Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Glue on my quilt?

I was procrastinating on this challenge but I finally decided to just do it...that is what this blog is about but I have had misgivings. In the end I decided to keep an open mind and make a wall hanging. I found a pattern for applique to suit the season and gathered my supplies. Freezer paper and a glue stitck. It is so hard for me to use glue on a quilt. It just seems...well...wrong. I know lots of quilters use glue but I am such a traditional quilter that it is difficult for me.

The challenge was to use the freezer paper and glue method of machine applique from The Quilt Show Episode 210 with Beth Ferrier. When I googled this method there were lots of websites and blogs that mentioned it and gave tutorials.

So I began cuttitng my freezer paper, ironing it onto my fabrics and readied myself for the glue. I could not believe that every single glue stick I had was dried out. I tried it with a shrivelled glue stick and it was Yuck! Plan B..I've been meaning to try the freezer paper and spray starch method so I dig out the starch. Yuck! I am so not liking it and it took me forever to do just one piece. I ended up hand basting all my pieces, which I think took me the same amount of time as it would have with the glue stick or iron and it was less messy and I could do it in front of the tv in a relaxed position. Now I was happy!

Finally I can get to the stitching. I used Sulky clear poly thread (regular thread in the bobbin) with a very small zig zag stitch and loosened my top tension just a bit. After stitching I removed the basting stitches and the freezer paper from the back side in the same manner I would use for hand applique. After I was used to my machine stitching I made the stitch width even smaller and found it was much easier to remove the freezer paper. The smaller the 'bite' the better.

So I finished the stitching in no time at all and it turned out to be a very cute wall hanging where the stitches, while not truely invisible, were not noticeable. The one difference that I found noticeable between this method of machine applique and hand applique was that the appliques are much flatter looking as a result of the stitching on the edges. I really enjoyed it and would do this again, with the hand basting. I will not try the glue again and I will probably not try the starch again either. But I am happy that I tried them.

The pattern is from the October 2000 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.

Happy Stitching!


  1. So cute! I love it. The only applique I've ever done was in the first quilting class I took about 2 1/2 years ago, and that was needle turn, as that is the only way the instructor did applique. She did teach us all the methods, but I think I like needle turn best, although I've never done another applique project, LOL. Maybe I'll think differently if I do a big project. Mine were two pillows.

  2. What works for you is the best way!! It is really adorable!!

  3. That is a cute little wall-hanging. Congrats on a great finish !!

  4. I love your wallhanging...It is adorable!

  5. I enjoyed visiting your blog and got a chukkle out of your experience with glue and other tricks of the trade. I am a hand-everything quilter so I feel pretty out-of-date when it comes to new techniques.