to fusible web products.  I prefer Bosal for my everyday fusible projects because it comes on a bolt and is 15” wide so I can use it for large appliques.  Heat n Bond Lite and Heat n Bond Feather Lite also come on a bolt and are both 17” wide so they are good options for large projects too, or just for everyday.  Steam-a-Seam 2 and Lite Steam-a-Seam at Bright Hopes come on a roll 12” wide and are considered by many to be the standard in fusible webs.  Shades SoftFuse comes in 8x9 inch sheets (10 to a pack) and is great for smaller projects and projects where layering of appliques is done since the fusible web is so soft.  Misty Fuse may deceive you, because it is so sheer, that small package carries a piece of fusible that is 20” x 90” or 20” by 2.5 yards.  Misty Fuse can be a little persnickety to work with, but it is worth it for the lightness of this fusible.

One tip to remember:  Fusible lasts better when fused to fabric.  So if you have scraps laying around and like to do fusible applique then just put some fusible web on them, take off the paper backing (this is very important) and store them in a large plastic storage bag to maintain the moisture in the fusible.  Then the fabric will be ready to go whenever you are!  Fusibles can dry out over time so if you have some you have not used it in a while and it is not working properly – it just may be dried out.

Good things to have when working with fusible web products are an applique pressing sheet and an iron-cleaning product, because accidents do happen and it is best to be prepared.  I always like to clean my iron after I use fusible webs.  Since I often do large appliques I have two sizes of applique pressing sheets.  I also keep a Teflon sheet, parchment paper, and freezer paper handy.

I hope you have fun with fusibles !